Making Prints Cooler

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by kaantuncel, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. kaantuncel

    kaantuncel Member

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    http://gph.is/XLNkOf Sorry.

    It might just be because I am a contrarian but every print I get out gives me the thought of "It needs to be cooler (in tone)!". I am not looking for a cyan print, I don't even want a blue shift in the whites, I would just like it to be more punchy.

    I have tried printing on Cooltone paper (Ilford RC), but to be completely honest it doesn't seem to be at all different (I used the same MG developer but doubled dev time, black tones are same but the paper base is still the normal warm).

    I have found various "cool" developers but I would rather not have to separate my print processes like that, and wonder how much more effective they would be anyway?

    So I was wondering if anyone has any tips for this? I am going to be trying selenium toning soon (not because of this, just been trying to get some experience before I add another step to my printing), but I don't think that this will help in this way?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2014
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You could bleach the highlights.
     
  3. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Toning. If you aren't toning you will never get much besides very subtle variations out of most papers. Try selenium toning those prints on Cooltone (note - I haven't tried this having not printed on Cooltone but it cools most neutral papers nicely.) Gold toner will give you a very cold tone with some cool papers.
     
  4. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Like Roger says, if you want the blacks cooler, you need to replace silver with some other metal, which means toning. Selenium is cooler and very archival, gold is more-blue but not archival AFAIK. Different papers respond quite differently to each toner, so you'll probably want to do a bunch of experimentation. Tim Rudman has an excellent book on toning, if you can find a copy.

    Note that most metallic toners are much more toxic than the rest of the B&W process and you need to be very careful with them.
     
  5. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Gold is very much an "archival" toner.


    Tom
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I have the Rudman book and it's excellent.

    But the place to start is yo get some rapid selenium toner. There are multiple threads here about dilutions, times, avoiding stains etc.


    Sent from my iPhone via Tapatalk using 100% recycled electrons. Because I care.
     
  7. miha

    miha Member

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    +1

    much more than Se in fact.
     
  8. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    I have every Rudman book, and they are all excellent.

    I also have an original 'morning light' Yosemite by Tim Rudman...

    I have the huge pleasure of looking at it everyday, which I do, a phenominal printer, photographer, alchemist, Doctor and Gentleman.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I never tire of saying this but the best "cold combo" I ever found was Ilford CT RC and Ilford's own CT developer.

    It's a great pity it didn't sell enough to make it viable. Prints from that combo were almost "ice cold" and had the kind of look that only gold toning might come close to achieving.

    I wouldn't have wanted most of my prints to look that way so would only occasionally have bought the paper and developer.

    Perhaps too many others felt the same way to make the CT developer viable but it is strange that if the CT paper is worth producing and it clearly is, why the CT developer which complements its so well can't be made at a profit

    pentaxuser
     
  10. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    From extensive testing, there is no other paper developer I'm aware of that gives the same results as Harman Cooltone; they must be using some proprietary technique or chemical.

    Tom
     
  11. miha

    miha Member

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    Which developers have you been testing for cold tone, Tom?
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Harman should consider re-introducing the Cooltone developer and bundling it in a promotional package with the new Cooltone FB paper.

    I'll buy it for the Cooltone RC paper.
     
  13. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    You might want to try Moersch SE3 (which cools neutral and warm papers) or SE6 which is cooler still - blue-black.
     
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  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    The return of the Cooltone developer was discussed here before. Simon was a big fan himself. He presented it up the line but it was decided that it wasn't practical to bring back - not enough market.


    Sent from my iPhone via Tapatalk using 100% recycled electrons. Because I care.
     
  16. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I get a wonderful cold tone on Cooltone by using amidol developer with benzotriazole restrainer, then gold toning afterwards, with selenium optional, depending. The only serious problem I'm having at the moment is with the Chinese amidol being distributed by the usual suspects. It seems to have some metallic contamination and needs to be very well filtered for use. The odd orange stain will wash out. Otherwise, the image color is excellent.
     
  17. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Drew, I just got a nice order of English Amidol from Artcraft. Maybe check that out.
     
  18. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    Gold toner as others have stated is your best bet. Not cheap though. Another alternative would be to use a dilute blue toner and a short bath.

    The coldest tone I ever got from a paper straight out of the developer was Forte VC with one of the odd versions of Neutol, I think it was Plus. So cold my prints had icicles! They looked like they were gold toned. Sadly, neither the paper nor the developer are available any more.

    The other thing to mention is to make sure you are looking at your prints under an appropriate light. If you are using incandescent, they may look a little warm even if they are cold.
     
  19. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The two restrainers potassium bromide and benzotriazole can be used to adjust the print tone. Adding bromide to the developer warms the tone while benzotriazole cools it. What I personally find most attractive is a pure neutral black.

    There is an optical illusion caused by the eye and how it focuses different colors. When a print image is warm it seems to float above the paper and when it is cool it appears to be under the paper surface. When the image is too cool this effect can give the print an unattractive veiled appearance. Japanese sumi painters take advantage of this illusion by using two different types of charcoal to make ink; one slightly brown and one slightly blue.
     
  20. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    OK. All y'all should not take my advice on the respective properties of toners. Read the Tim Rudman book instead.
     
  21. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    +1000!!
     
  22. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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  23. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Thank you for the Artcraft link, Michael. I'll give them a try. In the meantime, I'm going to try running a strong magnet over my working batches of dry amidol powder, then double or triple filtering the mixed developer itself. But regarding this overall subject, it takes a bit of experimentation to land on the exact image color you want. And going cold tone shouldn't be confused with some creative blue color or split tone technique. Generally cool papers aren't the best for that kind of thing anyway, though I do know how to get a lovely split tone on Cooltone when desired. It doesn't respond to cold MQ developers the way Polygrade V did, nor achieve that kind of exaggerated blue-black under those circumstances. But if you want a rich deep neutral black, amidol will do it, if you develop to relative completion. Neither amidol nor gold chloride are especially expensive to use if you use them wisely. Some of the published formulas seem to prioritize waste.
     
  24. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I wonder if it was really that amazing, or if by now (and given the way it is usually spoken about in threads), in the fog of memory this thing has taken on the familiar by-gone product "mystique".

    I'm not saying you guys are wrong, just wondering out loud. I had only limited experience with this developer, running some tests and making a few prints on Cooltone RC paper at the time. I don't remember it being freezing cold (ie blue-black). Then again my memory of it could be just as foggy.
     
  25. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    My experience is based on getting some CT paper and CT developer on the 2006 Ilford tour and then using both with MG paper(my own) and CT paper( Ilford's gift).

    The CT developer only made a marginal difference to MG paper. The difference was similar or possibly a little greater than the difference that WT developer makes in warming MG paper and very similar to the difference that WT developer makes to WT paper i.e. hold a MG paper developed in WT and a WT paper developed in WT and you can see a subtle difference but until I did this I wondered whether WT paper in WT developer really made any more than the most marginal of difference.

    However the minute I pulled the CT paper out of the CT developer the difference between this and MG paper in CT developer was as clear as day. There was a very cold look to it. I didn't need to compare it to anything to see what was a big difference.

    I never have had the experience of CT paper in CT developers other than Ilford CT so can't comment as to whether the same effect might be produced by Moersch developer etc.

    All I know is that had I been looking to give most of my prints this cold look, I'd have settled for the Ilford CT paper and developer combination and don't think I'd have looked anywhere else.

    pentaxuser
     
  26. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I tried this combination as well and the Harman Cooltone developer gave results not possible with the Moersch product.

    Tom