B&W Print Colour - What Do You Do?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by MurrayMinchin, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Do you concern yourself with the colour of your B&W prints? What magical combinations of chemicals, witches cauldron ingredients, or dances by the full moon do you add to the mix in order to achieve the colour you want? Are you happy being green?

    I've been wondering about this lately in my usual stew over it for a couple months before I do anything about it kind of way. For some reason my prints seem to be missing something...

    Since moving to VC papers I've been using Ilford Multigrade IVFB developed in a home brewed Metol-Glycin developer to which is added 15ml of 2% benzatriozole per litre of stock solution, then it's toned in selenium toner 1:10 for about 3 minutes, or just before it "eggplants". These stand shoulder to shoulder with the same images made on the original Zone VI Brilliant paper developed in Zone VI developer that were then selenium toned.

    I'm going to try a light sepia, regular selenium toner combination in a while to see if it adds that little something. There's so many combinations of paper, developer, additives, and toners out there...what works for you?

    Murray
     
  2. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Obsessively. Once I get the basic glow and tonal balance, print color is the only determinant as to whether I put the print into my body of work or not. For the past two years I've printed on nothing but Azo. I develop the prints in amidol, fix them in two baths of pure hypo and tone them in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner diluted 1:64.

    The best color I get is a slightly warm brown/black. I have no idea what I do to get it; it just happens sometimes. It happens most often with the old Rochester grade 2, sometimes with grade 3 Azo and almost never with the new grade 2.

    This is my main problem with the new Grade 2. I can get the tones with it, but the color is almost always wrong. I'm really looking forward to M&P's new paper most of all for this quality. I'm hoping the color of the old Azo is there.
     
  3. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Ilford paper often has show tinges of green but Se toning seems to take it out.
     
  4. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    For the best in print color it is my belief that on the full moon I should have a maiden sacrifice her virginity to me in a cemetary at Greenwhich mean time. I am convinced that this will work wonders for my photography. I have diligently been pursueing this technique but have yet not found a willing maiden. I did find one self employed lady of bad reputtation that was willing to partake of a test run; However, a platinum Visa could not handle the cost. When I finally have success I will report back.

    Other than that I have been using fiber paper, dektol and 1:10- 1:40 selenium toning.
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have achieved a pleasing color shift by overall bleaching after heavy selenium toning. The effect is more noticeable in the mid to lower values on certain papers.

    This works best if the highlights are printed down slightly from the desired tonality. The bleaching cleans out the highlights and the effect then affects the mid tones next and the deep values remain as they were.

    In effect it is a graduated split.
     
  6. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    I highly recommend Tim Rudmans tonning book. Toning opens up a whole new world.
     
  7. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    What I am after is a neutral black tone so toning for permanence is out of the question for me. I use an MQ developer and adjust the amount of bromide and benzotriazole to get what I want.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Bergger's graded papers "eggplant" much less than any of the papers I've tried. Some show a dramatic "deepening" of the dark areas in strong selenium toner without changing the tone at all.

    In general I prefer warm papers, they seem to give better definition in the dark areas even though Dmax is measurably less.
     
  9. David Lingham

    David Lingham Member

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    I can vote for Tim Rudmans book also Beyond Monochrome by Tony Worobiec and Ray Spence, great advice on various toning combinations etc. For myself, I like gold over selenium or weak sepia after split selenium. Donald Miller's method is good for imitation lith.

    Dave L