Selenium & Gold Toning with Ilford Warmtone

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by andrewmoodie, May 23, 2007.

  1. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    Hi all...I'm off tomorrow to take my first crack at double toning with Kodak Selenium and Fotospeed Gold toner and some Kodak Hypo wash and some Ilford MGFB Warmtone Glossy paper.

    Anyone got any wisdom to impart?

    Thanks.

    Andrew
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Andrew
    Just finished some sepia, gold, blue toning over the weekend.
    Got all my information from Tim Rudmans book on toning.
    I love the results and would be interested to here how you like gold and selenium.
    As Tim wrote the low highlights or regions the bleach sepia did not reach were affected by the gold and a warm peach colour fell into these areas.
    I used the Sommerville Indirct blue and am very happy with the tri toning.
    The bleach side of the blue toner almost knocked me out and I am going to buy a respirator for future toning as it was extremely strong acting.
    Try the bleach sepia and gold with selenium as well and let me know how it looks compared to gold and selenium.
    Three litres of gold working solution cost me over $200 so I will use it sparingly in the future.

     
  3. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Hi Andrew

    Warmtone responds well to both selenium and gold toning. My personal preferences are:

    1) Straight selenium until the mid tones start to show the characteristic selenium "plummy" colour. I cannot give you a time as print tonality does have a bearing on how quickly the toning happens. Darker tones respond before lighter tones. I suggest you make two prints of every image you plan to tone and keep one in a tray of plain water as a reference for comparison during the toning process. Another tip is not to look continuously at the print in the toner as this makes it difficult to detect change. Keep referring to the untoned print in the plain water.

    2) Selenium followed by Gold is also one of my favourites. I selenium first and tend to overdo the toning before washing for 20 minutes and then tone in gold. I selenium until it becomes very purple, sometimes leaving the print in the toner for anything from 1 hour to 8 or 9 hours. After a wash I place the print in gold for a similar time. The effect is that the gold cools the lower values back to near the "plummy" selenium that I like but gives the higher value tones a slight blue tone which can look very attractive with the right image.

    3) Straight gold is also very nice when the print will take up a delicate blue hue so long as you don't overdo it. I don't like gold toning that produces too much blue in the final result but that is just a personal thing with me.

    4) Another process that is worth trying is to bleach the print with sepia bleach and after washing place it in selenium toner instead of sepia toner. This generally warms up the print quite a lot.

    Have fun and make notes.

    We must arrange to meet up sometime when I'm in London. Please drop me a PM and we'll arrange it as I'm usually there at least once every month.
     
  4. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    One thing I would hate to see happen to anybody else, as this stuff is getting expensive: my first gold toning session, I took the prints from the toner and put them in a holding tray, intending to refix and clear all the prints together at the end. Well, don't do that. The prints continued to tone in the holding bath, leaving lines toned into the prints where they were overlapped! Maybe a dozen liths, poof. This is why God made whiskey.
     
  5. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    Rich, I am so sorry, that must have been really disappointing. However, I am planning a session this weekend with lith prints in several toners including gold, selenium and sepia and normally I do put my prints in a water bath to wash all together so if it's any concession, you saved me from disaster. I appreciate you sharing your experience.
     
  6. catem

    catem Member

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    If you are duo-toning with selenium and gold, the selenium (if you limit to the darkest areas) will 'warm up' the shadows and stop the increased blue-black dMax you get with gold toning (be careful not to print too dark initially, especially if you're not selenium toning, but gold toning only). You have to be careful not to tone in selenium for too long, if you keep it to the shadows, the gold can work particularly effectively on the mid-tones, giving a great sense of recession. The highest highlights become brighter - maybe too bright or light, if you don't want this, and/or if you are not careful with the initial printing. So you might want to print a little 'flatter' than you would normally. (If there is no tone available, either on original print or because already toned in selenium, of course the gold will not take effect, and there will not be a colour shift).

    Timing the selenium can be tricky, but the gold is easy because it works slowly (and you don't have to worry about it spreading too far if you've already part-toned in selenium) - I find for a visible blue effect it can take about 40 minutes.

    There's a picture of an orchard in my gallery & portfolio which is selenium/gold toned, both the brands you are going to use, printed on Ilford Warmtone. Bear in mind the colour varies according to monitor display, as I found, some people couldn't see any blue at all, and probably with others it is quite blue! The print has quite a discernible, but subtle colour shift, but the greatest effect is to brighten the print (which is nice for a snowy scene) and at the same time give greater depth. Also the developer/developing method can effect the colour shifts (I found there is a slight but discernible pinky tone with this combination with Agfa NE).

    Always wash carefully between stages and Tim Rudman suggests fixing after gold toning is preferable if not always completely essential. And yes, don't let prints overlap either in the toning stage or washing.

    edit: should add that although gold toner generally works quite slowly, if you use it after sepia, the colour can change quite rapidly, through a range of colours, yellow/orange/red, so you have to watch it more carefully for the colour you want.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2007
  7. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    Thanks everybody for your input. Since the stuff I want to do is to be exhibited (my very first solo gig, yahoo!!) and I've got limited time, I think I'll put off the dual toning until September sometime. For the stuff I'm doing right now I'll stick to selenium only.

    Andrew
     
  8. catem

    catem Member

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    Congrats! Is it in London? If so where and when...

    Good idea not to put yourself under unnecessary pressure too.
     
  9. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Andrew,
    I've been selenium toning Ilford Warmtone fibre paper lately and have found that I get similar results with Harman selenium and Maco selenium, and that the colour depends on the print developer. Prints developed in Neutol WA go a cold purple in selenium, but prints developed in Harman Warmtone go a warmer plummy colour- only in the shadow areas.

    Alan Clark