I've been shooting paper negatives for salt prints this week, and
driving myself a little crazy trying to wax them. It's one thing to wax
a little calotype - I've got enamel trays I can dip 'em in - but I'm
trying to deal with a 16x20 gelatin silver neg... Richard Morris, who
has helped me a great deal with my calotypes, irons wax into his
negatives between blotter sheets, but that didn't give me any even
consistency for the large sheets. I ended up with dark pits in the
negative that I thought were waxless areas but may in fact be the
opposite. They wouldn't go away whether I tried more wax, or trying to
dry out and smooth what was there. As for oiling, it seems like a big
headache and/or mess. Plus I'd need some thin barrier for printing...
My solution came by accident, as solutions in this world often do. I'd
been using old sheets of Agfa Portriga, but had just bought some Ilford
MGIV RC 16x20 to try - you know, quick and easy, no back printing, etc.
Of course, after shooting one I realized I wouldn't get much wax or oil
through the resin-coat, but wouldn't you know it - the darn thing peeled
easily in two. I could peel the back half of the print right off leaving
me a perfectly printable neg - no waxing needed!
I've ended up with a tip (peeling the RC) and a question: how can I wax
evenly a large paper negative, without dipping into a big ol' batch of
Thanks in advance,