Alt Paper Hacks

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Annie, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    OK... so it seems the lens & holder hacks were just not enough now I am doing Kodak paper hacks and I have a few 'issues' that I am sure you Alt printers will be able to resolve for me. I have 'discovered' that by giving fixed out FB papers a soak in an alkaline bath solution that the emulsions are altered to a surface that is much more receptive to hand coating and upon drying they still have some of that creamy lustrous finish that I like so much.... I will admit that at this point my process needs some refinement however some of these papers are sipping the emulsions like fine wine, I am using fewer drops and getting even coating by the regular methods once the paper has been treated.... & the price for paper is just right...free!

    Now I am concerned that by putting the paper through additional chemistry I am altering it's stability as a substrate for coating. I have been neutralizing the paper after the alkaline bath in a mild acidic solution (in a well ventilated area of course) then giving it a wash for a good hour... Kodak has certainly done their research on their FB papers they can stay wet for eons without damage.

    I am wondering.........

    1. What is the optimum pH for papers that are to be used for Pt printing so I can try to attain that, and how do you test for it?

    2. Is there some kind of final bath that I could put the papers through to increase their stability and longevity and help remove residual chemistry?

    3. I am assuming that the metals in the processed image are stable and they will not react with any small amounts of residual chemicals in the paper..... Is this so?

    4. Are the archival issues so blatant that this type of paper hacking is futile and should be abandoned?

    Thanks in advance for your kind consideration of my questions.
     
  2. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Brazil
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Bill Troop. of the Film Cookbook (and ex Kodak) fame, states that film/paper development should be made in an all alkali environment for better archival properties.

    So, if your alkali is not very strong (say, no more than carbonate, even better borax), jut washing will do.

    But I'm not familiar with the other steps of your process.

    Jorge O
     
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If you are getting good results with the alkaline bath you are good to go, you dont even need to "neutralize" the print afterwards. Just wash it and leave it as is.

    pt/pd printing benefits from an acid media, this is why the oxalic acid bath trick is so useful. GIven that you are usign fixed out paper, I do not know if this applies or that if you would benefit from giving the paper an oxalic bath. If you are getting good results with now, dont mess with something that is working.

    Certainly the paper will have the same archival properties that a regular silver print has. So dont worry about this issue, just do your 3 clearing baths and you should be ok.
     
  4. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Encouraging information, thank you very much!!
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
     
  6. CraigK

    CraigK Member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for the plug Sandy!

    Well I am sure there is more than one way to skin the baryta cat as it were...

    The main hurdle to jump in coaxing pt/pd (or just about any other alt solution) onto/into the gelatin layer of fb paper is that of EVEN absorbtion.

    Any fb paper will absorb the solutions...eventually, but probably unevenly. Unless you use a surfactant (like tween) the absorbtion will be less than ideal. I suspect that the success Annie is having is due just as much to the prolonged soaking of the paper as it is with any modification in the ph of the surface. Maybe a long soak removes something from the surface of the paper that hinders absorption. Maybe it changes the suface structure and/or opens "pores" in the coating allowing better penetration. I don't really know. I usually fix my paper then wash it for about an hour. I have found no real advantage to washing it longer nor have I found it to absorb the solutions better than if it had a very short wash. Annie's mileage however seems to vary from mine. Keep us informed about your progress Annie!

    You may want to try adding a few drops of dilute Tween..say about a 10% solution to your coating mixture. You can even try Photoflo. It works...kinda. I am sure that by adding a surfactant you will find that the absorption will be much better.
     
  7. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Actually.... It is a similar process to Craig's that I am playing with....I am just trying to eliminate the step with the heat and get a more predictable outcome..... (yes Craig I still owe you a print!!).

    I am getting very consistent coating when the paper comes out 'right' from the soak. My impression at this point is that the prolonged soaking is not the reason the paper is 'taking' the Pt solutions so well, my paper wet time as I mentioned is also about an hour. I think that the solution is mildly etching the surface of the resin that carries the sensitized elements, the paper surface feels and looks slightly different after treatment. My concern at this point is not the consistency of absorption, when the paper is 'right' it takes every time... I was just worried that by exposing the paper to additional chemistry and wide swings in pH I was affecting the stability of the final image.... Not that it has to last a hundred years... The curators from the MOMA aren't exactly banging down the darkroom door!

    I have tried Photo-flo in the past and the sensitizer foamed like a mad dog!! Thank you all for your patience with my learning curve and I will let you know how it all turns out... may be a while, we are heading into the rainy season and I use the sun to print.

    Cheers, and thanks again for your thoughtful input.
     
  8. CraigK

    CraigK Member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    I am glad to hear that you are making progress Annie.

    The heating step (coating on a warm surface) is not always necessary. I live in Winnipeg, Canada and do much of my printing in the winter. It can be very cold
    (-30) and especially dry (30%). The room in which I print can be quite cool at times and almost always very dry. The heating pad I use to warm up the glass surface upon which I put the paper is necessary for me to get a good even coating. In the summer I find I can do without it.

    In Vancouver, you may bemoan the lack of sunshine but the high humidity and warmer temperatures make for ideal coating weather. I would sugget you keep doing what you are doing, work without a heating pad.

    Are you using tween?
     
  9. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Craig, I'll give the tween a twy (who names this stuff?).... thanks.
     
  10. CraigK

    CraigK Member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes, do twy the Tween Annie.

    Of all the steps/ingredients/techniques used to coat fixed-out baryta paper, Tween is by far the most important.

    It chemically makes "water wetter". It lowers the surface tension of a solution and thereby permits a faster and deeper penetration into the surface of the paper.

    You can order Tween 20 (there are a couple of kinds. 20 and 40 I believe. I use Tween 20) from Bostick and Sullivan. Check the yellow pages for Vancouver though. I bought mine from a local chemical supply firm (Anachemia) here in Winnipeg. I believe the stuff is used in medical/bio labs so it is not that hard to find.

    If you can't find any locally I have about 2 lifetime's supply of it. Let me know, I can send you some. You will wonder how you ever got by without it!
     
  11. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Craig... I know that some printers have had some problems with developer staining when using Tween, just wondering if you have ever experienced this at your dilutions with the fixed out paper, as the issue seems paper related. Also, have you ever tried using additional drops of 10 % ethyl alcohol?
     
  12. CraigK

    CraigK Member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    I am not sure what you mean by "developer staining". What colour is the stain? Where is it present on the print/paper? What type of developer is being used? What temperature? When does it appear?

    I have had some issues with pinkish spots appearing in a print. They were related to the temperature of the paper when being coated (too cool) as well as the temperature of the coating rod (also too cool). I found that by slightly warming the solutions (I use a coffe cup warmer) and the rod and paper, the spots went away. I have a feeling that they were caused by palladium coming out of solution upon contact with a cool surface. Other than that I have never had a stain of any sort on any type of paper I have used.

    I have never used ethyl alcohol in my coating technique. I am not familiar with the produuct but understand that it is used to "thicken" a solution, making it easier to spread on a surface. This is a different action to that of Tween or other surfactants that actually reduce the surface tension of a sulution and thereby fascilitate penetration into a porous surface.
     
  13. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Kennedy talks about the problem on one of his tech pages here

    http://davidmichaelkennedy.com/tech_tween.html

    it was the reasons I had yet to twy tween... as a beginner I figured I was already juggling enough variables. However, if you haven't encountered the problem then I won't worry about it.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Kerik

    Kerik Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ethyl alcohol does not thicken the solution, but thins it. Or at least decreases it's surface tension. I use 190 proof Everclear from the liquor store. I use the equivalent of about 5 drops per 2 ml of sensitizer (pt/pd + ferric). It has proven beneficial to smooth, even coatings on every paper I've used it with, although I've never been interested in printing on fixed out silver paper, so I can't comment on that. I also add it to my gum dichromate solutions to add in smooth, even coatings. If things go bad, I add it to my coffee to smooth my attitude!

    Best,
    Kerik Kouklis
    www.kerik.com
     
  16. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I think there is actually an easier way to make palladium prints in silver paper. I had a discussion with Sandy about tonning Kallitypes with a pd solution, and how the pd does replace the silver in the print.

    If my theory holds true, I think you can wash the silver print and BEFORE you fix it, you can tone it with a pd solution and essentially get a pd print in silver paper. I will be making this experiment this weekend and let you all know. BTW seems the same mechanism will apply for pt.
     
  17. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Alcohol & Art a classic combination! Smoothness in coating is certainly what everyone is after but I also desire the luxurious creamy surface that is inherent in some of the silver based papers, if there was another way to achieve that surface I would certainly be doing that.

    Jorge, I am very interested in hearing about your experiment, please post in excruciating detail!!

    Cheers, Annie.
     
  18. Kerik

    Kerik Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Have you ever tried printing pt/pd on vellum? I use Clearprint drafting vellum with stunning results. Very smooth surface and DMAX comparable to a matte silver print.

    Kerik
     
  19. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Vellum..... I have a roll right here! It is supposed to be sunny tomorrow with a 3 hour exposure I might actually get something.

    Kerik, will you be doing another workshop this coming Spring in the Pacific Northwest?
     
  20. CraigK

    CraigK Member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks Kerik for the info re: booze as a smoothing agent. I think I will give it a try...on the rocks!

    I can attest to the smoothness of your images having seen a great display of them at 8 Elm Photo in Toronto a few years back...truly outstanding work!

    I may have been thinking about polyvinyl alcohol or some such beast. I remember reading about it on the Bostick and Sullivan site a while ago.

    I will be doing some printing this weekend so I think I will give the ethyl alcohol a try...on paper that is. I will probably stick to single malt in the glass.
     
  21. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Jorge,

    Once again, you're telling everyone a secret!

    I was thinking exactly the same thing about toning the silver paper. I don't know when I will get a chance to try it, but I definately will do that sometime. That discussion we had with Sandy got me thinking about this, and I think it is feasible to do it.

    However, I'm unsure about the steps, because I was thinking that you might want to remove the excess silver first in an unhardening fixer, and then go into the tone bath, and then into a wash and then hardening solution.

    ---Michael
     
  22. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I dont think it will work if you fix it for the following reason: When you tone a kallitype yo do it before you fix it, to prevent fading of the image. That tells me that the silver that forms the image needs to be in some ionic state for the process to occur, or at least to proceed better.

    Sure some people tone the kallitypes after fixing, but I get the feeling that the "fix" step is not really a complete one, after all you only put it in fixer for a few seconds a minute at the most. The tonning step has to be carried out to improve permanence, so this to me indicates that "ionic" unreduced silver has to be present.

    As you say, we might have some excess silver, but perhaps this is not a bad thing, remember pd has a valence of 3 so it will require "more" silver to make a full image.

    Of course all this is conjecture, only making a print and trying it out will tell the tale.
     
  23. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Jorge,

    My impression was that the only reason that the toning was done before the fix was due to the fading of the image in the kallitype. Since this fading does not occur in a silver print, the sequence might not be an issue.

    After the Kallitype is developed, it's cleared, and then toned, right? So what happens to a Kallitype if the toning is done with all the uncleared sliver still in the paper? Does the toner start to work on the uncleared silver also?

    I'm thinking that since a silver print is not cleared until the fixer removes the silver, then there may be problems with staining associated with the uncleared silver in the paper.

    Sounds like a fun experiment.

    ---Michael
     
  24. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    yes, toned before fixing. The clearing baths are not the issue. OTOH is simply a matter of fixing a print and seeing if it works as well as before fixing.

    I have never had any stain problems with kallitypes, I have difficulty making a good print, but that is another matter...:tongue:
     
  25. Kerik

    Kerik Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Annie - I am planning to teach a workshop next summer at the CAP in Issaquah. We haven't set the date yet, though. If you forward me your email address, I'll put you on my mailing list. What kind of vellum do you have? I like Clearprint, but have also had good luck with Staedtler-Mars.

    Craig - thanks for your comments about my work. Did we meet at the opening? Toronto is a cool city.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com
     
  26. Annie

    Annie Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Kerik,

    I have a partial roll of heavyweight rag vellum of unknown pedigree.... just to try, then I will order something so I actually know what I am using. I will forward my e-mail address, Issaquah is not that far. You know someone should really start an Alt printing mentor program via mail. I am sure I am not the only person who would love to be able to put some negs, prints and a written summary with queries in a portfolio box... ship it out then receive feedback on process and answers to questions.... and most importantly.... pay for the privilege to do so!

    Cheers Annie.