Plastic-free color printing paper?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by bryanphoto, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Can anyone tell me if there is some way to do analogue optical color photo printing on a plastic-free paper? I would like to use paper without the polyethylene "resin" coating, if possible. Are there any papers or methods that would make this possible? Thank you.
     
  2. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    There is no fibre base colour photographic paper. Other than inkjet, you would need to print in an alternative process.

    Tom
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    As others have said RA4 is all resin coated paper. Have you experienced all the surfaces available or are you basing your preception on what you imagine plastic to look/feel like? Ilford Satin is RC and yet has little ressemblance to what the "man in the street" woud assume to be a plastic finish. Likewise RA4 RC surfaces.

    If you tell us what your issue with "plastic" is we might be able to be more helpful


    pentaxuser
     
  4. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    I think fiber base color went out in the early 80s with the demise of Agfa type B paper. The current resin coated color papers are quite good. Why fight progress? Well, maybe when progress drives you to d&*%&al it's worth the fight...
     
  5. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    You could do color carbon print. It's a bit more work than RA-4 though...
     
  6. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions. It is not necessarily an objection to the look of RC papers, but rather a desire to use a paper without any plastic -- perhaps a paper that is more natural. Since there do not seem to be any plastic-free RA4 papers, I am interested in alternative methods. Does anyone have any suggestions in this area (I will have to research color carbon printing, as mentioned above)? I do not know anything about creating my own paper that will react and print an image, but that could be interesting, if possible. Any techniques worth exploring?
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    The polyethylene coating under the emulsion is just one of many coatings on the paper. I wouldn't consider it to be 'more natural' without it. It's a production line, bulk manufactured process either way.


    Steve.
     
  8. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    you could start with a relatively simple and inexpensive contemporary gum bichromate kit... it's worth a try. color carbon printing, or carbon transfer process is a complicated, involved process. the monochrome version is considered highly complicated and advanced. add in color and it's 3-times as advanced. the other thing you could do is print monochrome to a fiber paper and then hand-color it.
     
  9. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    bryanphoto, I have to apologize. I did mean it as a half-joke. Thank you Luseboy for straightening me out.
     
  10. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I don't understand your objections to using photographic materials or cameras with plastic and alloys in them when you must shoot film, which is on a plastic support. There is no way to 100% avoid plastic or heavy metals in photography.
     
  11. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Thanks again for the suggestions. Sure, I understand that there is no way to totally eliminate plastic in the workflow, so I am just trying to figure if there are ways to minimize it. Also, I tend to be more okay with cellulose acetate than polyester or polyethylene, ha. I found a very informative page dealing with alternative printing processes, if anyone else is interested in perusing it.

    http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/processes
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Any reason why though? Your film is on a polyester (PET) base and if you were to print on Ilfochrome. that would be on a white polyester (Mylar) base.

    Why is a very thin polyethylene layer under the emulsion so objectionable to you?


    Steve.
     
  13. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    The film I usually use is on an acetate base. As far as the polyethylene layer on paper, I just like the idea of printing without it, and am exploring if there are alternatives that might make it possible.
     
  14. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'm working on a dye-transfer scheme that would be accesible to hobbyists. You could print on any paper-gelatin surface you desire. It promises to be significantly easier than color-carbon, which has always been the brain-surgery of color printing. Dye-transfer can be a bit more of an "outpatient" experience. :wink:

    It's still in the developing stages, but if you're interested... it's an option.
     
  15. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    The dye-transfer process with the paper-gelatin ground sounds interesting. It would be nice to learn more about it.
     
  16. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hey Bryan, here is the thread describing it -> http://www.apug.org/forums/forum42/83275-dye-imbibition-dye-transfer-carbon-printing.html

    The thread is kind of meandering and superfluous, so here's the the gist:

    You need 3 color-separation negatives from your color picture, in the size of the final print as they will have to be contact printed. These could be made digitally or analog.

    Then you need 3 "matrices". I've been using subbed-melinex from the PhotoFormulary for this and a very simple gelatin formula. Basically it is nothing more than a clear substrate with a thin layer of clear gelatin poured onto it, much like a carbon tissue but w/o pigment.

    These are then sensitized in dichromate, and exposed with the negative through the base of the matrix. You etch these in hot water and the points that received the most exposure have a thick deposit of gelatin, whereas points of low exposure produced no hardening and they wash off completely.

    Each matrix is then soaked in a dye-solution corresponding to the appropriate color, and rolled one after the other onto a receiving sheet of gelatin coated paper.

    VOILA! That's it in a nutshell. The hardest thing to get a hold of will be the dyes, but it won't be impossible, and I'm exploring (slowly) the possibility of using readily available textile dyes.
     
  17. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Thanks for the overview. I will look into it.
     
  18. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    For me to offer it as a "plug & play" solution is kinda misleading... :wink:

    But if you're in it for the long-haul it could be a lot of fun and worth it in the end!