Dust on AZO

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I have been really getting into table top work doing various flowers with 8x10 using an all black background. I am still somewhat new to LF but the results have been the best so far. I couldn't be any more pleased with them after stumbling around for a couple years and then finally coming up with a repeatable system. On AZO developed in Michael Smith's amidol formula these prints just glow. The downside is that after I dry them there is a dust that is actually attached to the face of the paper that is stuck there. I tried a very, very soft bristle brush but no good..doesn't come off. When I increased the pressure it scratches the paper. The black background really shows the dust. I dry them on fiberglass screens that I meticuously washed and rinsed. I don't have a "level 5" clean room in my house but have tried different areas and still that #$%@# dust!! It is really frustrating after a very long often discouraging journey to have finally arrived at a point to where things are actually working on a repeatable basis only to have a problem like this. I really like the black background but the dust...arrggghhhhh. Can anyone please help me? Thank you in advance fer any info.

-- Michael Pry (vila@busynet.net), June 08, 2002


michael you might want to try waxing or sealing the surface of the print. minor white taught me to use a wax the print surface which usually remove the dust that embeds itself in the gelatin surface and also protects the print surface from scratches. minor used to use blue coral car wax available at most cadillac dealers. also an alternative might be to add a bit of hardner to your fixer which should harden the emulsion more so that you can get the dust out. th

-- robert (ralfoto@aol.com), June 08, 2002.

Make sure you dry your prints face down on your nylon drying screens. That should do it.

-- Michael A. Smith (michaelandpaula@michaelandpaula.com), June 08, 2002.

It doesn't solve the problem but have you tried rinsing the prints again in warm water, perhaps with a small amount of LFN or Photo Flo added, and lightly brushing the prints with your hand while the prints are in the water, to remove the dust?

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), June 08, 2002.

Another matter to consider is how much "black" makes up your image and is it appropriate for the image. It is obviously dramatic, but does it overpower or compete with the image itself? Contact 8 x 10's are one thing, but avoid large prints with great chasms of pure black, the sophisticated eye will right through that smokescreen. "Less" can be a wonderful thing. Look at Huntingon Witherhall's botanicals with the handpainted backdrops he made. Also,I have found a powderpuff from the cosmetic counter (about $3.) is great for removing light debris from prints and glass (also great when you need a quick touch-up!) Don't loose sight of the essential - the image itself - sounds like you are getting tangled up in the small stuff (quite literally!) Concepts are better than any jazzed-up print - avoid smoke and mirrors - too much of that today! Peter

-- peter bosco (peterboscoprivate@attbi.com), June 10, 2002.

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