Yellowing of photographs : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

After years of doing strictly color, I switched to black and white a few years ago. These are black and white portraits on 2 1/4 and printed usually 16x20 or 20x24. The photographs I framed were starting to yellow in as little as 3 months. My process initially was not very careful but since the problem emerged, I have changed to a two bath fix and even a archival print washer. I use Ilfprd Multi IV RC and dev, stop and fix in Ilford chemistry. Stop-30sec, Fix 1min each bath. Wash 2 minutes in tray and 5 minutes in archival washer. However prints that I drymounted with an Ademco press were the ones that yellowed. I used strictly archival board and archival tissue and release paper in front of the print while in the press. I press for 45 sec at 185deg. A large number of the prints have yellowed but not all and none of the prints that I had done by someone that used a vacuum press have yellowed, even the ones with less than anal chemistry monitoring.

I have asked Ilford, as well as a number of different pro printers and nobody seems to be able to figure it out. Any ideas would be appreciated and I know, SWITCH TO FIBER BASE.

Thanks, Michael

-- Michael McBlane (, January 08, 2002


I think you are hinting at the answer in your post. It sounds to me like the drymount press heat might have done something to the plastic coating. Do you recall the temperature setting you used? If you used regular drymount tissue, which I think requires 250 degrees, you might have overheated the plastic coating. I believe drymount tissue for RC requires only 180 degrees.

-- Ted Kaufman (, January 08, 2002.


From your description it sure does sound like the dry mount press is the culprit, but you don't mention the display conditions. If these prints are bieng subjected to a large amount of UV that could account for the discoloration. Not only does sunlight contain UV, but flourescent lighting also has a fair amount of UV. Other than trying another mounting method, you might consider toning your prints. Selenium or one of the brown toners should help. Agfa's Sistan is supposed to help prints from fading too. Last resort, do yourself a favor and switch to fiber. The papers and surfaces are far superior.


-- Pete Caluori (, January 08, 2002.

Switch to fiber based and stop worring!

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, January 08, 2002.

Ctein wrote some stuff in Photo Techniques about silvering out of RC papers, not yellowing, but the big factor was that the prints were under glass. That was a few years ago. You might try and find the back issues. Apparently sealing the "paper" in with it's own gasses is a bad thing. I think he also said prints that were framed right after being made did worse than those allowed to age a bit.

-- Conrad Hoffman (, January 08, 2002.

try toning your prints in a 1:29 or 1:40 solution of rapid selenium toner and watch the temp. of your drymount press.also try to find a better drymount tissue that is archivally better.

-- doug lister (, January 26, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ