The Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsion Print ― Creating Your Own Liquid Emulsions for Black & White Paper
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The Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsion Print is a cookbook of simple, basic recipes for making black and white printing paper and paper negatives, along with creative options for printing, toning, and coloring. Author Denise Ross draws from photographic literature from the last 135 years, adapting old recipes to fit modern tools, materials, and work spaces and modern twists have been applied to traditional techniques.

The book is divided into three sections: Section One lays the groundwork for this unique alternative process; Section Two provides the recipes; Section Three highlights contemporary silver gelatin artists.

The book features over 200 full-color images and covers key topics including:

Vocabulary: a list of terms used by traditional photographers and emulsion makers

  • Creating work spaces with the right tools and materials
  • Basic emulsion chemistry and paper coating techniques
  • Working with various negative options, analog and digital
  • Gaslight chloride contact printing paper
  • Kodabromide-type chlorobromide all-purpose paper
  • Bromide enlarging paper
  • Warm tone paper and developers
  • Making and toning your own printing-out paper (POP)
  • Matte surface and baryta coating surface paper
  • Paper negatives and making hand-drawn and digital masks
  • Toning handmade paper
  • Gum printing over handmade paper
  • Troubleshooting handmade paper
  • Artists working with handmade paper

The Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsion Print is for photographers who love the look and creative potential of black and white traditional photography but who want more control over the process and the end product. It is written for the beginner to experienced photographer, with processes initially explained in such a way that anyone will feel comfortable getting started, as well as information in increasing levels of complexity so that experienced photographers who enjoy a challenge will also find one.

Denise Ross has been a photographer for over 30 years and has been at the forefront of the handmade silver gelatin renaissance. Combining her background in science, research, and love of traditional black and white photography, Ross has extensively researched and reverse-engineered historic emulsion formulas and techniques for contemporary use. Ross created The Light Farm in 2008, a teaching website devoted to handmade silver gelatin emulsions and published an accompanying book of the same name. Ross’s work has been exhibited nationally and has appeared in publications such as Photo Techniques, Large Format Photography, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, and Jill Enfields’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes. To see her work, visit