Lith selenium toning - rust red!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by walter23, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    Wow, I tried selenium toning my first attempts at lith printing and the results were really unusual - a rusty orange-red! I was expecting the shadows to go more neutral / black, but instead I got this phenomenal effect (though the first stage of toning was to go a more neutral colour than the original lith, and I pulled one out at this stage just for comparison). No scanner handy yet (they're still drying anyway), but wow. Is this normal, or a consequence of the particular paper I'm using (maco lith print RC)?

    It's a pretty neat effect, but not at all what I was expecting.
     
  2. El Gringo

    El Gringo Subscriber

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    I've had this happen with Fomatone FB, I've got a scan of one of the prints with this effect in my gallery, its the Blaenavon Ironworks lith print. I'm afraid I can't say how normal this is but it produces some nice colours.

    How strong was the toner? I think I was using 1:4 or !:3 for the print I mentioned above.
     
  3. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    I used 1 part harman toner to 3 parts water. The toning dilution, rather than the "archival treatment" dilution.
     
  4. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    I was just reading the chapter on slenium in rudman's toning book. Selenium is really red apparently. I don''t quite understand the technique yet but have you bleached out the print? Any ways its all in tim's book.
    Regards
    Bill
     
  5. snallan

    snallan Member

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    I would also highly recommend Tim's book "The Master Photographers Toning Book", as it gives a wealth of information, and dispels many myths about toning.

    On lith prints selenium can indeed give oranges, reds, and maroons; depending of course upon which papers and developers are being used. As Tim says, always keep notes, so when you get an effect you like, you can go back and reproduce it :smile:.

    As for the "archival treatment" dilution; if you are referring to dilutions of 1+20, or more dilute, this is one of the myths he dispels. At those dilutions, the selenium is far too weak to provide protection to the highlights, or midtones of a print.
     
  6. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    No bleaching. I've heard Selenium mildly bleaches the highlights but I haven't really seen this in any serious way (it might just be an illusion from the intensification of the denser parts of the negative). This was my first time selenium toning, and it's pretty easy, except for the noxious ammonium odour. You need good ventilation.
     
  7. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    My suspicion is that Harmon selenium gives a different colour to KRST
    Mark
     
  8. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Just out of curiosity, did you get any reddish tone on the borders too?
     
  9. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    If you mean the white, unexposed borders, no - the white stayed white. I didn't see any edge effects if that was what you meant, either, although the red tone seemed to creep in from the edges once it started showing up. After a few seconds the print was evenly toned though.
     
  10. rootberry

    rootberry Member

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    Harman and KRST are two different toners completely in my opinion. Harman works well for some paper, KRST for others. I like KRST better for Forte PWT, which is my main lith paper, gives a deep brown/red color that is pleasing to me :smile:
     
  11. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    My experience with forma is it wants to go red with sepia or selenium. I haven't tried pulling back with gold yet.