Stripped Photographic Papers For Platinum Printing
I have tested Platinum Printing on various photographic papers with the emulsion removed...
- results will vary from paper to paper... I have tried Agfa Classic, Kodak PX CD, Ilford MGFB, & Bergger (J&C).
- Kodak papers have problems with inconsistency in the coating & bleedback.
- Ilford, intermittent blotching... Under magnification this paper has uneven surface fibres that interfere with image sharpness.
- I found the Bergger (J&C) papers far superior to all others in terms of paper base colour, ease of coating, attainable Dmax, and most importantly .... sharpness of image detail.
- The papers seem to have a 'right' side (I clip one corner to identify)
- Double coating with these papers does make a significant difference.
A few things to consider when stripping emulsions...
- Wear gloves and do the emulsion removal outdoors ...the process releases some very nasty toxic fumes!
- I used a dilution of about 2:1 bleach to water. The gentle use of a soft SYNTHETIC brush will make the removal process go faster without damaging the paper surface. If you use something like a hake the bleach will dissolve the fibres.
- Keep a bucket handy when doing batches as the solution will exhaust itself and accumulate the clay base which you do not want to reintroduce to the paper (will cause bleedback and reduced Dmax).
- I washed the paper for about an hour after the bleach (it is important to ensure all the clay is rinsed out as well as the bleach....bleach eats paper, clay kills Dmax) and then gave an oxalic soak to get the pH back up to where it should be. You may want to do the gelatine thing as well.
I believe that for a high key image rendered with delicacy of tone and sharpness of detail the stripped Bergger is absolutely sublime. I found that using fixed out paper had an assortment of problems including attaining evenness of coating (even with a surficant) and effective clearing.
Also there is always the option of fixing out the paper and just using the backside.
Hope this helps..... Annie