Bleaching Prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Bob Carnie, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Quick question, if I want to bleach a print dramatically , will a wash and then double fix, hypo clear be enough to then hold the action of the bleach , then tone.
    much like spot bleaching but in this case I am bleaching the whole print to punch out the highligts??
     
  2. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Bob, that's been my experience.
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    wouldn't that produce the same effect as using Farmer's Reducer? If I understand it correctly, Farmer's has bleach and fixer so that the bleached image cannot be redeveloped?
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's fine Bob.

    Using Farmers reducer as opposed to a ferricyanide/bromide bleach is quite different in the way the bleach acts Dan. The Ferri/Bromide bleach works on the highlights first, while Farmers reducer works on the shadows as well.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    thanks folks

    I want to work on the highlight region only and keep the blacks super black.
    Ian I want a very strong bleach effect as I need to bump up the highlights dramatically as I am making solarized prints where the highlights are too muddy for my taste .
    any suggestions on the dilution ratios that would work well I am using Ferri/Bromide currently at 32grams each to 12 litres of water.?
    I do not want to reach the shadows.
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Dan

    That's correct. Farmer's Reducer is nothing but potassium ferricyanide (bleach) plus fixer. Using them together or sequentially has the same effect.
    However, the mixture has the benefit that one can immediately see the bleaching progress. Unfortunately, it is not very stable due to a chemical reaction between ferri and fixer, causing it to lose its entire strength within 10-15 minutes.


    Ian

    What is a ferricyanide/bromide bleach?
     
  7. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    The Ferricyanide/Bromide bleach (and others) will allow redevelopment if things go too far but colours may change
    Mark
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's too many variables Bob. However a 100g/litre of each diluted 1+10 works very fast, that's 10g/litre, your talking a touch under 3g/litre, I'd start by diluting that a further 1+9 (1:10) so you have about 3g/litre Ferricyanide & KBr

    One nice point about using this bleach is if it goes too far, you just wash and re-develop, the room light is usually sufficient to re-expose the bleached emulsion.

    Ian
     
  9. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    My suggestion about bleaching is to do it gradually. You can always bleach more, you can't unbleach. I follow Ralph's suggestion and mix fresh or add potassium ferricyanide if it is too weak. I don't often bleach but it is a good idea to have at least one backup print just in case.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    A Potassium Ferricyanide/Potassium Bromide bleach is a re halogenating bleach, more usually used for toners.

    For artwork and complex reduction it's sometimes more useful than Farmers.

    Using Potassium Ferricyanide on it's own followed by fixing is quite different in effect to the action of Farmers Reducer.

    If you add ferricyanide to commercial fixer it's an agressive bleach particulary if the fixer is ammonium thiosulphate based. However Farmers Reducer uses plain Sodium Thiosulphate and the action is far more gentle and it's useful for lightening shadow details and much slower working.

    Ian
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Ian (and others):

    Would the bleach included with Kodak's Sepia Toner or Sepia Toner II packages be appropriate for this purpose, and if so, at what dilution?

    Thanks
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes, it's a Ferricyanide/bromide bleach so ideal

    Different papers and even paper/developer combinations have an effect on how fast a bleach works. You need 1/10th or less the normal strength needed for full bleaching for toning, 1/100th may be sufficient.

    Ian
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Thank you.

    I foresee some experimentation in my future.
     
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  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I have not experienced any difference, and I don't see why this would be either.
     
  16. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    I don't see why there would be any difference, either. Except one is is irreversible. I probably wouldn't want to try this on prints that are difficult to replicate.
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There should be because the sodium thiosulphate and ferricyanide work together, but it depends what you're trying to retouch.

    If you're just using a bleach on the highlights then the differences are not as significant, Farmers reducer exhausts quite quickly in use which helps the control-ability when retouching. The prescence of the thiosulphate help particularly when reducing shadow areas.

    I seem to remember in a previous thread you used ferricyanide & rapid fixer as a reducer, and Ron Mowrey (PE) pointing out the aggressive nature of the combination.

    Perhaps a simpler explanation is that Ferricyanide on it's own attacks the smaller grains first, that's why it's used with or without bromide for split toning, but with Thiosulphate added Farmers Reducers attacks the larger "black" grains as well at the same time.

    If you put a print in a ferricyanide/bromide bleach some blacks don't bleach until the last moment, which is what's used in split toning, you control the time to pull from the bleach. Put a print in fresh Farmer's and leave it and it'll lighten more progressively across all the tones - very different.

    Farmer's cannot contain commercial fixer only plain sodium thiosulphate anything else is very different in behaviour.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
  18. An Le-qun

    An Le-qun Member

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    Barry Thornton's Edge of Darkness describes a process whereby you selenium tone first, then wash, then apply the Potassium Ferricyanice/Potassium Bromide bleach (and 3g/liter is still kind of strong, in my experience); then fix again, but you can redevelop and do it all over again as long as you wait to re-fix until you're satisfied. The selenium holds back the darker areas, and the highlights get a fuller bleaching.

    As other have noted, you get some changes in color (more with some papers than others); and every re-bleach, re-fix, re-develop or re-whatever that you do seems to take its toll on the print, until after several rounds you end up with something that just looks really...tired.
     
  19. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Ian : this sounds pretty logical, what do you think. If I bleach and refix after selenium, then move to my sepia tone and gold for the look, ??
     
  20. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Bob, it's not an easy task to bleach and refix, then do any toning. If you bleach to completion and refix, everything is gone and there's nothing to tone.
     
  21. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Anon
    I am printing solarizations, the highlights are a mid grey, all I want to do is lift them up to a brighter level, I am not bleaching to completion.
    I have found that all my tests in the past lack a POP that I think brighter highlight region could give.
    I cannot get it *the pop*without some way of making them brighter.

    Bob
     
  22. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Bob, the critical step is knowing how far Se toning has progressed. It may or may not be obvious. So, it might not be easy to know when to stop bleaching. Anyway, having some test strips would be nice to experiment with, before proceeding to the actual print. Obviously, you'd need to repeat the process exactly after the test run.
     
  23. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Bob... I know you use Kodak Sepia II kits for split tonig. I'd use the part A bleach from one of those packs. I find the stock pot ferri bleach solution to be VERY strong acting. For split toning my prints I dilute it 1:6 or more to get better control over this step and usually for no longer than 30 or 40 seconds. For what you are doing, stock solution might be the ticket to brighten those dull highlights, and crispen them up nicely. I assume you are leaving out the sulphide step and going straight to selenium. That said, the bleach alone at that strenght will tend warm things a little anyway.
     
  24. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Now that I think of it, you'd better bleach, fix, then do any toning. The only thing I don't know about is gold toning (too pricey for my wallet), and how it works... hi-lo tones getting toned first etc... That's IMHO the safest way, you'll have guaranteed that you have some silver to tone.
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Yes, that makes sense! Thanks for your explanation.
     
  26. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    Hi Bob,
    I often do this selenium/bleach/sepia. You don't need to fix because you go to sepia.
    If you just do selenium and bleach, then you fix and wash.
    Z.