Toning Vandyke brown prints

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Kimberly Anderson, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake Ci
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am reading about toning Vandyke prints and have a few questions.

    I have read that you can tone them with many of the same toners that you use with Kallitypes, but I have not found any instructions for using platinum or palladium toners.

    Is the ferric oxalate the reason that the platinum and palladium toners work so well with Kallitypes? Is the lack of the ferric oxylate and the presence of ferric ammonium citrate the difference?

    Just curious if I can tone the Vandyke's with platinum or palladium toners, and if anyone has any suggestions.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

    Messages:
    3,894
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Engla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Just musing here.
    If you tone a Vandyke Brown, and thereby change it's colour; does it cease to be a Vandyke Brown?
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Back when it was a major, mainstream printing process, it was just called "brown print". Since the colour resembled that loved by the painter van Dyke, that name was "adopted" - but not until the process was relegated to the ranks of "alternative".

    Yes, you can tone Vandykes with platinum, palladium, gold, gold/lead/mercury (very popular around 1900!), or whatever.
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  5. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Michael, check the gallery here and look for scootermm, he has several VDB that he toned with plt. Also, think that the VDB article over on unblinkingeye.com also has some information that might help. Have done a few, using Lithum Paladium (for Ziatypes) and just mixed a spoonfull of citric acid, in a liter of warm water...after it was mixed added about 6 drops of LiPd. Be aware that the print should be toned before going into the thiosulfate, so wash, tone, fix, wash-aid, wash. The print will look like it is bleaching out in the first minute or so (at least that is what I have seen), then it starts to darken back up. IIRC the average toning time is for 8-10 minutes for complete replacement of silver with plt/pld. I have had good results (color that is) by using a shorter time.

    If you have some plt/pld then give it try and see if you like it..
     
  6. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake Ci
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks guys. The links help a lot.

    Dave...you're making my head hurt. :wink:
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    In my articles on kallitype at unblinkingeye eye and the alternative photo site I give formulas for gold, platinum and palladium toners. They work equally well with vandyke.

    In toning the noble metal actually replaces the silver and thereby gives better permanence.

    Sandy

     
  8. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake Ci
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sandy,

    You're getting to the crux of my dillemma. The VDB is such an easy formula to mix, and so darn easy to develop, that I'm wondering why Pt/Pd is so attractive to many.

    I can see that the pt/pd print has a different look to it, but maybe I haven't been around enough of them to see much of a difference from a well done Kallitype or VDB.

    With the noble metals being replaced when they are toned, aren't you able, really, to make a pt/pd print in a bit shorter, quicker, easier and cheaper method when you tone a VDB/Kallitype instead of doing the traditional pt/pd method?

    Just curious. The VDB appeals to me on so many levels and I'm having so much fun doing them that I may not do as many pt/pd prints as I had initially thought I would.

    Thoughts?
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I read somewhere that Pt-toned Kallitypes were banned from some competitions, since they were impossible to distinguish from "real" platinum prints...
     
  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

    Messages:
    3,894
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Engla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Sorry; couldn’t resist it.
    I just had a thought that if you gold toned a Vandyke Brown it could become a Vandyke Blue. :confused:
     
  11. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Yeah. I have read that also, in Keepers of the light perhaps, or maybe in another book... I'd love to print the same negative using both techniques and compare the results in person. Have fun toning your VDBs!

    - Randy
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Michael,

    There are many ways to answer your question.

    However, when you cut to the quick a kallitype toned with pallaidum or platinum has the exact same look, including color, tonal range and depth, as a regualr Pt./Pd. print. This is due to the fact that the toned kallitype has become for all practical purposes the same as a regular Pt./Pd. print, i.e. the image is made up primarily of pallaidum or platinum metal. I had some question about this when I first started toning kallitype prints with pallaidum and platinum, but some experiments in bleaching an re-development that I did a few years ago, plus more recent analyis of my toned kallitypes by a the photo conservation laboratory of the Getty museum, has shown without any doubt that toning results in metal replacement.

    Bottom line then is this. A kallitype toned with palladium or platinum has the same look, and for all practical purposes the same permanence, as prints made with the regular Pt./Pd. process.

    Why then would still use the much more expensive regular Pt./Pd. process to make pallaidium and platinum metal images instead of toning kallitypes. Well, the work flow of the two printing methods is different and some, though not me, find that the regular Pt./Pd. method is faster. Another consideration is snob appeal, very important if you hope to sell your prints in galleries. The term platinum print means something to many potential collectors, a Pt/Pd toned kallitype or vandyke usually does not.

    Palladium or platinum toned vandykes are similar, but not exactly like regular Pt./Pd. and kallitype prints. Compared to kallitypes they always retain a more brown look, which, though not unattractive in the least, has a different look from regular Pt./Pd. prints.

    Hope this information is useful to you.

    Sandy



     
  13. cjarvis

    cjarvis Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You can get really sweet purply tones with gold borax toning.
     
  14. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Mike
    you sound like me. :smile:
    I was/am/have been in a simliar situation. keep in mind any of these comments just come from my testing/experience and its just that, only mine and not expert at all, nor all that extensive.
    I started out doing VDB prints and then started fooling with toning them.
    You mentioned about "aren't you able, really, to make a pt/pd print in a bit shorter, quicker, easier and cheaper method when you tone a VDB/Kallitype instead of doing the traditional pt/pd method?"
    my experience with this is that toning a VDB with either palladium/platinum gives a distinctly different print in tone and appearance than a traditional platinum/palladium... The control is no where near as workable with VDBs and toning as doing a straight pt/pd I found. Plus you just seem to get a "nicer" print in my mind with a straight palladium/platinum. again, completely personal opinion. Ive taken many negatives and printed the same negative in a bunch of different variations: straight palladium, straight VDB, selenium toned VDB, Gold toned VDB, platinum toned VDB, palladium toned VDB... when they were all done and dry it was really eye opening to seem them side by side. So different and such diversity... all coming from the same negative.
    One thing I really have found is its completely personal opinion... Ive shown many people the different prints and some people just love straight VDBs, some prefer palladium prints, some just hate them out right and wonder why I dont use a digital camera. :smile:
    Im partial to Palladium prints but, I personally still love VDB prints.... in fact I prefer them over the toned ones.
    Although the one really cool thing is like sandy has likely stated you are able to create a really archival print by toning van dyke browns.

    I dont know even a little about Kallitypes but I recently printed off Sandys article and really wanna try them out at some point in the future.

    guess one of the things I found was most useful was just experimenting with all the different possibilities then seeing which one I was most pleased with.

    hope that helps.... I have very limited experience.. but that limited experience is with VDBs, toning them, and with some palladium printing.


     
  15. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake Ci
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks to everyone for your well thought out responses. I am very appreciative to this forum for the depth and breadth of knowledge here. It is very reassuring to know that this resource is so experienced and the members here are so willing to share their experiences.

    Sandy, your articles are what is quickly becoming my reference material for my alt. printing. I appreciate your hard work and dedication to it.

    Scootermn, your insights are also very helpful. I would love to see the variations of printing technique from the same negative. I am currently working on some work that is showing prints that were originally in color and presenting them next to a b&w version. It is very interesting to see the differences between the two. It is making me re-think how I see the world and how I am pre-visualizing my images. Very educational in my instance, I know that your expeirences with the various printing techniques are as eye opening.

    I'll be back soon...I'm making an order of some chemistry tonight I think (possibly on the phone Monday).

    Thanks to all!