Kallitypes and Van Dykes

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I apologize in advance if this question has been allready posted to death...my search on this site didnt turn up much.

I guess the question is simple...what is the real fifference between Kallitypes and Van Dykes and is there a standard formaula and procedure for either. Obviously there will always be variations through personal experimentation and tastes, but after two weeks of looking at info on the net there seems to be a great deal of contradiction and disagreement about these processes. I have sent for a couple of books but perhaps in the mean time maybe someone could help clear this up for me.

Thank you,


-- Luc Desjardins (lucvision@hotmail.com), September 27, 2001


I'm no expert, but I have made a few Vandyke prints and plan to make more. I found a pretty good Kallitype reference on the Bostick and Sullivan site at http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/kalli.htm, and there is an excellent book by Dick Stevens available.

Both are silver processes, but the Kallitype uses oxalic acid and silver nitrate, whereas Vandyke uses iron salts (ferric ammonium citrate) and silver nitrate. I don't believe there is any such thing as a "standard" formula for either. Both are fixed in dilute hypo, can use ammonium dichromate as a contrasting agent, and both can be toned with the various noble metals. Wynn White has written an excellent introductory article on Vandyke, which is on my web site at http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Vandyke/vandyke.html. When processed properly, and especially if toned, these two process are reasonably archival.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), September 27, 2001.

A little further research tells me they are both iron-silver processes. The most important thing for archival purposes is to somehow remove any remaining iron salts.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), September 27, 2001.

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