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Thread: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

  1. #1

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    Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    Might someone have an idea of the paper that was used by George Hurrell for his black and white portraiture?

    Of course, I'm sure that he used a variety of papers. But at some point in his career, he produced a large quantity of numbered prints of many of his images. I have one of these (of Heifetz), and it needs some spotting to repair a blemish where a small amount of emulsion has been abrased. I have bottles of all the Spotone colors, along with a mixture guide for toning many different brands of paper. If I knew what kind of paper that he used, I could repair this blemish myself.

    It's quite a warm, beautiful color, so Agfa Portriga comes to mind??? But, I really have no idea.

    Suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    Every brand of paper was produced in a warm tone as well as a cold tone. What is the texture ? What is the weight of the paper?. These two questions will have to be answered in an effort to discover the paper used by Hurrell for that particular image. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that he used, or at least experimented with, Dassonville Charcoal Black. It was such an outstanding paper in many ways that many top of the line, as well as most of us amateurs, spent time with it even though it was expensive. It is the only paper that i truly regretted its demise.
    Your best bet is to learn to match colors with water color. The advantage of spotting with watercolor is not only the unlimited hues and tones which can be mixed, but mistakes can be erased and done over.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    Spot Tone (now Marshall's) washes out too. Just about any potential tone can be replicated by having Neutral Black, Selenium Brown, and Olive Tone dyes on hand. But the surface of gelatin tends to harden over time, so a tiny amount of Photoflo is sometimes needed to help dye penetration on old prints. Of course, doing anything like this well takes some practice; so you'd want to learn on less important prints first. The only Hurrell print in our family collection is huge thing and itself slightly warm. Spotting it if ever needed would be quite easy for me. But you can't simply go by any kind of rote recipe relative to suspected paper brand due to the many potential variables of specific development, after-toning, and paper aging. Every print, and even specific place in that print, becomes its own dye matching problem.

    If it were Potriga you'd want mainly neutral black, and then add just a tiny amount of selenium brown, and even less of olive green; but the ratio might vary quite a bit print to print. Use a high quality sable spotting brush from an art store (not the photo store kind), dilute it well, and slowly build it up. Try to find some other analogous print to practice on first. And remember, the result will look a little different dry than wet; so don't overdo it. It's really tricky when you're not spotting the emulsion itself, but raw paper below, which seems to be what you're describing. Also realize that if the emulsion is embrittled and fragile, wetting that area might accentuate the problem and lead to more bits of emulsion spalling off, compounding your misery. Proceed with caution.

  4. #4

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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    In lieu of Spotone, I'd suggest Grumbacher's GAMMA PHOTO RETOUCH SET. Lot dryer application and much easier to match tones.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GMMA.jpg  

  5. #5
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    I cannot add much to this conversation, I started printing in 1973 and at that time I used primarily Ilford Ilfomar, and Kodak Ectalure they were both warm papers and quite beautifu.. The first job I had my boss was a silver printer and he showed me all his work from the 50's and it was on Cyckora and I must say quite beautiful. Is it possible Hurrell was making Pt Pd prints with a warm bias?
    I started using Portriga in the 90's .

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    I'm certainly no expert on that, but have had long personal conversations with one of Hurrell's key assistants, who never referred to Pt Pd. But the fact certain popular images were reprinted over time in various sizes suggests that a number of silver papers might have come into play, based on what happened to be available at the time.

  7. #7

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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    In lieu of Spotone, I'd suggest Grumbacher's GAMMA PHOTO RETOUCH SET. Lot dryer application and much easier to match tones.
    Greg,

    Is there a current supplier of that product? The only place I could find it was on eBay as a Vintage product.


    Sandy
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    Greg,

    Is there a current supplier of that product? The only place I could find it was on eBay as a Vintage product.


    Sandy
    I believe that the product was discontinued possibly 30 years ago. Fortunately they can still be found on eBay.
    Greg

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    There are similar alternatives still being made. I don't recall which dry ones I personally have for b&w work, since I mainly use Spot Tone, but they're still somewhere in my overall kit.

  10. #10
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    Re: Warm Paper Used By George Hurrell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I'm certainly no expert on that, but have had long personal conversations with one of Hurrell's key assistants, who never referred to Pt Pd. But the fact certain popular images were reprinted over time in various sizes suggests that a number of silver papers might have come into play, based on what happened to be available at the time.
    Drew:

    Did this person allude to using expired film and paper ? Someone I spoke with years back about the same / similar subject, also supposedly in the loop told me many of his materials were not "fresh" and gave a certain tonality. ...

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