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Encyclopedia > Platinotype

Platinotype is a monochrome photographic printing process, based on the light-sensitivity of Ferric Oxalate.


Ferric oxalate is reduced to ferrous oxalate by light. The ferrous oxalate then reacts with platinum (II) (or palladium II) reducing it to basic platinum, which builds up the image. General Name, Symbol, Number platinum, Pt, 78 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 10, 6, d Appearance grayish white Atomic mass 195. ...


William Willis discovered the process in 1873 and the first platinum paper reached the market in 1881, produced by the Platinotype Company, a firm founded by Willis in 1879. 1873 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calaber). ... 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


When Willis invented the process, platinum was relatively cheap, but it quickly became more costly starting in 1906. In 1907 platinum had become 52 times more expensive than silver. Eastman Kodak and most other producers stopped fabrication of the paper in 1916. Russia controlled 90% of the world platinum supply in World War I and all available platinum was used in the war effort. 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Due to the shortage of commercial paper and high cost, photographers experimented with palladium paper and platinum-palladium mixes. Platinum paper has continued in use until the present, interrupted only by the world wars. General Name, Symbol, Number palladium, Pd, 46 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 10, 5, d Appearance silvery white metallic Atomic mass 106. ...


Due to the unavailability of pre-coated sensitized paper, all platinum/palladium (Pt/Pd)printing is done on paper coated by the printer. The light sensitive chemicals are mixed from powdered basic chemicals, or some commerciually available solutions, then hand applied with a brush or a cylindrical "pusher".


Many artists achieve varying effects by choosing different papers for different surface charactarisitcs, including vellum, rag, rice, among others - even silk. On the collecting market, Pt/Pd photographic prints often sell for many times what a similar silver gelatine print would sell for.


By varying the amoint of Pt vs Pd and the addition of oxidizing chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and potassium dichromate or potassium chlorate, the contrast and "colour" of the final image can be modified.


Because of the non-uniformity of the coating and mixing phases of the process, no two prints are exaclty the same, adding additional "cache" to a Pt/Pd print.


The inherent low sensitivity of the process is due to the fact that the ferric oxalate is sensitive to ultra-violet light only, thus specialized light sources must be used and exposure times are many times greater than those used in silver-based photographic processes.


Characteristics

  • An absolutely non-reflective surface of the prints, compared to modern-day glossy prints
  • Very delicate, large tonal range
  • The prints, not being coated with gelatin, do not exhibit the tendency to curl
  • The darkest possible tones in the prints are still lighter than silver-based prints. Recent studies have this attributed to an optical illusion produced by the gelatin coating on RC and Fibre Based papers. Platinotypes which have been waxed or varnished will produce images that appear to have greater D-max than silver prints.
  • Very stable process, platinum prints are far less succeptible to deterioration than silver-based prints because they are commonly printed on 100% rag papers

See also: Palladiotype, Photographic processes In photography, palladiotype is a monochrome printing process, a rather obscure variant of the platinotype. ... This page list various photographic processes. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Platinotype - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (499 words)
Platinotype is a monochrome photographic printing process, based on the light-sensitivity of Ferric Oxalate.
William Willis discovered the process in 1873 and the first platinum paper reached the market in 1881, produced by the Platinotype Company, a firm founded by Willis in 1879.
Platinotypes which have been waxed or varnished will produce images that appear to have greater D-max than silver prints.
Mike Ware's Alternative Photography: The Eighth Metal (3903 words)
It should not be inferred from this that Platinotype was the exclusive preserve of the photographic luminaries of the day: many examples of commercially produced Platinotypes can be found in ordinary private albums dating from the turn of the century (7), showing that the medium was also in use for everyday pictorial souvenirs.
We may therefore identify the primary cause of the time-lag in developing a viable Platinotype process: it was the non-availability, at the outset, of the key platinum chemical, potassium chloroplatinite.
The aesthetic claim is more complex (46): the Platinotype, with its neutral grey-fl tones and totally matt surface, arrived at a time when the public taste in photographs had been conditioned by the glossy purple-brown finish of gold-toned albumen prints, the dominant medium of the previous forty years.
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