Collodio-Chloride POP

Printing Out Process


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8x10 Film Negative taken at the Ice House


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Collodio-Chloride POP is a contact printing out process. Meaning that the image develops-out on the paper while it is being exposed and no developer is used. Because of this, sunlight or a UV source is needed for this process to work (cannot enlarge). The size of the print is dictated by the size of the negative. I was looking for a POP process that was relatively easy and could use "in camera" wet plate negatives (non intensified) since all of the negatives I've produced so far were in-camera. I have to say that i'm thoroughly impressed by the results and is way more fun to make than printing them onto regular photo paper in the darkroom!

The light sensitive emulsion is made from collodion but is not the same formula as for wet plate collodion. The collodion emulsion is poured onto a piece of baryta coated paper (fixed-out RC or FB paper works) and is drained, similar to how a wet plate is poured. The coated paper is allowed to dry in a dark place and could be used immeadiately or stored for a very long time. When ready for printing, place the negative and paper into a hinged contact printing frame. Use a hinged contact printing frame so that you may check the exposure while maintaining registration. Expose about 1 stop darker than you want your final print to be since the print will reduce while processing. To process the print, first wash the print in water for a minute or two, or until the water is not milky anymore. Then you may gold tone until satisified and fix with 10% Sodium Thiosulfate (Hypo) for 2 minutes. If you wish not to tone, place the print directly in the fixer previously mentioned. Then briefly rinse and place into hypo clearing bath for 2 min to help eliminate the hypo and reduce washing times. Wash for at least 10 minutes, depending on the type of paper was used. The final print tone will darken slightly when dry. After drying, the emulsion will not accept any toners so tone before drying.

I highly recommend trying this process. Most wet plater's should have most of the chemicals besides the Strontium Chloride and Citric Acid that's listed in the formula below.


In these prints below, fixed-out glossy RC (resin coated) paper was used.

Untoned. Wet plate negative.


Toned with fresh Gold-Bicarbonate toner. Wet plate negative.


Toned with Gold-Bicarbonate toner. A dry collodion plate negative was used.


Toned with Gold-Bicarbonate toner. Wet plate negative.


Left: Selenium Toned. Right: Gold Toned. Wet plate negative.

Note: The splotches on the left print are from coating the paper, not the toner.



The Gold-Bicarbonate toner will produce purple-brown to cold blue tones depending on toning time and gold concentration. Also seems to produce a softer print compared to Selenium. When using the gold toner, tone before fixing to retain print density.

The Selenium toner will produce light brown-white highlights and deep dark brown shadows/blacks. Also seems to produce a more contrasty print compared to Gold. I toned after fixing and washing but before drying. Refer to my notes below when using this toner.

In regards to toning before or after fixing, I believe toning after fixing would work but before drying. The purpose for toning before is to retain the print density since the fixer will reduce it a bit if not toned. But that may be beneficial if you accidentally printed too long, which in that case you would tone after fixing. I have found that after drying, the collodion emulsion will not accept any toners, which I assume is because its pores close up. No wonder it's said that this is the most archival silver based paper process.


Gold - Bicarbonate Toner (© 2008 Mark Osterman, Steve Anchell):

1% Gold Chloride Stock Solution:

Gold Chloride - 1g

Distilled Water - 100mL


Working Solution:

1% Gold Chloride - 8mL

Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) - 1.5g

Distilled Water - 400mL

Tone before fixing to retain print density. Toning may take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Save toner and replenish with 1% gold solution when toning times become too long.


Selenium Toner:

Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner - 0.5oz

Distilled Water - 30oz

Even at a 1:60 ratio, the toning time was less than a minute. Tone after fixing and washing. Take out immeately when print density has reached its maximum. But, if toning with Selenium, be careful since if toned too far, the whole print will turn to an ugly light brown color and the density will be reduced by several stops! So make sure to use a very high dilution, perhaps even higher than what I used since that toned a little too fast for my liking. Note for selenium toning, you should only tone after fixing since KRST contains ammonium thiosulfate but don't worry about losing density in the fix, the selenium will add density (up to a certain point, then will reduce).


Collodio-Chloride Emulsion (© 2008 Mark Osterman, Steve Anchell):

Solution A:

Strontium Chloride - 1g

95% Grain Alcohol - 4mL

Glycerin - 4mL

Distilled Water - 5mL

Dissolve Strontium Chloride in water and then add the alcohol and glycerin.


Solution B:

Plain Collodion USP - 250mL

95% Grain Alcohol - 85mL

Add this Solution B to Solution A.


Solution C:

Citric Acid - 1.8g

95% Grain Alcohol - 2mL

Mix until dissolved. Add to Solution A.


Solution D:

Silver Nitrate - 6g

Distilled Water - 7mL

95% Grain Alcohol - 20mL

Dissolve Silver Nitrate in the distilled water. The less water the better. Then add the alcohol to this solution.

To make the emulsion, slowly add Solution D to the Solution A (which also contains B & C) while stirring. The collodion will become milky white while Solution D is being added. Store in a dark brown or black bottle and keep away from light.

Thanks to Mark Osterman for his research and the formulas! For more information about making and using this Collodion emulsion and the gold toner, visit (bottom of the page):



The formulas that I used here were from:

George Eastman House - Photographic history museum and alternative process workshops.

Scully and Osterman Studio - Alternative process workshops and more. You may also email Mark for more information.

Bostick and Sullivan - Source for wet and dry plate supplies in the US.




Contact: Tai Oliphant

Copyright © Tai Oliphant 2012