Printing on fixed silver gelatin paper

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Anupam Basu, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    I have read that some people use fixed out silver paper and was thinking of using a stack of 5x7 RC paper that I have sitting around and will probably never use for darkroom printing. Would RC paper work? And are regular photo papers too alkaline for Cyanotypes?

    Any further information of using regular photo paper for alt. printing would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Anupam
     
  2. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I just don't see how you would get a good even coating with cyanotype on a rc (or even fiber) paper. It would seem to be non-absorbent. That said, I would encourage you to try it out and let us know!

    Jon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2008
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I use fixed-out photopaper as the final support for carbon printing, which is quite different that trying to coat it with cyanotype chemicals. I remember reading of someone successfully coating it with platinum chemicals, but have not much further info on that. I do remember it is tricky to get an even coating. One purpose was to get a very sharp print.

    Jon, it must be somewhat absorbent as chemicals can enter the emulsion (developers, fixers, toners, etc).

    Vaughn

    After some thinking, one might try fixing out the photopaper with a non-hardening fixer, washing it, then slipping it into a slightly alkaline bath (Sodium carbonate perhaps) to soften the emulsion even more, then a good wash if one's process does not like an alkaline environment. Don't allow the paper to dry as this could reharden the gelatin elmulsion.

    It might be more effective to coat watercolor paper (or other paper) with gelatin instead of using photopaper, if one wanted the sharpness..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
  4. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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  5. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Craig Koshyk has developed techniques for what you want, and is publishing a manual this Fall, see Vouloir c'est Pouvoir . From an email exchange, I tried some of his techniques which yielded prints with greater detail. However, did have problems of solarization for Kallitypes.
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Heather, did you try any special preparation of the fixed-out photopaper?

    vaughn
     
  7. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Nope, just tried brushing on dry. But your recommendation of making it more alkaline would be bad for cyanotypes anyway (makes them fade away very quickly)
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    After the alkaline bath, a good wash would be needed...I think the gelatin would remain soft.

    Vaughn
     
  9. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have made a few prints on the Back side of fiber silver gel paper.
     
  10. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Has anyone tried using the baryta paper that Photographers' Formulary sells? If it coated well it would add a degree of sharpness for folks who would rather skip the do-it-yourself step of gelatin coating (and it has a smoother surface than most watercolor papers).
    d
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Fixed out paper of any type can be used as long as some surfactant is used to overcome the hardener induced resistance of a pre-coated paper. Mixing in a little gelatin to increase viscoscity can help a lot when coating on any fixed out paper.

    In fact, I have coated some execllent cyanotypes and VDBs on plain baryta paper by adding a surfactant and gelatin.

    PE
     
  12. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    PE,
    Can you go into more detail about surfactants? I guess this is something along the lines of subbing so the emulsion sticks to the surface. Can you suggest some things to use for this? If using gelatin, would you simply float it or brush it on like you would any watercolor paper?
    Thanks,
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2008
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Surfactant: Try a little Photo-Flo in the emulsion.
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tween 20, Triton X 100, Triton X 200, Photo Flo 200, Photo Flo 600, well the list goes on. Try to google surfactant. You have to choose the surfactant for the photo system you are using. For example, ionic surfactants can react with the oxalic acid in some alternative processes.

    PE
     
  16. kenkuro

    kenkuro Member

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    I have tried a salt print on the fixed out RC paper. I floated the salt and brushed the nitrate. It absorb very little solution and extra was crystalysed on the surface as it dried. As it exposed in the sunlight, the negative stuck to the paper really hard. I had to pry the negative off and it peeled small piece of the paper surface around the crystal. Well, I lost the negative but the print came out beautiful reddish brown I have never seen on the watercolor papers and the detail was exceptioal. Overall It had a similar look to a albumen print.

    Next time I will try a little Photo-Flo. Thaks for the good advise.

    Ken
     
  17. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Do you mean Photoflo in the actual cyanotype sensitizer, or in the wash after the fix?

    Also, about printing on the reverse side of fixed out paper - any thoughts on the merits of that vs. coating on the silver emulsion side?
     
  18. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Again, I'm a little confused. Mixing in gelatin with what - the sensitizer or to gelatin coat the paper before? A little more detail about "adding a surfactant and gelatin" would be very helpful.

    Many thanks,
    A
     
  19. donbga

    donbga Member

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    As Vaughn suggests, fixed out B&W can be used for carbon printing transferring the image to the emulsion side of the paper.

    I know a local palladium printer who uses the back side of fixed out FB paper for printing. Not my cup of tea but it does work.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Mix your cyanotype as usual and add to it some gelatin to thicken it as desired then add some surfactant and coat. Too thick and it leaves brush strokes or bubbles, too thin and it can fail to coat completely. It may take more than one coat depending on how dilute your reagents are in the sensitizing solution.

    PE
     
  21. rdbkorn

    rdbkorn Member

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    I have used cyanotype chemistry on developed and fixed x-ray film successfully - adding a bit of photoflo to the chemistry before applying definitely helped.
     

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  22. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Okay, time to report back.I tried with RC paper and it didn't work. The emulsion washes right off in the wash. Photo-flow does make it easier initially to coat it, but no help if it doesn't survive the wash.

    I must admit I am still a bit muddy on the gelatin instruction. Doesn't gelatin need to be dissolved in warm water? I tried just tossing in some gelatin in the sensitizer but to no avail. Maybe I'll try sizing the paper with gelatin the conventional dip-and-dry way - or maybe this whole recycling silver RC paper isn't going to work.

    Good news is, my cyanotypes on more conventional paper did come out looking great.:smile:
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ok, to 100 grams of sensitizer, add 10 grams of gelatin and heat to 40C. Hold this until all gelatin has dissolved. Add to this, 5 cc of 10% Glyoxal or 10% Chrome alum and a few drops of surfactant. Coat. Let stand for at least 4 hours, preferrably 8 hours. This will harden.

    The Glyoxal comes as 40% solution and dilution to 10% makes a 4% solution. Don't worry, I call it 10% because it is 10% of the commercial product.

    PE
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    An alternative, which I use is to take 50 grams of sensitizer and 50 grams of pre-prepared 20% gelatin and melt this at 40C. This is more dilute and requires a heavier coat of the sensizer gelatin. Use the same amount of hardener and surfactant.

    PE
     
  25. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Thanks a lot for that. Will give it a try.
     
  26. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    A while ago I tried using fixed, expired, FB paper for cyanotypes and would say that it was very successful. Coating the paper is a nightmare as the sensitiser solution 'beads up'. I overcame this by repeatedly brushing until the solution had dried enough. It also needed at leat two coats.
    Soaking the paper before hand definitely helped and I'll have to give the photo-flo trick a go as I've recently got a new split back frame I want to try out with something.
    Here's some examples. The traditional cyan image is 100% APUG friendly, you don't want to know where the source image of the coffee stained chilies came from but I'm showing it here as the resultant cyanotype is a good example of what can be acheived on old FB paper.:wink:
     

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