help me with advice for toning
OK, I've never toned a print in my life. However, I would like to try making sepia/brown prints. So a couple of questions:-
1) what do folks think is the easiest method to start with?
2) what chems do I need to get?
2) what exactly is split toning? I see much mention of this, but not sure exactly what it is.
I am using Ilford MGIV paper in both pearl and gloss.
I just did some toning myself a few weeks ago for the first time and it was pretty easy. Make sure your ventilation is really good. Make sure you wash your prints really well before toning. I found some of my prints had spots from not being properly washed.
You can buy all sorts of toners at any well stocked photo store. I believe Freestyle and B&H here in US do international shipping but I'm sure there is something closer and cheaper for you in UK. For the most part you just follow the instructions on the bottle. However, if you're more focused on color of your final print there are variations on duration of toning time and dilution factor. But remember, for archival purposes you need to make sure to fully tone the prints. And that can be done without a major color shift with some toners and dilution factors.
Split toning is when you want different color variations between shadows and highlights. I used selenium and gold for some of my prints. The selenium gives prints a warm tone in the highlights and gold a cool bluish to almost purple tone in the shadow areas.
If you want more in depth information and ideas on creative uses of toning I suggest you look up Tim Rudman's book on the subject. Incredible resource of knowledge. And I think most of his books are a lot easier to come by in the UK. Or at least the older editions. I found them to be quite expensive here in US.
Quick and easy sepia is to get hold of the Tetenal Sulphide Toner kit from someone like Ag or Silverprint. I use the kit, but ignore the instructions and dilute ~10ml in 100ml of water - Takes a little longer and the process is slower. An advantage when you only want to bleach & tone the highlights. If you use a sulphide toner, do it well away from any unused paper/film as the fumes could fog any undeveloped materials.
I'll second the recommendation for Tim Rudman's book on toning - Quite a few recipes for all sorts of effects (I quite like the copper bleach/redevelopment for some prints).
Get one of the Fotospeed sepia toning kits from AG, follow the instructions, the information sheet inclosed is one of the best around and goes into detail, including split toning, I find the bleach is best more diluted than the instructions, they say 1/9, i would dilute 1/18, to give more controll over the bleach, and sometimes you can get better toning by not bleaching all the way back, but always tone fully, apart from that have fun,
Thanks all. That's all good info.
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