Caffenol-C for prints

Thanks to my reference for Caffenol-C process at caffenol.org I found out that this process can be used for printing as well. Now it’s pretty obvious to me, since the light sensitive chemical stuff on film and paper is quite the same, the only difference is that paper is way less sensitive. In the post on caffenol.org about printing I’ve seen amazing results and expected to obtain the same tones. But one year ago I didn’t know anything about those chemical reaction so I was surprised, and I immediately looked on online auctions for an enlarger. I found one for 10 swiss francs (about 11$, for real), then I bought other stuff needed to set up a darkroom. I converted our almost unused cellar into a darkroom, bought some packs of Ilford expired paper sheets for a bunch and tried to develop with caffenol. Well, I realized that the beautiful tone I was expecting seeing the pictures on that post was mainly due to warm tone paper used, but some brownish tone was obtained with coffee anyway. At the time I didn’t even know how crucial the right temperature during processing is, so I always used too cold caffenol and the contrasts obtained are usually low and the blacks not enough deep.

Now that I’ve printed with traditional process too I can say that the greatest difference between them is the warm brownish tone caffenol gives to the white of the paper. Here are some of my first prints, some with quite a good contrast and one with bad. The prints are not cropped, I didn’t care too much about it as I was just trying to catch up with exposure, development time and contrast filters.

 

N.Y. Guggenheim Caffenol Print

Rolex building in Lausanne

Brooklyin Bridge Caffenol Print

Riccardo Caffenol Print

By Robin Bervini
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