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Subject: Photographic proofing paper

Photographic proofing paper

From: Connie McCabe <c-mccabe>
Date: Monday, October 16, 2000
Frank A. Reynolds <fr0c [at] andrew__cmu__edu> writes

>Portrait studios used to make proofs using photographic proofing
>paper. These prints have a brown tone to them.  I believe they are
>referred to as developing-out papers and were exposed with high
>intensity (arc) lamps, blue fluorescent lamps, or sunlight.   Some
>of the Kodak brand names where Portrait Proof, Professional Proof,
>and Studio Proof.  They where used because with time the image would
>fade thereby encouraging the person to have standard prints made. We
>have found some prints made from one of these papers in our portrait
>collection.  I was wonder if there was any process found that will
>stabilize the image?

Mr. Reynolds is absolutely correct that photographic studios
deliberately did not fix their printed-out proof prints. Fixing the
proof prints by the consumer was not a useful option because
printed-out prints bleach out to a significant degree in the fixing
bath. Printed-out proof prints were made to look good; if fixed,
they would be ruined.  To avoid excessive bleaching, the
photographic practitioner made the prints significantly darker than
one would want the final print to appear, so that when they were
fixed, the final image would look similar to the proof print.  This
very common custom of delivering unfixed prints left the customer
three choices: purchase properly processed prints, quickly make copy
negatives from which one could make (lesser-quality) prints, or keep
the proof prints in the dark, where they would slowly continue to
print out (unless frozen in the dark).   I would strongly discourage
any attempt to fix or chemically treat these old studio proofs.

The only viable option now is to copy the prints, preferably using
an electronic flash copy set-up, pre-tested on less light-sensitive
materials. Until then, it is advisable to keep the originals in the
dark and in relatively dry cold storage.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:23
                 Distributed: Monday, October 16, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-23-003
Received on Monday, 16 October, 2000

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