Bleach and selenium on Fortezo

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by timeUnit, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Hi!

    I have some negs that are a bit underdeveloped (Ilford Delta 3200 in Rodinal 1+25 11 mins @ 20 deg. C), for reasons I don't know. I followed the table as it was the first time with that combo, and got thin negs -- quite a shame.

    Anyway, I printed one on Forte Fortezo (normal-grade), developed in dektol, and got a nice print but slightly dark highlights. I'd like to bleach the print a little and then tone it in selenium to increase the contrast and "raise" the highlights.

    Is this possible?

    What bleach should I use? Can I use the bleach in Kodak Sepia toner?

    I don't have access to raw chemicals as it's illegal in Sweden (unless you're a pro and have education), but I can get different brands of toners etc.

    Thanks!
     
  2. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Bruce Barnbaum, in Art of Photography , recommends localized bleaching with potasium ferricyanide. I've used it on occasion, but would think the bleach in Sepia toning kits would have similiar effect (if they're not the same chemical). Barnbaum recommends running water onto the print as you are bleaching so that you can quickly stop the bleaching process by rinsing the area (print tilted with running water from a hose just under area to be bleached).
     
  3. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    The bleach in Kodak Sepia Toner kit is ferricyanide and bromide.
     
  4. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Thanks for your replies!

    I should have written that I would like to avoid partial bleaching, as it seems quite difficult and time consuming.

    I have heard that the bleach in sepia toner acts on the highlights first. If that is the case, I could bleach the print slightly so that the highlights become brighter, and then stop the process in water. Right?

    After that, is it okay to rinse for say 20 minuter and selenium tone? Or will the selenium destroy the print after bleaching/rinsing?
     
  5. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    If you don't want the highlight to come back (often in a different color) you'll have to fix the bleached print, and then tone. Make sure to rinse (2-5 min is enough) the print between bleach-fix and fix-tone, though.

    Otherwise, what you said is doable and doesn't destroy the image.
     
  6. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    this is right, but be advised on this: the fix will make the bleached area more light... so be carefull on how long you bleach.
    also: you can always bleach more - if you have bleached too much and fixed, the game is over..

    you say you can have raw chemichals in sweden...
    we have similar problems here in DK, but if you know someone that teaches in schools, then they might get hold on some for you..

    (and now I am whispering:smile: you're in EU......
    pick up the phone and get it from Germany or England or....
     
  7. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Fortezo graded papers will selenium tone to a slightly reddish to dark purple black. If you bleach them with selenium - they go very brown - chocholate brown. I use mostly this paper and tone many of them. I usually do not tone and bleach Fortezo because I do not like the brown it turns.
     
  8. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Yes I know... My results in KRST 1+9 is a very nice shift from olive (I develope in Dektol right now...) to deep black with brownish mids and lows if toned for 2-2,5 mins. At 3,5 mins the print suddenly turns chocolate, which is pretty cool, but not the effect I'm looking for here.

    If I bleach, fix and rinse the print, will the selenium toning process be sped up, or can I expect about the same times and results as with an unbleached print? I have quite a lot of extra prints on this picture, so I can do some testing before the final prints.
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Same here in Norway - fortunately I'm registered as a business, and have education :smile:

    One surprisingly effective way of bleaching just a little is to give the print a good long soak in acidic rapid fix. Warmtone prints bleach more, cold-tone hardly at all. Lith prints must be printed a lot darker if they are to be fixd in such a fixer...

    Try it, it's all standard darkroom stuff!
     
  10. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    This is a classic trick using ammonium thiosulfate, sodium metabisulfite and citric acid. The pH is fairly low and the solution doesn't keep too well (when bisulfite ions are oxidized, the solid sulfur will appear). But it's a good simple, safe and slow working reducer.
     
  11. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Any tips on a acidic rapid fixer? I use Ilford Hypam which contains ammonium thiosulfate, and has a pH of 5 to 5.5. Good enough?

    Also, a long soak in fixer might make it impossible to get the fixer out and over time destroy the print. Is the ferricyanide route safer from a archival standpoint?
     
  12. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    The classic reducer is 15g citric acid, 10g sodium metabisulfite, 40g ammonium thiosulfate (65ml 60% soln) in a liter of solution. Usual acid fixers aren't acidic enough for this purpose.
     
  13. blackmelas

    blackmelas Subscriber

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    Ole, When you say "good long soak", how long do you mean?
    timeUnit, A little HCA followed by a thorough wash should help desolve any nasties that accumulate especially of the fix is fresh.

     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    "Good long soak" is until it's bleached enough.

    Getting the fixer out is no more difficult htan after a normal fixing.
     
  15. blackmelas

    blackmelas Subscriber

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    Thanks for the response Ole. There are a multitude of variables, so I undestand that you cannot say "x" minutes and seconds in rapid fix will bleach a print correctly. My curiosity lies both in the bleaching technique you proposed and also in my own standard and sloppy fixing practice.
    When I fix (usually with Ilford Rapid Fix 1+4), I let an FB print sit for a minimum of 2 minutes but sometimes I leave the print in the fix to go on to the next task, usually to expose and develop the next print. I might leave the print in the fix for up to 5 minutes before putting it in my rinsing/holding tank and then to the wash. So, let me rephrase my question more specifically. Is the bleaching action with fix quick enough that I'll see a big difference in a 2 minute fix versus 5 minutes versus 10 minutes? Am I introducing a big variable into my printing by not timing my fix more precisely?
    Now that I think about it I'll just have to test it for myself...
    Thanks and best regards,
    James
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    In my experience (and in my darkroom), yes it is. Lith prints lose highlight density very quickly, certainly there's a difference between 2min and 10min! With POP it's even faster - I use a tray with 1/10th rapid fix in water to bleach back muddy highlights before completing the fixing in sodium thiosulfate alone.

    Warmtone prints bleach faster and more.
     
  17. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    I was in the darkroom yesterday with the bleach and the selenium. It was... educational.

    I learnt that the bleach is very powerful. For the effect I wanted, 20 seconds was enough, so I had to work fast. I ruined a few prints by leaving them too long in the bleach.

    I also learnt that there can be staining on the prints when working with two toners. The bleach can reveal spots on the print that weren't visible after washing, and those spots get a bit worse in the selenium. I have washed all prints accordning to the Ilford method, ie. 5 minutes in archival washer, 10 minutes in HCA, and 5 more in the washer. Yet some prints got spots, but not all. I think I'll prewash all prints for 30 minutes before bleach next time.

    Lastly the selenium toner turned grey and foggy. I don't know if this has anything to do with the bleach or if it's just toner depletion. The toner worked alright, but left a thin layer of "fog" on the prints. I had to rub the prints carefully with my hands under running water to get it out, then I rinsed them for 30 minutes. Is this common?

    The selenium toner is now foggy grey. I heard one could filter it though a coffee filter to get the grey out. True?

    All in all, I have like 3 prints (out of about 12) that I think look OK. The rest are too light, have spots etc. I guess I'll become better at dual toning in time...

    The prints that were made the same day and were not dry yet had less problems with spots, and were easier to work with. Also, on those prints I knew I was going to bleach them, so I made them slightly dark.

    Thanks for your tips!