Can I correct an oxidizing print (not completely washed I think)? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

My wife has a print that someone gave her several years ago and it is starting to turn goldish in the black areas. I'm not sure, but my gut feeling is that it was not completely washed and had some fixer left that is now oxidizing (although I could be completely wrong).

My question is, is there anything I can do to save this print? Can I re-wash it, or re-fix and re-wash? What will eventually happen to the print if nothing is done?

Worst case scenerio, I plan to photograph the photograph on 4x5, and try to reproduce it, but I would prefer to fix the print itself if possible.

I think the print is on RC, but I'm not positive (it's in her office, so I haven't looked at it in a while).


-- Andrew Cole (, November 30, 2001


This is a problem that has been well-documented by people like Ctein and one with which I have had direct personal experience. The problem cannot be corrected. It occurs with RC papers that have been placed in sealed environments, like picture frames, soon after processing, and is a result of plasticizers in the paper attacking the emulsion. The only preventative is to tone RC prints with Selenium or treat them with Sistan, but no one knows how permanent those solutions are. RC prints not placed in a sealed environment do not seen to suffer from the problem. This only underlines the need to print on fibre-based papers for permanence (and to process and tone for preservation).

-- David Kaufman (, November 30, 2001.

Andrew...even after selenium toning the prints, it will not always prevent this from happening. I have a series of 5 prints (RC) all printed and toned in selenium during the same printing session. All have been framed in the same type of frames using the same materials and displayed on the same wall and now, after 5 years, half of them have "metallized"?!. My print processing methods are meticulous, so I don't undrstand why this happens at random?

I have since moved to FB for even the average prints.

-- dave (, December 01, 2001.

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