Split toning purple/brown?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by PeteZ8, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    I'm interested in doing some split toning. I really like the look of brownish / sepia highlights with more of a purple cast in the shadows. Ilford Warmtone paper will get the highlights about where I want them, but is there something that will change the shadows to what I want without affecting the highlight areas? I'd actually prefer something that might open up the shadows a touch, but that's not a requirement. I'm not looking for a huge purple shift, just something subtle.

    I'll post an example of one I did with a scanned negative in Adobe Camera Raw. I'd like to do this for real if possible. I'm thinking Selenium on warmtone paper might get me there but I'll leave to the experts :wink:

    Thanks for all your help :smile:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Sepia as you suggest for the highlights,
    very strong dilution of selenium just to hit the shadows.
    1:3 or 1:2 for about a minute or judge by taste.
    Do the highlights first.
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Sepia/selenium is what I would try. Don't use the sepia bleach for too long.
     
  4. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Bob,

    Question: if one wants to use thiourea to achieve the same effect, I guess it would be better to do strong selenium first to protect shadows, then bleach + thiourea? Then again, strong selenium may leave nothing to bleach out..

    Thanks,

    Max
     
  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have found that the bleach sepia attacks highlights first
    also selenium attacks the shadows first.
    If you selenium too long first I believe the bleaching and sepia will be less effective, though it may give a look which is appropriate for some taste.

    I always start with the highlights, and I do not go too deep into the midtones, therefore not affecting the shadows, which I then hit with 1:5 selenium to taste.

    different papers will need different times in the bleach and selenium.
    Warmtone less than coldtone papers.
     
  6. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    You can do sepia then selenium, or selenium then sepia. The advantage of sepia first as has been said is you can see the progress as you go. Dilute your bleach up to 10% full strength and pull the print when you see the first signs of highlights bleaching back. After sepia go with selenium for a short time at a rather strong strength, 1:3 to 1:10. The problem I see sometimes is that once in the selenium the sepia toned print moves very quickly to a very very warm brown. If you're going to keep things subtle your times need to be short, no more than a minute if you want to retain any sense of a split tone.

    I've been experimenting more doing selenium first then sepia. The advantages of this is that the print doesn't run away on you going too warm. Selenium toning for 1-2 minutes at 1:10, then make sure you wash completely! Then sepia tone as normal. i find this produces a more true split tone, but much more subtle and less warm than sepia then selenium. The fun is in experimenting. So get to it!
     
  7. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    Any input on starting with a warmtone paper, like Ilfords MCFB Warmtone? Skip sepia and go straight to selenium?
     
  8. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I work with MGWT extensively. I'm not sure what exactly you're asking.
     
  9. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    I'm saying with a warmtone paper, since it will already have a brownish tint, is there still a need to sepia tone or can I just selenium tone for the shadows? Forgive me my darkroom has been in a box for the last 1 1/2 years and I'm just now getting back into real printing. I can't really remember how "warm" the warmtone is straight out of the fixer.

    Thanks!
     
  10. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    MGWT has a slightly cream base, not as creamy as most warmtone papers, something I like. The image color itself is dependent upon developer of course, but most would agree that it is rather "greenish" un-toned. And although there are those that may prefer MGWT un-toned, most, like me believe it shines with atleast a treatment in selenium. If you're going for the look like your image above you'll absolutely want to sepia and selenium tone. Selenium toning alone is very nice and will produce purplish shadows but your highlights will still be un-toned.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    In Dektol, Ilford WT fiber glossy is not nearly as brown as the matte IME. It is more like a "soft gray" than a brown (which is why I love this paper so much; it is not heavy handed). I would definitely sepia tone that paper if I wanted the highlights to appear brown. Another advantage of sepia toning first is that it sort of "locks" the high tones into that sepia hue so that the selenium is not as likely to change the hues there. If you start with a paper that processes as brownish without sepia toning (such as Oriental WT, or the Ilford in a warm-toned developer), the selenium is more likely to change the look of the high tones. So, my advice is to "lock" the high tones with sepia, and then do the selenium. Selenium gives Ilford MGWT glossy a very heavy brownish-eggplant color IME. Kind of unappealing to me unless split toned, actually.
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    You will not get your effect with no bleach sepia, though it is called a warmtone paper , to my eyes its pretty neutral looking.
     
  13. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Purple cast in shadows. How something closer to maroon? I've had this effect with Foma MG. This would be nice in the print you showed, because of the nice horizon line, which allows partial toning and bleaching. Probably won't get the same effect with another paper. But maybe something more pleasing, too.

    At least for foma: very short bleach (shadows are bleaching too, whether you can see it or not), followed by sepia. You won't be able to see the sepia in the shadows either, but other toners (gold) can see it.

    Re-bleach the lower shadow portion of your print to the first hint of bleaching effect. Of course, this will take a little more time than the first bleach. This time, no sepia. Just fix and wash. Followed by selenium to taste, then gold.

    Obviously, with fiber paper and all the wash cycles, this can be a long process. And with all the "snatch points" involved . . .aye-yi-yi.

    Anyways, this works for me with Foma MG. I don't keep notes, so can't say much about what sepia formula (1:5 yellow or 5:1 brown) makes the purply hue.

    If you go to my gallery and see the hue/shade/value you are thinking of, I would be able to describe this process more cohererently.
     
  14. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    Thanks for all your replies. I unpacked the old darkroom box and fired up the enlarger for the first time in what seems like forever (I miss having a dedicated darkroom!) and made a test print last night. Unfortunately it looks like my Fotospeed sepia toner is a little crusty these days so I didn't get a chance to try that, but I did selenium tone a sheet of Ilford Warmtone RC and I got pretty much what I wanted in the shadows. I need to order some fresh sepia toner, paper (humidity must have got to it, emulsion had some flaking) and a non-hardening fixer. But I think following all of your suggestions I will get what I am looking for.

    Thank again! Love this forum.

    pete
     
  15. walkart

    walkart Member

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    split tone

    hi Brian, did you ever get the same look as your sample? what did you end up doing to achieve that look?