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Making an Albumen Print

using only Paper, Eggs, Sunlight and a Negative with
Doug Munson at the Chicago Albumen Works
in Housatonic, MA

The minDV video was shot on two Sony VX 1000 cameras, at the native 32KHz audio, in 1999. The clips were prepared in Apple Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 using Terran MediaCleaner EZ (v4) to render QuickTime movies (free, on the FCP website). Each clip runs for about 15-65 seconds. The clips were edited and saved as Final Cut Pro (fcp) movies (.mov) and then exported as QuickTime movies (file container) as *qt.mov. To achieve a small file size (350-2000 KB) from the 90-240 MB fcp.mov files, we used the Sorenson Video codex set "low," at 8-10 fps and 21-31Kb/s bit-rate, sized at 180 X 120 pixels (quarter original). The audio was captured in monaural using the QualComm PureVoice codex set at 9:1 compression (most) using 8KHz (lowest) and 16 bit from the native (original) 32KHz & 16 bit stereo audio. Better audio was found to be superior to better video. Various amounts of compression were used to yield detail at important points in the QuickTime clips. Lower compression decreased pixelation. More clips will be added over time.

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to Albumen Preparation in the Library

Breaking eggs (3 dozen) for (1350 ml, final amount)
making Albumen Liquid

One egg white yields about 1 ounce of liquid.

25:02 sec. 553 KB file, 1:92 compression

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Preparing to Salt the Albumen

2% ammonium chloride

15:25 sec., 448 KB file

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Frothing the Egg Whites

1 minute on the high setting

..."sure beats a whisk"...

31:27 sec., 708 KB file

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After frothing, the albumen it needs to be filtered for the remaining solids

The froth has been standing (draining) for 5 hours

48 Sec., 1 MB, 1:175 compression

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Doug comments on using Photoflo to break bubbles
and produce a more even Coating

"add a little lemon and you'll get a pie"

48 Sec., 1 MB, 1:177 compression

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To Coating the Paper in the Library

After filtering, the remaining bubbles in the albumen liquid need to be scraped from the surface of the solution

44 Sec., 1 MB, 1:162 compression

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Coating -- Part 1

Fold into a canoe, the far corner is tipped onto the surface of the Albumen

Two edges will curl. Wait 30-45 seconds for the paper to absorb, swell and uncurl.

63 Sec., 2 MB, 1:120 compression

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Coating -- Part 2

After it has uncurled, about 60 seconds, use fresh American Clips to pull the sheet from the bath

Coating can be done is as little as 15-20 seconds

53 Sec., 1.8 MB, 1:118 compression

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To Sensitization in the library

Preparing for Sensitization

12 % silver nitrate and 5% citric acid in distilled water

56:00 sec., 1200 KB file

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Floating Albumen Coated Paper on the Sensitizing Bath

3 minutes on bath and into the drying box

36:29 sec., 816 KB file

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