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  1. #1

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    How does platinum adhere to paper in a platinum print?

    Curious about the platinum printing process since it is more archivable and can achieve some nice tonality - how does one get the platinum to stick to the paper if there is no gelatin involved? How would that make it more archivable?

    Thanks
    I brake for fixer!

  2. #2
    scootermm's Avatar
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    the platinum is absorbed into the paper, it doesn't sit atop the paper but soaks into it.
    Nigel Tufnel: It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none.
    None more black.

  3. #3

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    Wouldnt it just dry and flake off eventually then? Wouldn't there need to be some kind of adhesive?

    Or does the platinum atom bind to the wood pulp on a molecular level?

    Thanks
    I brake for fixer!

  4. #4
    Akki14's Avatar
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    No, it soaks in like watercolour paint does. It doesn't sit on top of a surface like paint or gelatin. The archivability (which isn't a word apparently) is due to pt/pd salts being chemically stable and won't oxidise or react as easily as silver will.
    ~Heather
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  5. #5
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    One way to think of it is as "stained" into the paper. The emulsion is absorbed and bonded in the fibers of the paper. When developed this absorbed emulsion is converted to platinum and palladium metal. It does not sit atop the paper in a substrate as silver gelatin does, but rather for all intents and purposes, becomes part of the paper. As a result Pt/Pd images are absolutely matte. The platinum and palladium image (the pure platinum print is somewhat rare) because it consists of noble metals will far outlast other images, impervious to UV or other causes of fading, pretty much lasting unchanged as long as the paper will. Pt/Pd images are among the most durable things ever created by humans.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 11-20-2009 at 10:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Bear in mind that the papers one uses for Pt/Pd are very fibrous; if you take a microscope view you will see a fabric- or sponge-like microtexture. The preferred Pt/Pd papers aren't resin-coated. So there are all kinds of nooks and crannies for the adsorbates to adhere... even the smoothest papers that one uses for Pt/Pd. I think if you look with high magnification you will see a spider web of paper fibers and particles trapped in place. The wet solution goes into the paper because the moisture relaxes the paper, just like a sponge. And so the moisture transports the particles in.... and then as it dries the paper restiffens and entraps the particles, so to speak.

    At the micron scale there may be some hydrophobic and salt like interactions going on, I'm not sure. But I can confidently say, even from my limited experience, that the extent of moisture in the paper at the time of coating is a critical part of getting the coating process to work. If the paper is dry and dusty then the process won't work well at all.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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    Wow - just amazing

    Thanks
    I brake for fixer!

  8. #8
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scootermm View Post
    the platinum is absorbed into the paper, it doesn't sit atop the paper but soaks into it.
    Matt is exactly right - the platinum solution is absorbed into the fibers of the paper. In fact, that's one of the the things that makes platinum prints distincly different from silver prints. In silver prints, the image is a highly one-dimensional layer on top of the paper, and in fact Kodak used to talk about techniques in which the emulsion layer could be stripped from a print and adhered to some other support.

    But with platinum, the image is embedded deep into the fibers of the print. That gives platinum prints a three-dimensional effect that can't be had with silver. And the choice of paper becomes one of the choices that the printmaker has available to change the nature of the final image. Most platinum prints are made on heavy artist's paper, but there are some beautiful images on super-thin Asian rice paper that are simply gorgeous.

    And because the platinum image can't be attacked by environmental contamination like silver, a platinum image will last as long as the paper it is a part of.
    Louie

  9. #9

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    At least one photographer, Craig Koshyk, had been using fixed photo paper for platinum printing. This would produce a glossy print. Don't know if Craig is still doing it. I tried it with Kallitypes, but had solarization problems. I may have to try it with pt/pd.
    van Huyck Photo
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  10. #10
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monophoto View Post
    But with platinum, the image is embedded deep into the fibers of the print. That gives platinum prints a three-dimensional effect that can't be had with silver.
    I disagree. I use matte fiber and that gives the effect I like, and it is also possible to handcoat silver and get a similar "in the paper" effect.

    Another issue... which annoys some people to hear but for some it is important.... is that the "in the paper" / matte effect is at odds with high DMax. Just saying.... I am a fan of matte fiber though.
    Last edited by keithwms; 11-20-2009 at 03:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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