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  1. #11
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    So far I have seen that because of the raised contrast/dmax, the midtones tend to have more of the color of the process revealed. For example, that Palladium print has a nice copper brown to it and the cyanotypes we have done are a beautiful blue...not nearly as washed out.

    Another thought is that we've found it to be a 'paper saver' because it creates a fine layer on top of the paper, it can be used on papers that normally aren't good for that particular process. I forget the name of the paper, but one in particular was horrid for PT/PD printing, add some silica, and viola! it prints fine.

    The last benefit, and I know I am beginning to sound like a salesman here, is that it takes away gloss from certain processes. We were really getting tired of the gloss on the coated papers used for Albumen when Dick added silica to give it a matte finish. Not only did it work, but then we noticed the DMAX increase. Go figure.
    K.S. Klain

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    So far I have seen that because of the raised contrast/dmax, the midtones tend to have more of the color of the process revealed. For example, that Palladium print has a nice copper brown to it and the cyanotypes we have done are a beautiful blue...not nearly as washed out.

    Another thought is that we've found it to be a 'paper saver' because it creates a fine layer on top of the paper, it can be used on papers that normally aren't good for that particular process. I forget the name of the paper, but one in particular was horrid for PT/PD printing, add some silica, and viola! it prints fine.

    The last benefit, and I know I am beginning to sound like a salesman here, is that it takes away gloss from certain processes. We were really getting tired of the gloss on the coated papers used for Albumen when Dick added silica to give it a matte finish. Not only did it work, but then we noticed the DMAX increase. Go figure.
    Hi, can i ask what paper you used in the comparison image and do you have some accurate dmax readings from the uncoated paper coated and the one with fumed silica as this would help interpreting your findings. Also has anyone established how and if fumed silica effects the archival properties of platinum/palladium prints?
    Last edited by Davec101; 08-15-2013 at 04:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Platinum Printing Editions http://www.dceditions.com
    The Art of Platinum Printing Blog http://artofplatinum.wordpress.com/
    Alternative Photographic Processes blog http://altphotoblog.com/

  3. #13
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    I'll have to do another set of prints to do the dmax readings as one of the print got shipped off. I can do this though, just give us some time. The paper was Stonehenge.

    As for archival, our chemist (Phd), says that because silica is in a pure form and is completely environmentally stable, it should have zero net effect on archival stability. Our joking test is to take a print after it dries, tape it to the front door and let it face the New Mexico sun at 7,000' for a few days. The same sun that bleaches the plastics on my car in less that 2 weeks. In that highly unscientific test, it behaved just like any other PD/PT print.
    K.S. Klain

  4. #14
    Davec101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    I'll have to do another set of prints to do the dmax readings as one of the print got shipped off. I can do this though, just give us some time. The paper was Stonehenge.

    As for archival, our chemist (Phd), says that because silica is in a pure form and is completely environmentally stable, it should have zero net effect on archival stability. Our joking test is to take a print after it dries, tape it to the front door and let it face the New Mexico sun at 7,000' for a few days. The same sun that bleaches the plastics on my car in less that 2 weeks. In that highly unscientific test, it behaved just like any other PD/PT print.
    Okay thanks if you could report on the dmax readings that would be helpful. Its interesting that you are using Stonehenge, the only way i got stonehenge to work in the past is by pre-treating with an acid bath. I presume you had not acid pre-treated the stonehenge before applying the fumed silca? The paper does have a nice finish to it when it works with a good dmax around 1.40 to 1.50.

    In relation to the archival qualities of applying silica as a base for platinum/palladium printing I will defer to your PhD scientist as its not a something I am familiar with. I suspect those who are more scientifically qualified than myself might also have an opinion thats worth sharing.
    Platinum Printing Editions http://www.dceditions.com
    The Art of Platinum Printing Blog http://artofplatinum.wordpress.com/
    Alternative Photographic Processes blog http://altphotoblog.com/

  5. #15

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    Kleinmeister, parallel to Dave's question, how is the mechanical stability of the coating? I mean what happens if I smudge the image with my fingertip or use an eraser or try to spot the tip of a cutting knife or accidentally stick a piece of tape onto the surface or ... you got the idea. The coating / therefore image is completely stable right? (I haven't had any adverse effect with normal handling in my tests but haven't specifically stress tested the mechanical integrity of the coating either...)

    Thanks & regards,
    Loris.

  6. #16
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Good questions,

    Stonehenge is not something that we really use much with PD/PT either, but like I mentioned in another post, we joke this is a 'paper saver' because it sits on the surface, it can greatly change the paper character for alt printing.

    Regarding mechanical stability, i've never been able to see my fingerprints on the paper (it's kinda like a lustre finish). Of course, I also wasn't eating potato chips either at the time. For spotting, we've used the same dyes, knife methods as one would perform on traditional prints with no ill-effect. Is there a specific test you would be interested in me performing?

    A little history: this type of coating was used heavily back in the day of blueprints. The patents show that the companies used it for increased contrast, sharpness, and paper stability. I have no way to guess how many millions of square feet this stuff was used, but some of the largest cyano companies employed this technique. In fact, we are doing some testing on a new paper that seems they might have caught wind and started applying this as well.
    Last edited by Klainmeister; 08-15-2013 at 12:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    K.S. Klain

  7. #17
    Davec101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    Good questions,

    A little history: this type of coating was used heavily back in the day of blueprints. The patents show that the companies used it for increased contrast, sharpness, and paper stability. I have no way to guess how many millions of square feet this stuff was used, but some of the largest cyano companies employed this technique. In fact, we are doing some testing on a new paper that seems they might have caught wind and started applying this as well.
    Thats interesting, is it possible to view these patents online regarding its use for blueprints and is there any historical evidence of its use for platinum/palladium printing?
    Platinum Printing Editions http://www.dceditions.com
    The Art of Platinum Printing Blog http://artofplatinum.wordpress.com/
    Alternative Photographic Processes blog http://altphotoblog.com/

  8. #18
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    Just a side note.

    It looks like those who have finely calibrated their digital negatives for their process will have to recalibrate if switching to the fumed silica.

    And a question...

    Can one treat paper with the fumed silica and then put it aside for future use? The answer seems to be yes, chemically (it being so inert). But what about physically -- any danger of rubbing off the silica or otherwise damaging the surface in storage?

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  9. #19
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davec101 View Post
    Thats interesting, is it possible to view these patents online regarding its use for blueprints and is there any historical evidence of its use for platinum/palladium printing?
    Oh lordy, https://www.google.com/?tbm=pts#bav=...fe=off&tbm=pts

    I'll try to find the one from American Cyano or whatever that company is called. I think I have it bookmarked on another machine somewhere. Too many patents!
    K.S. Klain

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Just a side note.

    It looks like those who have finely calibrated their digital negatives for their process will have to recalibrate if switching to the fumed silica.

    And a question...

    Can one treat paper with the fumed silica and then put it aside for future use? The answer seems to be yes, chemically (it being so inert). But what about physically -- any danger of rubbing off the silica or otherwise damaging the surface in storage?

    Vaughn
    Vaughn,

    I've been using the same negs as before. Yes they look different, but I usually watch closely to my highlights and shadows, which are still present. The midtone coloration is usually darken, and an overall more contrasty appearance, but exposure and curve wise...i guess one just needs to compare.

    That shot posted in the OP was from paper that had been coated weeks back, thrown around, discovered, tucked away, found again and used by me as an experiment. It just happened to turn out so well that it was sent to a friend. It seems to be very stable.
    K.S. Klain

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