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  1. #11
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miha View Post
    I always thought it was only common in the States in the pre-internet days. After all, it was only Kodak who produced it commercially till very recently, and it was Ansel Adams who promoted it the most. I found very little reference to Selenium in European books (or maybe I read the wrong ones ).
    It was the establishment of the first art photography degree course in the UK at Trent Polytechic Deby/Nottingham and the workshop movement of the late 1970's and 80's spear headed by Paul Hill and later Peter Goldfield that resurrected the art side of photography in the UK.

    Both these involved the same circle of photographers who themselves had links with the US workshop circle including Minor White & Paul Cpenegro. An article in Ten8 magazine, "Where the Wild things went" discussed the British disciples of Minor White, most were photography lecturers many heads of department at the time or later and that included John Blakemore, Paul Hill, John Davies, Thomas Joshua Cooper etc all still working today.

    So yes in the UK at least the practice came from the US and in many cases those same photographers lead workshops in Northern Europe as well.

    Ian

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    It was the establishment of the first art photography degree course in the UK at Trent Polytechic Deby/Nottingham and the workshop movement of the late 1970's and 80's spear headed by Paul Hill and later Peter Goldfield that resurrected the art side of photography in the UK.

    Both these involved the same circle of photographers who themselves had links with the US workshop circle including Minor White & Paul Cpenegro. An article in Ten8 magazine, "Where the Wild things went" discussed the British disciples of Minor White, most were photography lecturers many heads of department at the time or later and that included John Blakemore, Paul Hill, John Davies, Thomas Joshua Cooper etc all still working today.

    So yes in the UK at least the practice came from the US and in many cases those same photographers lead workshops in Northern Europe as well.

    Ian
    Thanks Ian for your comprehensive answer!

    p.s. Would you consider selenium toning (or any other toning) to be an essential step in the process of print making?

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Toner View Post
    Toning with selenium is an old method of getting various shades of sepia.
    Wall and Jordan, Photographic Facts and Formulas, 1940
    Interesting, thanks. But not a standard processing step it seems.

  4. #14
    David Allen's Avatar
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    Many photographers in the UK learnt of the benefits of using Selenium toner through the books of Ansel Adams, Minor White and Fred Picker. Many also learnt about Selenium toning through attending my father's workshops (started in 1972, this was the first independent photography school to offer photographic courses in the UK that were entirely independent of any official educational sources. Although the courses covered a wide range of subjects, anyone learning about printing or learning his Zone VIII system - designed to apply the techniques of the Zone system to roll film as well as large format - would have been familiar with the range of benefits of Selenium toning plus how it could also be used to intensify negatives, etc).

    For many other progressive photographers, the interest in Selenium toning was generated by seeing actual prints by established American photographers (rather than reproductions) during The Land: 20th Century Landscape Photographs exhibition (1975) at the V&A selected by Bill Brandt. This included a strong showing of American work by Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Eliot Porter and Paul Caponigro - most of whom were using Selenium toning to achieve either colour shifts or increase Dmax.

    The case for Selenium's archival qualities was fully made in George Eaton's influential Conservation of Photographs (Eastman Kodak) paper from 1985 and thereafter Selenium toning was included in all variations of archival processing technique.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  5. #15
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miha View Post
    Thanks Ian for your comprehensive answer!

    p.s. Would you consider selenium toning (or any other toning) to be an essential step in the process of print making?
    Not necessarily essential but best practice, selenium does help with archival permanence [articularly of FB pares, it's not need with negatives.

    Ian

  6. #16
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Me too.. all prints from 1973 when I started till today get a selenium tone treatment.

    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    We were using it in the mid-70's, in college. Not just for prints, but for negative intensification, too.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Allen View Post
    SNIP:For many other progressive photographers, the interest in Selenium toning was generated by seeing actual prints by established American photographers (rather than reproductions) during The Land: 20th Century Landscape Photographs exhibition (1975) at the V&A selected by Bill Brandt. This included a strong showing of American work by Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Eliot Porter and Paul Caponigro - most of whom were using Selenium toning to achieve either colour shifts or increase Dmax.
    David, don't you think that this is too strong of a statement? I might be wrong, but having seen "The Family of Man" exhibition in Clervaux, the last thing I wondered about was the printing technique the masters or their printers used (although, many photos seemed to be reproductions only). But then again, you might be as well right as The Land was about landscape photography where tonality and Dmax matter.

    The case for Selenium's archival qualities was fully made in George Eaton's influential Conservation of Photographs (Eastman Kodak) paper from 1985 and thereafter Selenium toning was included in all variations of archival processing technique.
    Thanks for this interesting bit of history.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Me too.. all prints from 1973 when I started till today get a selenium tone treatment.
    Bob, what was the initial reason?
    When I started in 1991 or so, Se was optional, now it seem a must for the job.

  9. #19
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Very simple- my instructors told me it was good, so I listened.

    Eventually I learned that selenium basically attaches itself to the silver, therefore more action in the shadows.
    I use a strong selenium 1:5 with different short times.
    Now I use sepia for the highlights and selenium for the shadows. According to Tim Rudman this is a very archival method of toning prints, and it looks very beautiful.
    Tri toning with sepia, gold then selenium adds a pop to prints and colour that I find very appealing.

    Selenium is not required, just a aesthetic step that many of us use , and we all use it differently.
    I have a silver print hanging in my darkroom that I gave too my father when I graduated from photo school.
    It was on Kodak Ektalure and heavily selenium toned and it still looks great.

    there are chemists here who can speak to the archival aspects of selenium but I use it mostly for the look.
    Quote Originally Posted by miha View Post
    Bob, what was the initial reason?
    When I started in 1991 or so, Se was optional, now it seem a must for the job.

  10. #20
    eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Very simple- my instructors told me it was good, so I listened.
    Same reason for me. My professors not only stressed the tonal aspect, but the archival properties, too.

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