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Lith Prints & Toning – Roy Hammans

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Stanton Moor, Derbyshire The Kite Area, Cambridge, 1970s Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, 1970s Old Tropical House, Cambridge Botanic Garden The Old tropical House, Cambridge Botanic Garden, 1970s Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire The Kite Area, Cambridge, 1980s Garden Ornament - Weeping Ash Stanton Moor, Derbyshire St Peter on the Wall, Bradwell, Essex Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire Jetty, Maylandsea, Essex Chapter House Ceiling, Wells Cathedral Sculpture by Henry Moore, Much Hadham Fallen Apples, Rivers Orchard Tyre Swing in snow, Weeping Ash Garden Buckeye Tree, Weeping Ash Garden Wasteland, Harlow Town Park Bronte Bridge, Haworth, Yorkshire Hatfield Forest, Essex Thornton Force, Yorkshire Tate Modern, London Guildhall, Coventry Cockerel, Weeping Ash Garden Clarice Cliff Vase, Weeping Ash Museum Tableau, Coventry Fatsia Leaf, Weeping Ash Garden Hide, Bradwell, Essex Regents Park, London Maylandsea, Essex Lakeside tree, Norfolk Broads Farm Buildings, Yorkshire Happisburgh Beach, Norfolk Farm Buildings, Yorkshire Waterfall, Yorkshire Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire Pevensey Bay, Sussex Pevensey Bay, Sussex Herstmonceux, Sussex Tulips, Studio Still Life Stanton Moor, Derbyshire Garden, Weeping Ash

Lith & Tone

It's easy to colour and print an image with digital photography, and countless identical copies can be made. But to do the same with a silver-based photograph is much more of a challenge.

This gallery shows traditional silver-based work where 'alternative' processing has been used. This may be the Lith Process or just straightforward print toning using a variety of chemical solutions.

Tim Rudman explaining the lith printing technique, 2009 ©Roy HammansThe Lith process if quite complex and time-consuming, but the result is rather unique. In fact, reproducing exactly the same print more than once is even more of a challenge. Perhaps the leading exponent of the technique is the photographer Tim Rudman, with whom I spent a thoroughly enjoyable few days back in 2009 learning his methods.

Toning silver prints is a fascinating topic about which Tim has written perhaps the most concise and thorough guide in 'The Master Photographer's Toning Book', now reissued but still rather expensive due to its rarity.

I have experimented with selenium, gold, copper and iron toning and some examples are shown here.

Images shown here originated in most cases from film negatives in a variety of sizes, but some work from digital negatives is also included. In every case though the final print is made in the darkroom in 'the old-fashioned way'.