How to "fix" unprocessed paper to retain paper's current color?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by David Wolf, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. David Wolf

    David Wolf Member

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    I'd like to keep the paper's current color, and prevent it from changing over time when exposed to ambient light. The paper will be removed from the box and brought into ambient light without processing.

    Would fixing the paper w/o the bleach component work? If so, is color fix available separately from the usual "blix"? Out of curiosity, and because it was on hand, I tried this with B&W fixer, but the color was stripped away.

    Would the ability to "fix" the color depend on the type of paper itself? I have both pre-RA4 and current-process papers of varying ages.

    Can't imagine anyone has had reason to actually try this, so any advice, information and suggestions would be much appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The color is due to the size of the silver particles. Some of Fox-Talbot's prints are said to be a beautiful lilac in color. They can only be viewed briefly under a very dim light. AFAIK, the British Museum has never been able to fix them without destroying the color.
     
  3. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I also did not find a solution to this, and would very much like to know.

    We created some beautiful unprocessed prints outside, alongside the cyanotypes, of simple things such as hand prints and the such. I think the paper reacted to moisture and maybe sweat (and salts) from the students palms and fingers and created super detailed prints of all the lines on their hands. They were in a beautiful purple hazy color, and are now steadily breaking down into dark brown/ dark purple, and the details are fading.

    In hindsight we should have just rephotographed them to record some semblance of the original, but the idea of an art piece with a finite time for viewing and gradual decomposition is also quite interesting.
     
  4. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    You might try Ektamatic (AKA Chromoskadisic) stabilizer - it is used to preserve the color of 'lumen prints'.

    100gm Am. Thiocyanate
    35gm S. Metabisulfite
    30ml 28% Acetic Acid
    water to make 500ml
    dilute 1:4 for use

    http://www.apug.org/forums/groups/lumen-prints-photograms-picture35292-magnolia-used-chromoskadisic-stabilizer-before-fixing-sure-helped-color.html
    http://www.apug.org/forums/groups/lumen-prints-photograms-picture35610-lumen-print-rhododendron-blossom-half-blossom-removed-show-stamens-2-hours-exposure-sun-then-1-minute-s-30-chromskedasic-stabilizer-per-bsdunek-fix-mgiv-wt-rc.html

    Dilution and timing aren't critical. Purple is the hardest color to preserve.
     
  5. David Wolf

    David Wolf Member

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    Ektamatic Stabilizer

    Thanks to all for their contributions to this thread.

    Nicholas, many thanks for sharing the stabilizer formula! I'll give it a try! Where did you purchase the first two ingredients? I imagine the 28% a.a. is the same as Stop Bath for B&W chemistry?

    Once the Chromoskadisic has been used, in your experience with Lumen prints have you noticed much, if any, color change further down the road?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Try either Photographers' Formulary or Artcraft for the first two.

    Working strength stop bath is usually 2% or so acetic acid. White vinegar is about 5% - you could use 170ml of vinegar instead of the 30ml of 28%.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You can't fix and stabilise the colour because it's caased by unexposed silver halides which have a very fine layer of metallic silver on the surfcae of the grains. The effect is called print out.

    The problemis that as sooon as you use a fixer the milky colour of the silver halides themselves is dissolved and that just leave the very fine silver layer which looks darker initially, as hpo is a silvber solvent that in turn will dissolve if left too tong.

    Ian
     
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    In my lumen prints there has been no color change after several years. Chromoskadisic prints have been around since the 1991 article in Scientific American, and probably before, so if color stability problems were common they would have been noted.

    The print is fixed after its dip in the stabilizer so it doesn't darken with exposure to light.
     
  9. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    The lumen prints we made were pretty much gone in about two weeks. I will have to try a bottle of that stabilizer next time. The image degradation process was interesting though, to see the breakdown and to think about how early photographers must have been so frustrated before a fixing process was discovered.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    depanding on how you make your lumen prints, some can be preserved as nicholas showed
    and using a very mild hypo dip ...

    i mixed up a huge pickle jar of super saturated salt water
    and will be experimenting with that soon ...
    there are people who have stabilized film with it
    cliveh stabilizes his salt prints with it ( as did talbot )
    so my fingers are crossed that it might work with lumen prints.

    maybe a super saturated salt solution can stabilize your colorful paper ?

    good luck !
    john
     
  11. Roberto Fernández

    Roberto Fernández Member

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    Hello Nicholas,
    Is it possible to substitute Am. Thiocyanate for Sodium or Potassium Thiocyanate?
    Regards!
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Would you tell the reason for doing so? I'd understand if won't for whatever reason.
    But you made me really curious.