Any suggestions for toning novice?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by estrellita, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. estrellita

    estrellita Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    I would like to begin selenium and sepia toning my prints. I'm also looking down the road at split-toning and gold toning.

    Can anybody recommend chemicals/fiber papers?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  3. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,765
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm also a novice with toning, and am currently reading Tim Rudman's "The Photgraphers Toning Book" - alot of info but very readable taken in sections of interest. He de-mystifies toning.
     
  4. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Wine country, N. Cal.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The first thing I would recommend is Tim Rudman's book, The Photographers Toning Book - The Definitive Guide.

    If you are toning for archival reasons only, any paper will benefit from it.

    If you are toning for color also, in my experience, you will find that warm tone papers tone a lot more noticeably than ordinary papers.

    Warm Tone developers also will have an effect on the finished tone work.

    The following is what I use and the color I achieve.

    Ilford MG FB Warm Tone developed in LPD at 1:6 then Kodak Selenium toned in about 1:9 ---a warm slightly eggplant (sort of purpleish) color.

    Bergger MG FB Warmtone developed in LPD at 1:6 then selenium toned 1:9 --- a warm brown tone

    ILford MG FB Warm Tone developed in Zonal PRo Warm tone developer, selenium toned - --- a very nice warm brown tone

    This is what I use mostly. When I sepia I am not as thrilled with the results and they seem to vary more than with selenuim, partly because with sepia the bleach process is another variable. However the colors that I get are usually very warm with a more yellow color to them.

    Also in my experience selenium add contrast as well as darkens the print a little, and when I sepia it tends to make the print a bit lighter.

    Hope this helps and I'm sure others will have many more ideas. One thing to keep in mind is that duplicating from one print to the next is difficult, at least for me. Every time out, it is a little different.

    Also all the examples I gave are for portraits, which is a little different than with scenics in that you are not dealing with the plus or minus look of changing flesh tones.

    Also a last piece of advice, keep careful records of your techniques so that you can come close next time.

    Michael McBlane
     
  5. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Location:
    Ayrshire Sco
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Tony Worobiec's book Toning and handcolouring is also good.
    I selenium tone everything I do. It gives most papers at least extra punch (MGIV fiber is very reluctant mind you) and with warmtone papers you will get a tonal change dpending on the strength of the toner, how long etc..
    Don'tlisten to those who say toning RC is a waste of time, it's not.

    Basic tips off the top of my head would be.
    Start with selenium.
    Selenium tone final prints at time of printing (ie don't wash,dry and do it later, it's just like re-work).
    Fix for the correct time, no less, no more.
    Don't use a hardener.
    Do a decent wash between fixing and toner.
    You can go straight from fix to selenium toner but the toner will die quickly.
    Mix toners with distilled water, a working solution of selenium can last months this way.
    Keep things clean. Any dirt, silver or grease on your prints and the toner will get stuck into em possibly leaving a big stain.
    Print light if using warmtone and let the print tone down with the selenium.

    Basically get some selenium, fix correctly, wash, tone, wash again and let us know how you get on.

    Finally Selenium is toxic, be careful with it.
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  7. happysnapper

    happysnapper Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Location:
    Lafayette, C
    Aggie,

    Is Room 2 a workshop that you gave and if so, when will you do that again?

    And who the heck are John and Mike?? Students of yours?

    Ray
     
  8. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  9. Mark H

    Mark H Member

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    The book that first got me interested in toning was "Creative Elements" by Eddie Ephraums. It's very detailed and there are formulas for mixing your own toners, etc. Be sure to try thiocarbamide toning, as you can control the tones by using different proportions of the stock solutions (it's similar to sepia, without the odor). Chemicals can be obtained through Photographer's Formulary or Artcraft Chemicals.
    If you happen to be using Ilford MGIV-RC paper, try lightly bleaching the print, then sepia toning with Kodak's mix, followed by selenium toning (1:6). It gives a beautiful (and archival) tone that isn't as brown as straight sepia.
     
  10. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Location:
    Ayrshire Sco
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Talking of MGIV, I just did a print on the fiber version. Printed for normal density, selenium toned it in KRS 1/6 for 4 minutes, then about 3.5 minutes in fotospeed copper at standard dillution. Came out quite nice, though the skin tones in the picture were initially a bit of a problem. I'm hoping to get a copper effect without the obvious split tone effect you get on a warm paper. Seems to work quite nice, with the selenium holding down the backs and the copper picking up the highlights. Hoping that the selenium not only makes life easier by holding down the blacks but that the print will have a reasonable display life rather than the short life of straight copper toned prints. Any thoughts?
     
  11. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Eng
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You might try this method to achieve a warm almost copper effect.

    First dilute the bleach used in sepia toning at least 3 times weaker than suggested in the instructions, ie most say 1 to 9 use 1 to 30 or more. Bleach the print for about 20 to 30 seconds and wash then sepia tone it in the normal strength toner. All that will happen is that the highlights only will be slightly changed to a delicate sepia tone. Wash the print and then bleach in a normal strength sepia bleach until the blacks loose the richness you would normally see in a deep rich black. Wash the print and place it into a selenium toner bath, I use a 1 to 9 dilution, and allow it to re-develop
    until it reaches a colour that you like. It can take quite a long time
    sometimes 30 mins or more.

    Have fun
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    A very light bleach followed by toning in Viradon will give deeper shadows and warm highlights. MGIVRC doen't react at all without the bleach - colour-wise, that is.
     
  13. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ole, was a set to disagree with you about the MGIV, BUT a 2nd look said RC.,,have had some luck with MGIV Fiber and Viradon, without bleach. However tones, color, etc are much colder than MG WT, as would be expected. I think the MGIV Fiber has a bit of a copper look to it with Viradon.
     
  14. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Aggie,
    I am not trying to minimize your disgust with DVC but had you not taken those classes at DVC would you have been ready for Barnbaum and McLean's workshops? There has to be a starting point somewhere. Those that are driven will seek out more learning situations and those that need just an easy credit will not.

    lee\c


    edited for spelling as I am an idiot.

    l\c
     
  15. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Location:
    Ayrshire Sco
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Les,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I've got a fotospeed kit I bought a year or two ago not long after I started printing. Not got round to opening it yet. Hoping to try it soon though I need to carry out a wee modification to my 5x6 foot darkroom to obtain more tray space before I go really toner daft.

    I've uploaded a jpeg of the picture I was working on to the standard gallery, it's called 'Don't shoot!'. It's scanned from a 10x8 MGIV RC print and selenium toned for more depth only.
    I decided to try the selnium/copper tone as I wanted to bring out the detail in the crumbling flats and give an impression of the dusty chaotic conditions I found there. It seems to have worked quite well though I quickly discovered I had to print the faces in the foreground quite light and avoid too long a time in the selenium otherwise the selenium would hold the darker skin tones while the copper picked up the lighter ones and made them look like aliens or something! It's on 12x16 inch MGIV fiber and will hopefully get mounted soon, I just hope it lasts!

    It's the first time I've done anything other than straight selenium toning with the fiber as I've not long started working with fiber for the bigger prints I'm trying to get together. It's certainly given me a taste of what can be done. Now where did I put that Sepia kit!
     
  16. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,296
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "The people have spoken", due to several reports I have moderated this post to help keep it on topic. A few posts were moved out and placed in a moderation queue. If those involved in the off-topic talks want to take it off-line let me know and I'll pm the posts to you guys. Thanks :smile: