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how do I repair curling photo's

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  #1  
Old 10-25-2008, 06:01 PM
itskats itskats is offline
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how do I repair curling photo's

I have many 8x10 b/w photos that are curling or creased, does anyone know a quick fix for such a problem, or is there such a thing? thanks
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:28 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

Can you describe them in more detail? Are they perhaps the old SWG B&W from the 50's-60's and early 70's?

Or are they newer than that?
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:53 PM
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chillin chillin is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

Here you can find an answer.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:53 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

curling is caused by the various layers of a photo drying out at different rates. the paper will dry faster than the emulsion. any fixative layers may dry out slower than the rest. and, if the paper is in layers, they can dry at different rates. now, i'm not talking straight out of the darkroom wetness; i'm talking the fairly low moisture content of a normal, developed print. as the various layers of the different elements dry, they shrink. but, since they are drying out at different rates, but are stuck together, you get one layer shrinking at a different rate than another, and that causes one layer to pull against another and that causes curling.

the secret, then, is to re-humidify the print. the trick is, how. without very specific information on your print, i wouldnt hazard to say how here. a light steaming done over a period of time tends to work for some. you dont want to soak any of them. that can destroy some papers. a steam iron can do the job or even hot steam coming off a hot faucet, but again, it depends a lot on the print. some of the older, thicker paper backings tend to be less apt to curl, but are also harder to fix. so, whatever you try, try to work on a test print first, something you can afford to lose if all goes wrong.
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:35 AM
itskats itskats is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

[QUOTE=Mike;210077]Can you describe them in more detail? Are they perhaps the old SWG B&W from the 50's-60's and early 70's?

Or are they newer than that?[/QUOTHi Mike,

Hi Mike, Yes they are photos from 40's 50's. Old baseball photos from UPI, Press photos. Thanks
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:49 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

[QUOTE=itskats;210102]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Can you describe them in more detail? Are they perhaps the old SWG B&W from the 50's-60's and early 70's?

Or are they newer than that?[/QUOTHi Mike,

Hi Mike, Yes they are photos from 40's 50's. Old baseball photos from UPI, Press photos. Thanks
That starts to help, altho without seeing them I hesitate to really recommend some techniques. Kraellin has pretty well summed up the problem and some ways to resolve it. I would look at his suggestions first and see if it helps.

I have, after VERY careful examination of badly curled prints, soaked them in a room temperature tray of water, then re dried them in a manner that kept them flat. These where usually prints that had been rolled and placed into a tube for storage. After several years in the tube, they looked like it! But once again, know what you are throwing into the water!!!
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:59 PM
itskats itskats is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

Thanks for all your help. Thankfully I have several I can experiment with.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:01 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

ok, i mis-spoke on not soaking at all. when i wrote that i was thinking of earlier dates than what you're talking about where the papers were more fibrous and loose. but, again, it would very much depend on the paper type.

if you've got what i think you've got, a glossy 8x10 on very thin paper, but a paper having a very tight bond, somewhat similar to a glossy inkjet paper of today, you might very well be able to soak that in the manner mike said. but check the film surface carefully before doing so. you want to make sure that the film portion is tightly adhered to the paper backing before any soaking. a lot of cracks on the film surface i would also be careful of, since this is one indication sometimes that the film isnt as strongly attached to the paper backing as it used to be.

so, it's very good that you have some to experiment with.

and regardless of the method of re-humidifying the prints, you're also going to need a slight bit of pressure or weight to help keep that curl undone. you want just enough that as the print is drying it is also being forced back into its original shape. and depending on how much curling you have, you may have to manually uncurl. do this very carefully and slowly, always keeping a close eye on the film surface. if you see any flaking of the surface, stop! even a slight bit of extra cracking generally means things are still too dry to do the uncurling or that the films surface is too dry. the papers may be soaked but the emulsion may still be relatively dry. this is why a little heat is a good thing here. the heat shld help the moisture penetrate the film surface a bit. you only want enough moisture on the film surface to allow for no cracking while uncurling. any more and you risk peeling the film surface completely off.

and please, do let us know the results of your tests. that could be important.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:58 AM
hwh hwh is offline
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Re: repairing curling photos

The suggestion was made to dry the photos that have had moisture added to them, keeping them flat.
What is the best way to do that so as not to harm the surface of the photo?
Thanks
hwh
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2010, 12:46 PM
dkcoats dkcoats is offline
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Re: how do I repair curling photo's

Good advice here from Craig and Mike. I'd add that - assuming these are glossy prints - if you soak them and re-dry them you'll lose the glossy finish (unless you can get your hands on a ferrotype drum).
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