Lith printing



Delighted to announce my lovely little lith is featured on back cover of SHOTS magazine (issue #137)!

Developing silver gelatin prints in very dilute lith developer can produce a unique combination of high contrast shadows with creamy and colourful high lights within the same image. Anyone interested in this printing technique would do well to read how-to guides prepared by Fotospeed and Moersch, as well as works written by Tim Rudman on the topic* (some links below).

Lith Printing workshop, at School of Photographic Arts, Ottawa (Feb. 9&10, 2018) has sold out! Keep an eye on their website for the next workshop, coming this summer.


My favorite paper for the process is vintage Slavich Unibrom (2006).

Making a Great Lith Print



Lith can be a great way to use age-fogged papers, unsuited to other printing methods. ***I recommend testing your papers for lith-ability as described in the second paragraph of the Moersch document, above. Also when working with vintage papers, it is helpful to soak the paper for about 1 min. in warm water after making your exposure and before putting it into developer. This will help soften the emulsion uniformly, to compensate for any patchy hardening that may have occurred over the years, and ensure even development.

Lith can be a very effective way to restore contrast when printing thin negatives….ThinNegative_051





It is also useful way to make prints from badly fogged negatives or negatives prepared from colour films (into B&W)….

FoggedNeg 006fb

Lith can be tricky. When blacks begin to accelerate development you need to observe closely and ‘Snatch’ the print just before it achieves the look you are seeking, and plunge it into stop bath. A darkroom ‘torch’ can be handy here, for short term intense illumination. I use a floor lamp with darkroom safe red bulb that can be swiveled into place just for time it takes to check development.

Second-pas lith can be effective way to make use of older and badly fogged papers*  (here examples of Kodak Opal paper developed in Dektol, with a second print bleached back and re-developed in Moersch Easy Lith). The odd colour splits with browns and blues, and solarization are unique to each paper and can be exploited for dramatic effect.


Ilford MGWT is a currently available paper that has semi-lith qualities* (image below).  New Seagull Oriental papers are working, Foma has restored lith-ability to it’s Fomatone  papers ( Current batches of Slavich Unibrom work, but best for the experienced printer. Consult company websites and lith printing blogs for information before purchase*. Emulsion changes seem to be happening quite frequently these days.