Van Dyck Brown

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Its the colour named after the Flemish painter of the same name, and an entire gamut of paintings from the period of the early 17th C.

It is a non-silver processes developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842 amongst many other alt-processes he invented. The process utilizes the action of light on ferric salts.

The Formula

Solution A

  • Ferric Ammonium Citrate: 9.0 gm
  • Distilled Water: 33.0 ml

Solution B

  • Tartaric Acid: 1.5 gm
  • Distilled Water: 33.0 ml

Solution C

  • Silver Nitrate: 3.8 gm
  • Distilled Water: 33.0 ml

The Van Dyck process is very similar to the Salt Print process I have been using. It is a POP or Printed Out Process in the main with some development taking place after exposure.

The chemicals used for the solution are much more economical than the Salt process I have been using, they also last much longer when kept in a suitable glass bottle and in the dark.

The tonal range of the process is on a par with Platinum/Palladium printing and VDB is known as the poor-mans Platinum/Palladium.

Rather than iterate my own interpretation of the process, I’ll link here to a substantial overview of the process.

It is a process I am looking forward to using and comparing the results I get with those of the Salt Prints previously.

Van Dyck Brown Print


Camera/Lens: Nikon F801 + Nikkkor 28-80/2.8 G
Film: Digital Negative

Process: Van Dyck Brown, 4” x 5”, Bergger COT320