From: Peter Marshall (email@example.com)
Date: 07/09/01-12:23:46 PM Z
> I also happen to like the rusty colour of untoned salt prints. Being
> archival is, of course a matter of degree. Frankly, I do not know
> how unstable untoned salt prints really are. From the fact that
> virtually all known salt prints of the classical period are toned one
> should by no means infer that the reason for toning was to achieve
> greater permanence. I have a sizeable collection of pre 20s
> photographic literature. The authors when giving recipes for toning
> _never_ discuss archival matters but only image colour.
Just been catching up on the list.
Both the London Photographic Society and the French Association set up
committees to study the problem of fading around 1850 - so they were very
much concerned with print life at this time. All of the prints from
Talbot's Reading works show at least some fading now, and I think plenty
did by 1850. It was something that was impossible to ignore at the time.
The French put up a large prize - from memory 100,000 francs - for
solutions to fading.
Some of the recommendations concerned better washing of prints, but gold
toning was also recognised as giving greater stability. It was the
concerns over fading of prints that led to the great interest in
bichromate processes that eventually led to the carbon print and the
collotype (as well as other processes). I have a feature which includes
something on this coming out next week on 'About Photography'.
My untoned salt prints still look as good as the toned ones over 10 years
later, so they are not spectacularly unstable. On some papers the colour
shift is not too great (if I haven't written on the back I can't always
tell if I gold toned a print.) The colour also depends on the particular
salting solution of course.
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Also on Fixing Shadows: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~ds8s
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