Selenium Toning

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by marciofs, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. marciofs

    marciofs Member

    Messages:
    732
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Two questions :smile:

    Is it ok to wash and dry my prints and the after have many prints toning them all together in order to save Selenium?

    It may be ok with avarege papers but with ART 300 is it ok?


    Also, How to make the print more or less sepia? Is it a mater of just washing more?

    Thanks. :smile:
     
  2. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It's hard to save selenium because selenium a metal that gets used up based on the amount of silver. So if you have 10 sheets of paper, it will use the same amount of selenium regardless of technique.

    Sepia a function of toning. Sepia or brown toners, for example.

    Based on your questions, I would highly recommend picking up a book on darkroom techniques. Tim Rudman, Ralph Lambrecht, etc etc. It'll pay for itself within the first few sessions.
     
  3. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Do you mean that the ART300 is developed in a warmtone developer and then you are using the selenium to darken and cool the shadows? In that case use a weaker dilution of the toner (or a cooler temperature if you are using it hot) to make the change a little slower and easier to control. It is also an excellent idea to make a test print of the critical area of your production print, then keep that test (wet) next to the version being toned - it makes it easier to see small changes by direct comparison.

    There are ways of split-toning in both sepia and selenium, but someone who has tried that will have to comment. You could try "split-toning" in the site search function too.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,231
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Marciofs, are you asking if you can produce a sepia or sepia like tone with Selenium or was your question nothing to do with Selenium toning but to do with sepia toners which of course are not the same as selenium?

    pentaxuser
     
  5. marciofs

    marciofs Member

    Messages:
    732
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have "The Ansel Adams Guide" book 1

    The think is that it will be the first time toning so I am not sure if there is any difference toning the print when it is wet and after it was dried.

    My question is about selenium toning and sepia toning. I know they are different chimicals.

    question 1: Toning after wards or when the print is wet?

    question 2: How to control the sepia tones, or it intensity (when using sepia toning of course).
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,231
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You asked two questions. The second is quoted above and it is to this question that I was looking for your explanation.

    pentaxuser
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,028
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I regularly tone prints on a different day then they are printed.

    You need to thoroughly wet the prints before you start the toning process.

    And you can adjust the strength of the sepia effect by adjusting the relative times in the separate bleach and toner steps (assuming you are using a two step sepia toner).
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,322
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If the print has dryed you must soak it in water before toning or the print may become mottled.

    Selenium is a metaloid in the same family as sulfur. Sepia is a color. I think you are refering to sulfide toning which can produce a sepia tone.

    You control the amount of toning and/or color by either dilution or by the time in the toner. Each toner formulation is different with commercial toners follow the manufacturers instructions.
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,019
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I got a very unusual effect when I did this once. I had dried the prints face down on a screen. The emulsion must have "hardened" more or less where it touched the screen surface because when I Selenium toned them, a faint but distinct "screen" pattern showed. So heed the advice to soak well.
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,231
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Interestingly and this may have nothing to do with the OP's question about sepia in a mainly selenium thread, the instructions for Ilford's selenium suggest that bleaching a print with to quote Ilford's words "sepia bleach" and then soaking in Ilford selenium gets you a red/brown effect. I presume sepia bleach is simply a reference to a normal ferricyanide bleach

    pentaxuser
     
  11. George Collier

    George Collier Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One good thing about saving washed prints, then toning all of them together later is that your exposure to selenium vapors is reduced.
    No one mentioned that here, so maybe it's not a big deal, but my initiation to selenium toning included that advice (by Fred Picker). Be sure to ventilate well when you do this, and, as others have said, soak thoroughly. I usually put all of the prints into a deep tray to soak in clean water before setting up to tone and rewash.
     
  12. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,107
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    One good thing about selenium toning is that prints don't have to be washed thoroghly of fixer before toning. If the prints are not acidic (e.g. a neutral or alkaline fixer is used, or prints are given an alkaline bath after fixing) they can go straight into the selenium toner , the life of which will not be prematurely shortened by acid.
     
  13. kevs

    kevs Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes it's ok to tone many prints in one session, but if you mean toning many prints at the same time in the same dish together, that's a different kettle of fish. To start with, prints can physically abrade each other. If you stack prints in the toner, you may not achieve complete toning with the prints lower in the stack unless you remove (say) the top print when it's fully toned. Don't try cutting corners; over the years I've found that trying to save time and/or money in printmaking inevitably creates more headaches than it solves!

    When you bleach the print, watch for the highlights to vanish, then remove it from the bleach and wash the bleach off. Now tone as normal and you'll see sepia in the highlights and upper mid-tones and blacks and greys in the darker tones. This is called split-toning; you can then tone the print in selenium, gold or another toner to have two or three colours in the print.

    Different papers respond differently to toners; Ilford Multigrade FB takes on more subtle hue in sepia than does (say) Ilford Galerie FB. Toning in selenium toner reduces the intensity and changes the colour of sepia-toned prints. To make a print 'more' sepia, which i assume you mean to intensify the colour, bleach it fully. Washing prints post-sepia toning will not decrease the intensity of the colour!

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
  14. George Collier

    George Collier Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Re: Kevs' comment about prints abrading each other - I have never had this problem, or the unequal toning problem either, for that matter. Maybe because when I do this, up to say, 10 - 15 prints at a time, I am sure to use a tray slightly larger than the prints, with at least an inch of toner. I also shuffle them bottom to top, like film open tray developing. The depth of the toner solution and the rotating keeps the prints from settling or sticking to each other, which could be the cause of these two problems. Maybe I've just been lucky.
    I do this because many of my images are 2 or 3 image pans, and I want all of the prints to have the same toning. I also make 3 or 4 sets of prints and tone them in one batch, just to be sure I have at least two or three matching sets for framing.
     
  15. marciofs

    marciofs Member

    Messages:
    732
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for all the advises. :smile:
     
  16. DarkroomDan

    DarkroomDan Subscriber

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    Enumclaw, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In the original post you said that you want to wait until you have several prints "... to save Selenium". The diluted selenium toner is not discarded after use. Store it and continue using it as long as at still works. It will slow down as it gets older and may have some black particulate but, as long as it still tones, it is good. Selenium is one of the materials you don't want to be pouring down the drain any more than is necessary.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,248
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    you can tone a print in seleniumbefore or after drying. i never noticed a difference in the effect, but for con venience i dry first and tone in a subsequent session.
     
  18. KenR

    KenR Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I always tone my fiber prints as I like a neutral/cool look to my prints. In addition, "they" say that the prints are more archival if so processed - so I generally use the Ilford method of processing to increase the life span of the prints (although my early prints from 25+ years ago which were processed under less than optimal conditions still look fine). So I use Kodak Selenium toner at 1:30 for apx five minutes. Cools things down nicely and gives things a hint of an eggplant purple color.