Bottle No. 3 (liquid emulsion)

A flashback from ye olde darkroom days! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Maude Lebowski: “What do you do for entertainment?”

The Dude: “Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback…”

– Julianne Moore & Jeff Bridges – The Big Lebowski

About this image: Ilford 35mm film print on 6″x6″ canvas panel via liquid emulsion


91 thoughts on “Bottle No. 3 (liquid emulsion)

    • That’s wonderful to hear, S.E.! Thank you!
      Much of the texture you see is from the canvas I printed this photo on (a 6″x6″ painter’s canvas). Those lines you see sweeping across the image are indeed brush strokes from when I applied the emulsion. The stuff is a lot of fun (I sure miss having the facilities to do this sort of thing – although I think I could fake it pretty easily digitally). One of the most challenging parts was prepping surfaces correctly so the emulsion wouldn’t slide right off during processing / submersion in developer, stop bath, fixer and water. This is the same process I used to create ‘Scene From an Apartment‘, too.

      • So busy going on about the photo I forgot to respond to your question about the movie!
        For me it’s not so much about the plot (although the situations the poor main character gets into by sheer bad luck add something too)…
        I particularly like the way the characters are developed… and the way they relate to each-other… etc. They’re so eccentric (maybe I can relate to that a bit)… almost like they’re caricatures of caricatures (if that makes any sense)…

        • I agree and this is definitely
          one of my most favourite films 🙂

          You are adding some excellent
          posts my wickedly fine friend, and
          all with that ghoulishly appealing
          skill that you have for artistry 🙂

          Have a wondrously wicked
          rest of day and evening SIG 🙂


          • Andogoth you are an enigma and I am a very curious person- but I’m locked out of your site! What gives?

          • The simple reason for this is that I have such a heavy workload at the moment and so I am having to limit access to just 35 friends, and with well over 200 peeps regularly visiting my Space I am just unable to keep up with everyone and so I have had to go Private until such a time that I can re-open it. I thank you for asking me this question and I assure you I am replying to many such requests either directly or through e mails.

            Have a very nice Friday and of course a delightfullly exciting weekend also 🙂

            Androgoth Xx

        • Thanks so much, Lynn!
          I guess it just depends on the piece… I’m one of those guys who will never master any process because I’m so interested in all of them I can’t help but try as many as I can. I’m always having fun with it, though… which is a big plus I guess!

        • The graphics that I add to my Space are not
          of my own making my friend, they are all in the
          Public Domain but the Scripts that I write are
          all my own and copyrighted… I just wanted to
          make it clear that the art work, unless stated
          as my own work is all found on the Internet 🙂

          Have a really nice weekend Lynn 🙂

          Androgoth Xx

          • Sorry about that SIG I thought the comment
            by Lynn was to me… Please delete these my
            wickedly fine friend and I apologise for this
            ridiculous error on my part…

            Have a very nice weekend 🙂


          • Don’t worry, A.G… you didn’t make a mistake. I’m fairly certain one of those comments was intended for you… it’s just that the comment replies are ‘nested’ a bit strange… I think that’s a settings issue… or a theme related item… no error on your part at all!

          • Sorry, A.G…
            I also meant to say if you’d still like me to delete these I will happily do so…
            I really don’t think you’ve made a mistake, though…
            and it really isn’t hurting anything / bothering me in the least – I don’t at all mind keeping any / all of them up, either, if you would prefer!

          • Okay SIG leave them on, and thank you
            for your reply on this one my wicked friend 🙂
            Keep adding to your your uniqueness, this
            is certainly one of the better Spaces around
            our WordPress, well I think so anyway 🙂


          • No problem, A.G… will do!
            And thank you so very much for your great kindness as always, sir!
            I sure do appreciate the support! I do try, you know…
            (well, sometimes, anyway)!

    • Thanks very much, Ms. B!
      The texture comes from the canvas I printed the photo on and the lines are from where I brushed on the liquid emulsion… I was so happy to hear you liked this one!

  1. I just saw The Big Lebowski for the first time last Saturday night, it was so funny! Loved the way he was just so fixated about getting a new rug for his living room!
    Love the texture in this image, and her shoes!

    • Definitely one of my all-time favorite movies, B.P…
      I’ve watched it so much I can recite most of the lines right along with the actors. Still makes me laugh every time.
      Thanks so much, B.P… the texture is from canvas (and the faint lines are brush strokes from applying the emulsion)!

    • Thanks Deb…
      this one really is printed on canvas. I used a material called liquid emulsion, which is basically a fluid that’s light sensitive which can be brushed onto various surfaces (paper, glass, metal, etc… in this case, canvas).
      The most difficult time I had with it was making sure the surfaces were prepared correctly so the emulsion didn’t slide back off while submerged in developer, stop bath, fixer and water. I miss it. A lot of fun!

  2. I was just telling someone about The Big Lebowski. Why is it that almost every guy I know loves that movie so much? They can’t get enough of The Dude. I think they want to be like him.

  3. I love canvas prints. This one is wonderful. I really like painting them once they are dry. I like to create the look of a photo which has a timeless feel to it based on the absence of color in certain areas. It is even more fun in sepia. Excellent shot.

    • That founds like a TON of fun, red… and like it would produce some incredible results!
      I wish I still had access to a darkroom… I’d definitely give that a try! Unfortunately I’ve only got a couple of these canvas prints, though (*translation* I’m to big a chicken to try it without the ability to create new ones)!

      • I had a client bring me a really cheap one she had picked up at a flea market or dollar store (her budget). I charged her about eight times what she paid for the canvas, but she loved it.

        One of my favorite ones I did in oil pastels (really tricky to keep clean) and coated in matte poly. It could have easily survived without a frame, but was gorgeous in a light box.

        Yes. I can be artsy. Sometimes.

  4. Only number 3? You’re slacking… Must be your round 😉 Interesting shot Bob. The curve to the lady’s leg is almost surreal and the composition is a diagonal across the frame with only the chair leg to break the pattern. Yes, I think that works 🙂

    Satisfy my curiosity… what was in the bottle originally?

    • HAHAHA! I guess I’ll have to see if I can’t remedy that, Martin!
      And thank you!
      Oh, no… this is going to sound awful… but… I don’t think I can remember that (perhaps this is proof I’m long past number 3?)!
      The angle in ‘Bottle No. 1‘ doesn’t seem to be of much help, either… give me a few minutes to dig around in my negatives and see if I can find more definitive evidence!

      • That’s interesting Bob – they use Sorghum to brew Chibuku in Zimbabwe. It’s a form of Millet. I assume it was more refined coming from Anheusrer-Busch. Presumably a clear golden colour rather than being a creamy white soup! Thanks for looking it up 🙂

        • Oh! Yes! As soon as you mentioned it I remembered your fascinating post! I remembered a bit about the process, but I have to admit my recollection of what it was made from was a bit fuzzy. As you probably guessed from my previous comment my memory isn’t what it used to be – and it was never that great to begin with!

  5. Love this print – the bottle at her feet, surely there must be a cigarette in her hand! That’s nostalgia for you!

    You won’t believe this but only yesterday I bought some canvases, hoping to apply thin sheets of photos on to the canvas for exactly this effect but I am not sure what to apply over the top of it. How much fun for you to be be processing it from the beginning straight on to the canvas!

    As for the Dude, I have a soft spot for Steve Buscemi’s crazy Donnie.

    • I do believe it, Ms. K! Sounds like a lot of fun, too! Guess I’m not sure what the photos are printed on / etc. but maybe a Gel Medium (basically an acrylic glue which comes in different thicknesses / sheens / etc. – it can be used to do photo transfers, too – which I’ve done on canvas before… forgive me, you probably considered all of this already).
      Hahaha… ‘Donnie, you’re out of your element!’
      *in my best Walter Sobchak*

    • Hahaha… well… it WAS beer, Angus! Briefly!
      It was nice of Tony to share with you… maybe it’s best you didn’t like it, though. I’m sure you have found other things you do like… and more beer for Mr. M. this way, too!

    • Many thanks, U.M.!
      I’ve been playing around with the idea of digitally replicating this look for some time now (I think it could be pulled-off fairly successfully)…
      but I haven’t quite decided on what image to use yet.
      Guess I’m just waiting for something to ‘speak to me’.
      Or some lame excuse for my laziness like that.

    • I might try to digitally reproduce this look at some point in the near future (since I no longer have access to a working darkroom), but it’s awfully hard to top the fun of getting in there and working hands on with the stuff!
      Thanks so much, Mary!

  6. I didn’t know you could brush on an emulsion and then print a picture on it like that. Quite neat. So I guess there still are some good uses for old darkroom equipment.

    • It’s pretty cool stuff, really!
      If you prep your substrate correctly you can use it on all kinds of materials: wood, metal, glass… paper of course… lots of fun!
      Absolutely! I still hope to build a small one some day (assuming I can still get my hands on the chemistry / supplies, that is)!

    • Eh… I try, Ms. D. Sometimes. 😉
      I will spend a RIDICULOUS amount of time on a project… I mean, to the point I’d almost be embarrassed to admit how long I’ve spent on a few things. I never mind though, as long as I get some kind of acceptable result. It’s when I spend that much time and wind up with squat that I get frustrated. That also happens more than I’d care to admit!

  7. It reminds me a bit of Brassai, Robert.

    You know, I didn’t laugh once whilst watching The Big Lebowski. No you didn’t know. But now you do. I rarely find comedies funny. I think I prefer to be surprised. Like when the alien burst forth from John Hurt’s chest in the first Alien film. I laughed my guts out! Yeah, I’m odd like that.

      • Agreed, S.E. – both are very funny guys!
        I’ve always been fond of Bill Murray – I love his work in the Wes Anderson films… and Lost in Translation, too – he’s one of my favorite actors.

    • That is an incredibly kind comment, S.E… thank you so much! I love Brassai – that probably is not much of a surprise, right?

      I don’t think you are alone in that feeling, S.E. It’s such a very ‘cultish’ movie… it seems that people either love it or hate it… not too many folks with feelings in between for some reason.

    • It kind of does, doesn’t it? I can’t take too much credit for that… the canvas did all the heavy lifting for me there. As far as shooting through a screen, though… that’s an idea I’ve been pushing around for a while now, too!

  8. Excellent work. Fascinated my the processing involved. For my retirement project I am going to try anthotypes. You create an emulsion from natural materials, like beet juice or raspberries, then use it to make photosensitive paper. The image must be developed using natural light like a solargram .

    Now that I am older and have an over abundance of memories, I prefer flash forwards to flashbacks. New places & experiences keep the mind active,……… and they are real trippy. 🙂

    • Sounds like fun! I’ve only made one Anthotype so far in my ‘ Spires ‘ post (I’ve linked it for you under the title – not sure why links aren’t underlined in comments with this theme).
      I used canned beet juice for mine… so I’d expect there might be some variation in results if you were to try crushing up fresh ones. I went this route as a time-saver (and there were fewer ‘artifacts’ / bits of clumpy material to collect on the paper). As you can see I should have probably exposed my print a bit longer, but was getting very impatient to see the results (it took almost a full week to find those 35 +/- hours of sunlight).
      I’m very curious to see your results! I’d like to try a few more at some point… it would be nice to find a material that reacts a bit quicker, though (and I’m not sure I have as good a place to leave the contact frame as before – would be nice to have an exposure unit for stuff like this – and van dykes / cyanotypes, etc…)

      • I received the book Anthotypes by Malin Fabbri for my birthday. It is published through . Excellent little book. It rates and provides examples of over 100 plants. I am hoping to try some plants native to our area.

        • Sounds like a fascinating book, sir (I think I might have come across the preview for it at one point… I do tend to nose around altphoto from time to time… and subscribe to their newsletter, too… such a great source)!
          Can’t wait to see the results of your experiments! I’d really like to try a few more of these at some point… they really are pretty cool, aren’t they?!

    • Thank you so much, S.F…
      I really miss the darkroom… I often try recreate some of that ‘hand of the maker’ feel in some of my photos, but honestly there’s only so much I can fake… it’s those subtle serendipitous surprises that I really miss…

  9. Did I ever tell you that I once drank from a beer bottle held not by my hands, but by my feet?! It was an epic act if balance! I have mad toe dexterity skills! Yeah. True story. That blew your mind right? BOOM!

  10. I think Annabelle has given you a topic & title for another project & post. “Mad Toe Dexterity”. That will get you freshly pressed . 🙂

    • Hahaha… at this point I’m just pleased WordPress hasn’t given me the boot.
      I feel like just mentioning the ‘F.P.’ words might get me instantly struck by lightning, or something along those lines!

  11. You are so inventive my friend!!! Always bringing new techniques to your creations… I love it…Now…about this one…so sensual…what’s behing these legs…amazing…:)

    • Thank you so much, sir!
      That is a wonderful compliment coming from such a creative fellow as yourself!
      I love images where each viewer can write their own narrative…
      always a big part of the fun, I think!

      • Sure!!! I’m glad some creators as yourself think that way… Because many try to avoid the obvious…once you exposed to the public’s eye it’s not your anymore…each one will have their own thing about it no matter if you didn’t intend it that way… 🙂

        • Very well said, sir! Absolutely! I completely agree with you!
          And I really look forward to those different ways of looking at things…
          for me half the fun is if/when people can relate to/find their own meanings in a piece! It almost seems arrogant for the original creator of an image to assume her/his original idea(s) were the only ones that apply… I know that does happen, though…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s