Fine art photography using the Van Dyke Brown contact printing process of images made with antique cameras, vintage cameras and DIY cameras with alternative processes.

This printing out process can produce detailed images in soft brown hues that can tone to red and yellow and towards black. By their darker and browned style they can gibe that old-antique look. I rather like to use the tonality of the process to produce the softness and atmosphere believed by the “pictorialists”.  The VDB process uses a UV sensitive solution containing iron and silver salts to coat watercolour paper. Exposed to light in a contact printing arrangement the exposed paper is washed in water to remove excess unused chemistry and then fixed in a thiosulfate based solution. Contrast is controlled in the negative. To ensure longevity of the print Gold toning can be used.


The Van Dyke Brown  process belongs to a group of iron-silver (Siderite) processes known variously as Argentotypes, Agyrotype and Kallitype - depending on their individual peculiarities of chemistry and process.


The Vandyke formula (Wynn White


Vandyke Formula

Solution A is Ferric Ammonium Citrate 9.0 gm in Distilled Water 33.0 ml

Solution B is Tartaric Acid 1.5 gm in Distilled Water 33.0 ml

Solution C is Silver Nitrate 3.8 gm in Distilled Water 33.0 ml

Solutions A and B are combined then C is added slowly while stirring. Pour the sensitizer in a brown bottle and let it age for a few days before using. Keep it stored in a dark place.

Van Dyke Brown