Meagre Information About Reticulation:


(125k jpeg)
photograph © wendy mukluk

Reticulation is a tricky effect to achieve. The emulsion reacts to extremes in temperature, shrinking and expanding, and can make a splotchy giraffe-pattern. Sometimes, when you try to do this on purpose, nothing happens, and when you don't want it, there it is. The examples here happened by accident, when I was washing film in tepid water, and someone flushed the toilet elsewhere in the house. The film was bathed in hot water and then cold, and the conditions were such that the emulsion crinkled up into the reticulated pattern. The pattern can be very uneven. Note in the top example the pattern changes across the film surface, and doesn't cover the entire frame. A good way to make reticulated images is to first make several copy negatives or take some test pictures that you don't care about ruining, and then try different combinations of hot and cold water on them; taking notes so that you might be able to repeat the best results. I have had good results with Tri-X, and have been told that adding sodium carbonate to the water softens the emulsion and aids in reticulation, but I haven't tried that yet.

"History Repeats Itself"
somewhat reticulated image.
(83k jpeg) photograph © wendy mukluk

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last update May 12, 1999