tea toning cyanotypes

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by jamie young, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    I've done some cyanotypes in the past and tea (lipton tea) toned them, but did it by rewetting them after they had dried once and then toning. If I wanted to tone before drying them am I likely to see any problems or differences. Any reason not to? Thanks!
     
  2. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I've never had a problem either way. I don't see why there'd be a problem either. The Prussian blue is there no matter what, the only reason why you rewet after drying is to make sure you don't get uneven toning and sometimes you don't know if you want to tone something until after. Also people usually like to bleach back the image a little too as the tea toning tends to make everything a bit more darker looking.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I have heard and read (only heard & read -- so take this with a grain of salt) that cyanotypes tone better after they have had a chance to sit for a couple days. I have only toned "aged" prints.

    But there are so many variables, that unless one did some testing with good controls (identical paper, same amount of solution applied, same exposure and processing, etc), it would be hard to be sure.

    Cyanotypes do undergo changes over time...so it is logical that when a print is toned, there could be changes in toning effects depending on the age of the print.

    Vaughn
     
  4. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I didn't think cyanotypes, washed well, change that much over time. It's still prussian blue left in the paper, that doesn't (or shouldn't, let's put it that way), change. If you don't wash a cyanotype very well, yes there might be changes. I've seen an interesting article on alternativephotography.com about cyanotype over VDB and those do change radically over time because of the chemical reactions between the two processes.
    I've only been making cyanotypes since April this year, though, so it's not like I have any old cyanotypes around.
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Occasionally people will do a quick soak in a hydrogen peroxide bath (20ml : 200ml water) after developing in water to darken the print (the print is not washed after this bath) -- this just hurries the darkening a print would normally do over time once the print has had a chance to be exposed to oxygen.

    Cyanotypes can lighten over time when displayed. But one can take the lightened print and store it in the dark for awhile and it will darken.

    The fact that this happens shows that the exact chemical composition of the print changes with time -- thus toning could be affected by the state (chemical -- not location...LOL!) the print happens to be in at the time of the toning.

    The question then is, is this significant? The answer...it might be if one is trying to have a series of prints have the same print color/intensity.

    Vaughn

    Reference: William Crawford's The Keepers of Light
     
  6. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    Thanks for the help. I should experiment at some point, to see if I could save time by toning right away, or waiting and toning. Maybe I'll cut a print in half and see what happens.
    Best, Jamie
     
  7. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    What happened?
     
  8. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Besides the cyanotypes I have made over the years, I have two which I purchased made some time prior to 1920. They have been constantly on the wall for more than ten years, not in direct sunlight, and exhibit very little if any fading.
     
  9. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Jamie,

    I have done it both ways (the toning, you snickerers). I have gone back and bleached prints that I decided to tone later, and I have toned prints that were still wet. I have never noticed any difference, except that the appearance of the tone varies greatly depending on how much I bleach it back. That seems to be the biggest variable. If I can control it well enough, I can get some very subtle pink/purple going, that is pretty cool IMO. If I bleach it too far, it just seems to be faded. I use household ammonia in water to bleach, about 1:50. I snatch the print based on appearance.

    If you haven't searched it up there is an example, and some good links in this thread:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum42/34095-tea-toned-cyanotype.html

    Best,

    J
     
  10. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    and must one always bleach before tea-toning?
     
  11. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No, many persons don't. The results, are of course, different, mostly more bluish than one not bleached back.