Toning - but not your grandma's toning.... (primary/complementary color toning)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by holmburgers, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I've been reading Friedman's 'History of Color Photography' and there's a chapter devoted to Chemical Toning. It's all about changing a b&w silver image into a color image, either for 2 or 3 color subtractive prints. The chemistry seems to be relatively straightforward, and the ability to use commercially available b&w film would be a boon. Is this toning only different in degree to techniques like selenium toning, gold toning, etc?

    What I'd like to do is take 4x5" separation negatives (or positives I guess :confused:smile: and tone them appropriately so that I have the 3 layers of a full color print, but loose. Not only would this be a neat thing to mess around with (color balance manipulability on par w/ DT & carbro), but it would be an excellent demonstration tool for teaching about color synthesis. Imagine registering the separations in front of a classroom of kids and seeing the full color image POP into place!

    Now, this book is from the 40's so I'm sure a lot has been learned since then and perhaps even commercially available products exist/existed in the interim. For instance, I found this "Edwal Green Toner" (eBay #120590834111) that looks intriguing. Obviously, green wouldn't be of any use in a subtractive system, but do similar products exist?

    So, I'm soliciting any thoughts or suggestions. I've got more reading to do, but I'm just wanting to put out my feelers and see what anyone might know about this topic.

    Thanks guys & gals!
     
  2. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Hmm, if I'm following you, you want to go from a B&W image to a full color one through filtered separation with color applied. The red, blue, and green filters (designed to make the cyan, yellow, and magenta seps of a subtractive system) will all produce close to the same seps when shooting a B&W, since there is no color to be "filtered".
    I have experience in color separation and did something like this in the 70's with screen printing, so I'm a little interested. PM me with your phone # if you want to talk - too much for old typing hands.
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Ahh, I think I see where I may have caused some confusion. When I say "changing a b&w silver image into a color image" I mean just the alteration from silver to another metal, and thus a change in color. Like selenium, sepia or gold toning, but taken to the extreme to produce the primaries.

    Here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photographic_print_toning#Metal_replacement_toning ...this gives a pretty good synopsis.

    This chemistry could then be applied to color synthesis in the normal way.
     
  4. happyjam64

    happyjam64 Member

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    take a look at dye transfer printing. unfortunately, materials for dye transfers have been long discontinued from kodak. i think it would be great to create a similar system though.
    but i also think it would be easier to create a colour system based on the old dufaycolor principle.

    just my two cents.
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    It will take some luck to find three metal-based chemical reactions that will produce stable primary colors that can result in a "true color" image. But the idea a fun one. There might be better control in some sort of dye-based method...just a guess.

    But the crazy way to do it would be to transfer carbon images onto glass. Colors are determined by the watercolor paint you choose. Each color exposed with its color sep neg and transferred to its own piece of glass. The glass would have to prepared, but registration is not an issue as you would line up the sheets of glass for viewing. Life has taught me that there more than one way to get kicked by a mule...
     
  6. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Member

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    Toners that work with paper should work with film, too. You probably won't get perfect primary colors, but I think you might get close enough, and the results should be interesting nevertheless.
    I suppose you could get yellow with a vanadium toner, and cyan with an iron blue toner. I don't know about magenta, but I'm sure there must be a toner for that, too.
    Alternatively, there are chromogenic toners that give you any color you want. Wolfgang Moersch sells one called Multitoner.
     
  7. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    If you are referring to the chromogenic dye toners, which you probably are, than yes, they are different. Instead of complexing the silver with another substance, as in sepia or selenium toning, you will be replacing the silver entirely with a colored dye.

    As Vaughn and Vlad say, it will be difficult to find non-dye toners with suitable colors for your work. Although there is a possibility of getting yellow with vanadium, this is not a simple "of the shelf" toner you can buy (here is a description: http://81.207.88.128/science/photo/toners/toner.pdf). It will be the most challenging (like Vlad suggests, blue can be had with an iron blue toner, and red with a copper toner). Going the dye based chromogenic toner route seems the most logical thing.
     
  8. numnutz

    numnutz Member

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  9. Marek Warunkiewicz

    Marek Warunkiewicz Member

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    Get Tim Rudman's book on toning, he's got a lot of advice and colours he has managed to create.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2010
  10. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Everyone says the dyes are unavailable. I realize Kodak killed the product years ago due to lack of sales, but I don't understand how there is no available substitute even if we have to make it ourselves and it's inferior. It this whole arena just completely dead?
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There are many ways to turn a set of separation images into a color image. Friedman describes just about all of them.

    The OP refers to the replacement of Silver with colored salts to give a 3 color image from 3 separation positives. Yes, this works, but the pigments (for that is generally what they are) are often off color and are not true C/M/Y pigments, but it does work! Remember that you need separation positives that must be placed in register.

    He goes on with tricolor chromogenic development using couplers and PPD developers to make separation positives much like Kodakchrome.

    And he mentions Bromoil, Carbro and Dye Transfer. DT is still being done, as there are substitute materials. The DT SIG is on Yahoo and demonstrations of it can be seen at Jim Browning's web site.

    PE
     
  12. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I'm not aware of Friedman's work, but this approach is certainly possible by a number of routes. Color negative printing paper could be used, with separation negatives and appropriate filters. Registration is probably the biggest hurdle. Dye transfer materials have sporadically available from small suppliers since Kodak discontinued making these supplies. It is possible, but not easy, to make your own (http://www.dyetransfer.org/images/DyeTran.pdf). Our sister site had a thread on digital emulation of the dye transfer process as well (http://www.hybridphoto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=298). It is quite possible to do a lot with Photoshop or a similar digital program. You might also look up a related technique called photo derivatives or photo derivation. Kodak published a book about it some years ago, and a large article about it was in their "8th Here's How."
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hey everybody, thanks for the plethora of responses!

    In general, I'm very aware of DT and I'm a member over at the Yahoo! group. The outlay of materials and effort that would be necessary to do DT at this point is large, and I've put it on the backburner, or perhaps even the backyard because it seems that carbro/carbon has advantages and is perhaps simpler in terms of materials, plus more archival. And as to the Dufaycolor suggestion.... http://www.apug.org/forums/forum42/...colored-screens-la-dufaycolor-autochrome.html ...one step ahead of 'ya! :wink:

    Admittedly I haven't gotten to the chapter on Dye-Toning, so perhaps this is the easier method as suggested by a few of you. What's interesting is that a commercial product using chemical-toning was successfully created and marketed by Defender Photo Supply known as the Chromatone Process (see wiki).

    But perhaps if anything, this has raised my interest in toning enough to give it a shot. I'll check out Tim Rudman's book.

    PE, you are right, Friedman does describe just about everything! It's an enormous book with so much good information in it. I've learend a lot just by reading through it, even though the chemistry is over my head.

    So in short, dye-toners are capable of turning a black and white image into a colored one? Fundamentally, that's all I want to be able to do, and preferably w/o a 'transfer' process.
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, Friedman's formulas work. As to whether the color is good, that is another matter. However, the images formed are very stable in most cases.

    PE
     
  16. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    That is good to know. More stable than a dye-toned image?
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Pigments tend to be more stable than dye images. After all, the old masters used pigments in their oil paints. If it were possible, a yellow pigment image with Cadmium Yellow would be an ideal example of an image made to replace a silver positive image. And, it would be far more stable than the common yellow Azo dyes used in things like Ilfochrome which is noted for its stability.

    PE
     
  18. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Off topic, but could one use cadmium yellow (or do they) in tri-color carbro?
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I would have to look it up, but I think it would work. It is quite toxic though. So, be careful handling it. It is a known carcinogen and is banned in many countries. The lighter yellow Cadmium pigments are less light stable than the darker Cadmium pigments.

    PE
     
  20. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I guess I'll have to wait till I get to the carbro chapter :D

    By the way, I got the book on your recommendation, so thanks! Would you say it is one of the "seminal" books on color photography? I know that E.J. Wall's book has that kind of reputation, I might check it out next.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Wall's book on color is quite good from what I have heard, but his book on emulsions cannot compare with Baker's book. Of course that goes just for that era.

    There is another tiny book on color photography by Leadly and Stegmeyer. It lists everything needed to make color prints in the 40s, but of course, none of this material is now available although much of it is found in Friedman in raw form. I'm glad you like Friedman.

    PE
     
  22. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Yes, they can. The silver will be replaced by the dye. Just as with any toner, you will be able to do a partial or full toning (all silver replaced by dye), by controlling the toning or bleach time.

    Vlad's suggestion for Moersch's toner seems one to look into, although I must admit I never did a dye toning myself. Look at the image below, using this dye based multitoner. I am pretty sure though, that none of the images were fully toned. You should be able to get much more vibrant colors if doing a full toning:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks Marco,

    I saw this picture and wondered about the degree of color. I'm guessing few people want this for what I want it for, so they wouldn't bother to show the full degree of toning that's possible.

    I'm definitely intrigued....
     
  24. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Me too, show us some results when you have them!
     
  25. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    That might not be any time too soon, as I've got exactly 2 projects that are currently taking precedent (screen-plate and Lippmann photography), but when I do it, you can rest assured it'll make its way to APUG.
     
  26. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Member

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    My guess is that the pictures above have not been bleached, so the images consist of dyes and metallic silver. By bleaching the silver and refixing you should get even more vibrant colors.

    I don't know if you're aware of this, but Tim Rudman's book has been reprinted and is available from Silverprint for just 25 pounds. Their minimum amount of 100 pounds for international orders does not apply in this case; it's possible to order just the book alone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2010