making emulsion by hand 

With Baltic Analogue Lab and Esther Urlus (WORM)
Photography ©  Kristaps Mednis
2019 March - Riga, Latvia




The ingredients for different handmade emulsions for 16mm film or other media


Recipes we followed for 100 ml of Cyanotype emulsion



The film stock needed is clear 16mm acetate print film (e.g. ORWO) with a subbing layer of gelatine to help the emulsion stick


We lay out the strips of clear film on a table  


Esther Urlus (WORM). Our beloved alchemist.


We used different types of sponges and brushes to apply layers of cyanotype / Van Dyke brown emulsion onto the strips.



The art and beauty of such work, according to Esther, is in the coating. Even though we enthusiastically crammed everything on top of the strips, the actual coating is already an intensive visual experience in projection.


I used a small laser light to try to contact print, frame by frame, an area of a found image from a positive 16mm black and white strip onto the freshly coated strip of film. The experiment succeeded, the character came to life in projection after about 5-15 seconds of focused exposure with  the laser light on each successive frame.


Strips are exposed to the faint sunlight creeping through the baltic spring clouds... Direct sunlight will create faster exposure and higher contrast. Here we exposed for 10+ minutes.


Organic = goooooood


Wash the strips three times in cold water (<18 C) .




Strips are dried


Strips are inspected...



We proceeded to make silver emulsion on day 2 of the workshop.


The milky substance is the actual silver emulsion after it has matured. Bain maries are used for temperature control. 









miki ambrózy, kristaps mednis © 2019  - with Esther Urlus and Baltic Analogue Lab, Riga