Terms for Black and White Prints

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David Ruby

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I've read numerous terms to describe prints (not that I can remember them now!) and was hoping to gain some more knowledge about them and what they really mean.

Most common, the term "gelatin silver" is used. This is simply a black and white print right?

What other terms are there for describing prints, and what do they really mean???

The guy at my local darkroom store told me that the galleries use certain terms to make the prints sound more exotic. As an example, I guess they've started calling (cough, choke, cough) digital prints from a printer gliche' prints, which I'm told means "ink" in French. Does sound better than "Epson Print" I guess!
 

juan

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I think giclee means "to spit" as in the ink is spit at the paper. That's what I tell everyone it means, anyway.

Gelatin silver is what I've heard applied to regular silver paper prints. There are, of course, lots of names applied to the various processes included under alternative processes.
juan
 

efikim

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jtsatterlee said:
it is one of the highest resolution broadest color ranges and very good longevity - it requires specific equipment.

The equipment and inks to which the term was originally applied was not high resolution, nor of particularly good longevity. It is now used as a generic term, I believe.
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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I should have put the gliche in another post. I'm really hoping to hear more terms for hand prints.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I would prefer to see "giclee" used strictly for Iris prints, which were of high quality compared to other inkjet processes of their day.

There's nothing wrong with "Epson Ultrachrome" print, if that's what you're doing. It's an accurate description.

We had a discussion of this a while back, so you can search the archives for it. The really insidious thing is applying terms from traditional processes to inkjet processes, like "Carbon," "Platinum," and "Selenium," which are misleading.
 

Bruce Osgood

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Silver Gelatin or Gelatin Silver (depending just how pompous you want to be) is Resin Coated paper, which usually has a developer incorporated into the plastics, except for Ilford I think.

The alternative to plastic is fiber base paper.
 

mvjim

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Silver gelatin is what you know as your standard black and white print. It refers to the way the paper is constructed. Silver haildes suspended in gelatin on a paper base. It started being used by gallerys, collectors, etc. to identify this process from other earlier processes. Platinum, etc. The term is useful in listing work in cataloges, etc. to identify the process used in making a particular image. After all, Platinum, carbon, palladium can all be black and white. Also both RC and Fiber are considered Silver Gelatin.
 

Ed Sukach

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jdef said:
Basically, photographic printing papers are made up of two parts; the base, which could be fiber or RC,..

Not ... quite...

*Most* paper bases are fiber. Ilford does make color papers with plastic bases - I think Kodak does also... but "RC" indicates that the fiber base itself is layered on both sides with polyethylene and is generally impervious to liquids ... yeah, yeah, I know, not the edges ... see "generally".

Having the base impermeable saves it form being soaked with liquid, therefore requiring long wash times, and curling, which, in itself is enough to "sell" me.
 

clay

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If you want to get really picky, platinum and Van Dyke and cyantoype are technically not emulsions either, since the sensitizer is applied directly to the base and is not dispersed evenly in a 'carrier' layer that sits on top of the base. In a silver gelatin print, the light sensitive silver compounds are suspended in a layer of gelatin. In most hand coated alt processes (excluding albumen, in which the albumen is the carrier layer) the light sensitive compounds are applied directly to the base and are soaked up by the paper fibers.
 

Bruce Osgood

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SNIP
mvjim said:
Also both RC and Fiber are considered Silver Gelatin.
close snip

Well, if you're right, it's brand new to me. I have seen exhibits where a distinction is made between "Silver Gelatin" and "Fiber Based" images; where P/P images are display they are duly noted as such.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I'm with mvjim. Both RC and fiber based B&W images are usually called "silver gelatin" in galleries and museums (unless, obviously, they are some other process). It is possible that in a gallery where prints are offered for sale, something may also be said about the substrate, but "silver gelatin" refers only to the emulsion.
 

clay

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1 : a gelatinous or mucinous substance found in tissues in disease (as in the thyroid) or normally
2 a : a substance that consists of particles dispersed throughout another substance which are too small for resolution with an ordinary light microscope but are incapable of passing through a semipermeable membrane b : a mixture consisting of a colloid together with the medium in which it is dispersed

Platinum and Van Dyke and cyanotype solutions do not contain particles- they are dissolved organic and metal salts in an aqueous solution that WILL pass through a semi-permeable membrane - I know because that is how I filter them when I make them up.

I'm finished on this subject. I know quite enough to know I am right on the definition of an emulsion.
 

photomc

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David, while everyone may be right here is what I understand your question to be and maybe some idea of what the different types of B&W prints are:

Silver Gelatin - which would include silver bromide, silver chloride and chloro-bromide.

Albumen - made with protein substrate - like egg whites.

Ambrotype - older process like albumen, I think image was on glass

Tin Type - like the name says, was in a way the first widely produce image type I think

There are others, I would suggest a visit to library or search on the net to find some of the others and new definitions (which you could post here for new discussions - only kidding). Hope this helps.
 

clay

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Read your own definition more carefully:

2 a : a substance that consists of particles dispersed throughout another substance which are too small for resolution with an ordinary light microscope but are INCAPABLE of passing through a semipermeable membrane

BTW, its syllogisms, not syllagisms, and FWIW, they only work if your premises are correct, otherwise....
 

Jorge

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The term emulsion is incorrectly applied to photographic papers. An emulsion occurs when two inmiscible solutions with a definite phase separation are shaken until drops are dispersed in one of the solutions but still have a complete phase separation, as is the case of oil in water.

A colloid can be thought as an emulsion but in this case the particles are small enough that surface effects become an important part of their behavior and they still have phase separation.An example would be milk of magnesia.

A solution is made of two or more miscible components with no phase separation, as is the case of sugar in water. Pt/pd, Van Dyke brown and silver salts in liquid gelatin are nothing more than solutions, they are NOT colloids or emulsions. Once they have gone through a chemical reaction they simply become solids embedded in other solids as is the case of silver papers, or they become solids deposited on other solids as is the case of pt/pd or VDB.

Furthermore the exclusionary condition of a semi permeable membrane is erroneous and misleading, ionic material in SOLUTION can and will be rejected by a semi permeable membrane depending on the size of the atom, type of membrane and physical conditions applied to the separation technique. This is best exemplified by the water purification technique of Reverse Osmosis.

Webster might know English, but it knows little about chemistry.
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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I'll search the archives but...

what is a platinum print?

Palladium?

Carbon?

where do you go to search the archives by the way?
 

photomc

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David, use search from the main page it will return hits for the different topics.

Platinum Prints are paper coated with Platinum or a Platinum/Palladium mix (these are had coated papers - done by mixing up plt/pd and then spreading the coating onto paper - see Bostick and Sullivan for supplies)

Palladium like Platinum, except using only Palladium

Carbon, I do not have any experience with these - see B&S site for info.
 
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