A while back I realized that of the gazillion groups on Flickr, none had anything to do with Bromoil, so I created one. I needed to find those who were posting Bromoil images on the site, and during the search I came up with a number of images referred to as “Bromoil-inspired.” These did not look at all like Bromoil prints, just poor digital attempts, and I came to realize that those offering such images had probably never seen a Bromoil print. Having worked with Photoshop since version 4.0, I knew that understanding not only the Bromoil process but also digital manipulation would allow me to create a reasonable faux Bromoil image. Of course, there is no way to make a print that actually looks like a Bromoil when viewed in person, since the way the ink lays on the paper is unique, but my task was create something that would mimic the look on the screen.
My guess is that there is little interest in the nuts and bolts of what I did in Photoshop to make this image. Generally speaking, I used two layers that both included blurred noise and difference clouds, one employing the color dodge and the other the color burn blending mode.
On the left is the original image and on the right is the faux Bromoil (compression artifacts make the noise look chunkier than the tiff version). I originally offered this image, On The Way Home, on the blog, so you can click the link for comparison. Apparently my scanner decided to do a bit of cropping, which is why you will see a bit more image if you compare these images with the darkroom example.
It really does look like a fake bromoil!