Platinum toned silver prints?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Daniel Grenier, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    A "curiosity" question. I am quite familiar with several toning methods but what happens when silver prints are toned in platinum (or palladium) ? I don't think I've seen this done before and I wonder why?
     
  2. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Centennial printing out paper is a silver paper that is commonly platinum or palladium toned. Nice stuff...
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Cost I imagine. Toning with gold, platinum and pallaidum is more expensive than selenium and sulfide toning. When you tone a silver print with gold, platinum or palladium there is a reaction by which the nobel metal replaces most of the silver.

    Toning silver prints with gold, palladium and platinum was very common practice in 19th century.

    Sandy King
     
  4. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    Thanks, Sandy, Kerik.

    More speciafically, what happens to a platinum-toned silver print in terms of color. Would it be somewhat along the lines of a true platinum print? I would also assume that a palladium-toned silver print would be warmer in color then ?
     
  5. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    Not to hijack too much, but I actually have a similar question. That is, the blue toning kits (like Berg blue) use some of the same chemistry as cyanotype kits. For people who have used both, do the blue-toned silver prints seem to approximate the tonality and color of true cyanotypes?
     
  6. donbga

    donbga Member

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    No.
     
  7. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    To expand on Don's quick answer -

    cyanotypes tend to be high contrast, with the texture of the paper substrate a major element of the final image.

    Prints toned in iron-blue toners usually have longer, smoother tonality, and retain the surface texture of traditional gelatin-silver papers. They tend to be a darker blue, almost a cool blue-black, and in some instances the blue tone bleeds into the highlights. More importantly, the iron-blue toning process is not archival.
     
  8. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    I realize that it's not archival, but certainly some cyanotypes with similar iron salts have been around and in good condition for a century or longer. I have one really nice iron-blue toned print that is displayed under UV-proof museum glass and not exposed to direct sunlight -- should I have any reason to think that it will fall apart any faster than a standard silver print?
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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    True cyanotypes are among the most archival of all types of photographic prints.

    Sandy
     
  10. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    Sandy, if I'm not mistaken, isn't iron-blue toning nearly the same chemistry as cyanotypes? I thought the iron-blue toners were also potassium ferricyanide / ferric ammonium citrate based processes. As with cyanotypes, ferric ferrocyanide (aka Prussian blue) is the salt that produces the color. I understand that its aesthetic characteristics may differ as a UV-dependent contact process versus a toning process, but I don't understand why it should be any less archival than a cyanotype.

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Blue/blue.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2007
  11. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Dr. Pablo,

    I really don't know anything about the archival properties of iron-blue toning of silver gelatin prints and did not mean to imply that I did. My remark about cyanotype was only meant to address the issue of the archival properties of true cyanotypes. As I said, my undestanding is that true cyanotypes are very archival, on par with palladium and platinum prints.

    Sandy
     
  12. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    No problem, Sandy, I was just curious because I like using Berg Blue on occasion.
     
  13. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    Thanks for hijacking my thread, Dr Pablo :wink:

    Back to the question at hand for a second. What colors does platinum (or palladium) toning impart on silver prints ?
     
  14. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    From the link you provided:

    "The bleached silver (silver ferrocyanide) certainly appears to be light stable, but if maximum permanence is important it must be regarded as a potential source of staining with exposure to light or atmospheric contaminants. A short, weak fix removes it...but also makes the colour brighter and more transparent and causes a small loss of image density."

    So it appears that blue-toning can be made archival -- but the article mentiones some issues with the re-fixing.

    I have whipped up a blue toner for students. It works well, but I have never compared it to other toners. The formula (T-12) is from the 1941 Elementry Photographic Chemistry, by Eastman Kodak Company. It is right above the formula for Uranium Mortanting and Toning!

    I would think that the biggest difference between a traditional cyanotype and a blue-toned silver print would be the surface of the print. The silver-based print having an emulsion (image contained in a layer of gelatin on the print surface) and the cyanotype's image being in the paper (not an emulsion).

    Vaughn
     
  15. sanking

    sanking Member

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    There may be more than one effect, but the silver prints that I have seen toned with palladium had a slightly warmer look than what one normally sees with silver.

    BTW, you might do a search on pt/pd toning of silver prints. There was a thread on the subject some time ago, more than a year as best I recall.

    I tone most of my kallitype prints (which are silver prints) with palladium. This changes the color from a warm chocolate brown to a more neutral brown black color, rather the opposite of what you get with a silver gelatin print.

    Sandy
     
  16. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    I guess that Cyanotypes are considered archival because they're not affected by acids (like the ones that are formed by the air contaminants when they are mixed with humidity). They are very sensitive to Alkalis, though, so you must take care not to bring them in contact with any material that could contain alkaline substances.
     
  17. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Cyanotypes will indeed fade if in contact with alkaline substances. However, they can be restored by re-soaking in a slighlty acidic water bath. I have seen this done and it is pretty remarkable how the print regains its density.

    Sandy
     
  18. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Could one use the same toner with a silver print? Is it very expensive? Easy to make up? I have used gold and heard of platinum toner but only wrt centennial pop prints (Roger Hicks article). I would be curious as to the colour and archival effect too. Would be fun (unless it emptied my wallet).

    Tom
     
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Tom,

    Yellowish, but astonishingly attractive with Centennial (far better than 'yellowish' implies). I keep meaning to buy some more platinum salts to tone Ilford MG WT. Will post results if ever I get around to it...

    Cheers,

    R.