Platinum printing and the use of fumed silica

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Robert Hall, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I read on Dick Sullivan's blog the other day about the use of Fumed Silica and gave it a try. I have posted a short essay on Facebook about this easy process.

    I thought the results were worth sharing. I made the portfolio public so I think we can all see it even if we're not friended.


    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3157306927923.2148017.1122723189&type=1

    Feel free to comment.

    Apologies to those who can't see the essay, here is a comparison of the difference.

    photo(7).jpg

    Image on the left, normal development process, image on the right, the use of fumed silica applied to paper before coating with metals.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2012
  2. cowanw

    cowanw Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, On
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Alas not available
     
  3. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I have edited the original in order to add an image.

    Cheers
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Looks very nice! Do you really have a tanning bed for contact printing?
     
  5. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Heh. No. It's a long running joke. Once I had a show to finish and my light source died, so I took my prints down to the tanning salon to finish them up. The girl at the counter just couldn't put the concept together. I paid for an hour and sat in the waiting room.
     
  6. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Yes, we've been playing with Fumed silica with other processes as well. It looks promising for many alt processes, including cyanotypes, kallitypes, albumen, etc. We're now just experimenting with another fumed coating (not sure if I am of privileged to discuss it here) that looks to have the same benefits of fumed silica with PT/PD printing, except with a slightly cooler tone rather than warmer which appears to occur with the silica.

    It's all very exciting stuff! Thanks for experimenting!
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The difference looks quite impressive!

    If I may say... posting your essay on APUG rather than Facebook might be a wiser investment in the "analog" future. On facebook it's, for all intents and purpsoses, private, whereas APUG is viewable by anyone and search engines will find it.

    Then again, maybe you'd prefer it that way. But I for one encourage you to consider posting the essay here, or maybe even in the articles section. It certainly seems like an important contribution to the art..

    cheers, C.h.
     
  8. gmikol

    gmikol Member

    Messages:
    304
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    All I get is a "Content Not Aavailable" error message. But I don't, and don't plan to, have a FB account.

    --Greg
     
  9. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Time constraints, Greg.

    I will do that, for sure. (I was just sitting on the couch last night and FB was up. :smile:

    R
     
  10. DarkroomDan

    DarkroomDan Subscriber

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    Enumclaw, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dick Sullivan who has been experimenting with and promoting the use of fumed silica has a pdf available here at his Bostick & Sullivan site (not the store site). It looks interesting. I haven't tried it but a friend of mine is using it. He says he prefers using it in solution rather than dry; says he finds it easier to get an even coating.

    Dan
     
  11. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Thanks Dan.

    I was worried about getting an even coating with a roller. I'm not a fan. But a brush has worked quite well for me.
     
  12. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    After reading the pdf, it seems people are really over complicating it.

    I found that I needed no more exposure and no more emulsion than normal.

    It did take me a couple prints to get the emulsion smooth with my magic brush.

    I used an expensive foam brush for the FS. Easy peasy.
     
  13. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,339
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    DC Metro
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Robert-- Thanks for posting. Would you mind saying what kind of paper you're using and also provide the link for the type of fumed silica you bought at Amazon? Thanks!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. jorj

    jorj Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Can't wait to try this myself with some kallitypes - I had some fumed silica delivered, but alas the supplier confused hydrophilic with hydrophobic (and shipped sans labels). It was great fun watching all that liquid silver roll right off the paper...
     
  16. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,339
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    DC Metro
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    LOL! I must have bought from the same supplier. I used the stuff for the first time in a demo to Large Format/Alt process group and we watched the coating go rolling off the paper. Did you buy on eBay and was it the worst packing job you've ever seen? :smile:

     
  17. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Amazon...

    Fumed Silica...

    http://goo.gl/8DnVO

    I was using arches platine, my mainstay for, well, for a long long time. :smile:
     
  18. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Ok, that was a pain in the a$$, but there is now a semi-reproduction of what I had posted on Facebook. Not my best work but then it was a not intended to be anything but a short introduction. I hope it helps. :smile:
     
  19. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Robert,

    Did you compare by doing a minimal exposure test? It seems from our experience that it needs to be brought back ever so slightly in exposure.

    Also, I really think that dry application is easier. With a roller and an open space to spill onto, you could coat many sheets very quickly and evenly.
     
  20. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I can see where pulling back maybe a third of a stop would be advantageous, but I am quite happy with, at least for most exposures, just exposing the same amount. I really didn't lose much in the shadows at all.

    Different darkroom, different humidity? Who knows. I don't want to over think it. I look at this as a lovely gift and my biggest concern is I want to avoid thinking I might have to go reprint 20+ years of pt prints :D

    I really like what I have found with the brush. It's minimal, fast, non-messy. I think the wet might be more problematic. On the Platine, I can see easily if I have a smooth coat and good coverage.

    What papers have you been using?
     
  21. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  22. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Thank you!
     
  23. jorj

    jorj Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Barry, I bought from Amazon, but it was a pretty unbelievable packing job. :smile:

    They refunded my money, let me keep the rather large box of product. Not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it now. Maybe it's time to take up fly fishing...
     
  24. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    We did the initial testing on Stonehenge--solid results--as well as Platine--not as solid...but not sure exactly why. Last Saturday we did a full run on Lana Aqua. and it responded quite well although I won't see the results until later this week.

    Interesting method for rolling it on. At this point, we've been using foam rollers and it spreads quite easily. I see no advantage to wet application for my purposes yet, but different strokes for different folks. Dick was very happy it worked out for you so well, it's good affirmation of what we've been seeing.
     
  25. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,339
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    DC Metro
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I ordered directly from Robert's link, so hopefully I'll get the right stuff. I've got a lot of different papers I can try, so I'll run a series of tests. I'm very interested in seeing if any of the silver-based processes like VDB or salt printing can approach the quality of Pt/Pd with the silica/alumina pre-treatment and "fools gold" selenium toning.
     
  26. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Wow, didn't realize there were so many different kinds. I might have been lucky.

    Just as a note, my paper is platine, I've never had anything but good luck. (touch wood)

    Aluminum on the way to try this weekend.

    Thanks to Kyle, Dana and Richard.