Combination Printing

Combination Printing:  Photographic Printing Process
Historical ContextOscar Gustave Rejlander’s Two Ways of Life, 1857
Combination Printing was developed by Robinson & Rejlander in nineteenth century Britain as a way of creating complex photographic images which,  due to the limitations of the early cameras was not possible.
Henry Peach Robinson’s Fading Away, 1858
The Process
Hag created his images in the darkroom by placing the negatives in separate photographic enlargers. The print is made by moving a single sheet of photographic paper between each enlarger thus exposing each element.

Hag uses nine enlargers fitted with tungsten, condenser and cold cathode heads. Three are large format, four medium format and two 35mm.
Image registration is achieved on a moveable specially made baseboard. This has a line sketch of the image on clear film and or a registration print of an element or elements all taped to black card which covers the photographic paper and is hinged to the baseboard.
Masking of the negatives is possible at all points of the light path of the enlarger using line film (Agfa Rapidoline Ortho RA710p and Kodak Gravure Positive), photographic resin coated prints cut to size, printers blocking opaque (painted onto glass), masking tape (black and white), lithographic tape, paper cut outs, matt box’s and dodging and burning. 


35mm Nikon, 6 x 4.5 Mamiya and 6 cm x 6 cm Hasselblad medium format.
5×7 and 5 x 4 inches Sinar and De Vere mono rail plate cameras. Gandolphi 5 x 7 inches large format view camera.

Kodak Panatomic X, Tri X. Agfapan APX25 and 100. Ilford Delta 100. FP4 sheet film.

Film developers
D76/ID11 1+1 and neat for sheet film.

Printing Papers
20 x 16 ins fibre base graded. i.e. not variable contrast.
Ilford Ilfabrom, IlfordGallery and Agfa Record-Rapid.

Paper Developers
Ilford PQ and Contrast FF. Agfa Neutol WA

Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent  or wash aid  (Sodium Sulphite) before  print washing

Selenium 1+3 to 1+19. Sepia, sulphide and thiorea/sodium hydroxide, and split toned.
All original prints Hypo eliminated and archivaly  washed.

Of course a lot of these materials are not available now as the digital age is recognised … Change is all we have but we still eat and do some other things in candlelight because it is beautiful …

Acknowledgements  (for the book)
I would like to thank the following who have made this book possible:
Cambridge School of Art at ARU for assistance with the framing for the exhibition.
Peter Russell, Roger Maile, Richard Knight, Nicky Akehurst and Jill Levy for showing me it was possible.
Pam Kiernan, Gillie Cunningham, Fintan Nicholls and Patrick Dean for help with the text.
Portrait of Hag by Richard Gibb.
Linda Wade for turning the book into reality.

Nicky Akehurst for much support over many years.

Published 2008 by K. Ostra Productions.

© Ian James Hargreaves.
ISBN 978-0-9553118-0-2

Colour reproduction by Swaingrove,
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Design by Linda Wade.

Printed in England by BAS Printers, Romsey, Hampshire.

Web Site 
Martyn Rayner 

For enquiries or further information please click on email



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