I would like to begin selenium and sepia toning my prints. I'm also looking down the road at split-toning and gold toning.
Can anybody recommend chemicals/fiber papers?
I'm also a novice with toning, and am currently reading Tim Rudman's "The Photgraphers Toning Book" - alot of info but very readable taken in sections of interest. He de-mystifies toning.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
The first thing I would recommend is Tim Rudman's book, The Photographers Toning Book - The Definitive Guide.
If you are toning for archival reasons only, any paper will benefit from it.
If you are toning for color also, in my experience, you will find that warm tone papers tone a lot more noticeably than ordinary papers.
Warm Tone developers also will have an effect on the finished tone work.
The following is what I use and the color I achieve.
Ilford MG FB Warm Tone developed in LPD at 1:6 then Kodak Selenium toned in about 1:9 ---a warm slightly eggplant (sort of purpleish) color.
Bergger MG FB Warmtone developed in LPD at 1:6 then selenium toned 1:9 --- a warm brown tone
ILford MG FB Warm Tone developed in Zonal PRo Warm tone developer, selenium toned - --- a very nice warm brown tone
This is what I use mostly. When I sepia I am not as thrilled with the results and they seem to vary more than with selenuim, partly because with sepia the bleach process is another variable. However the colors that I get are usually very warm with a more yellow color to them.
Also in my experience selenium add contrast as well as darkens the print a little, and when I sepia it tends to make the print a bit lighter.
Hope this helps and I'm sure others will have many more ideas. One thing to keep in mind is that duplicating from one print to the next is difficult, at least for me. Every time out, it is a little different.
Also all the examples I gave are for portraits, which is a little different than with scenics in that you are not dealing with the plus or minus look of changing flesh tones.
Also a last piece of advice, keep careful records of your techniques so that you can come close next time.
Tony Worobiec's book Toning and handcolouring is also good.
I selenium tone everything I do. It gives most papers at least extra punch (MGIV fiber is very reluctant mind you) and with warmtone papers you will get a tonal change dpending on the strength of the toner, how long etc..
Don'tlisten to those who say toning RC is a waste of time, it's not.
Basic tips off the top of my head would be.
Start with selenium.
Selenium tone final prints at time of printing (ie don't wash,dry and do it later, it's just like re-work).
Fix for the correct time, no less, no more.
Don't use a hardener.
Do a decent wash between fixing and toner.
You can go straight from fix to selenium toner but the toner will die quickly.
Mix toners with distilled water, a working solution of selenium can last months this way.
Keep things clean. Any dirt, silver or grease on your prints and the toner will get stuck into em possibly leaving a big stain.
Print light if using warmtone and let the print tone down with the selenium.
Basically get some selenium, fix correctly, wash, tone, wash again and let us know how you get on.
Finally Selenium is toxic, be careful with it.
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Is Room 2 a workshop that you gave and if so, when will you do that again?
And who the heck are John and Mike?? Students of yours?
Do not question what you have not done, question what you will not try.
The book that first got me interested in toning was "Creative Elements" by Eddie Ephraums. It's very detailed and there are formulas for mixing your own toners, etc. Be sure to try thiocarbamide toning, as you can control the tones by using different proportions of the stock solutions (it's similar to sepia, without the odor). Chemicals can be obtained through Photographer's Formulary or Artcraft Chemicals.
If you happen to be using Ilford MGIV-RC paper, try lightly bleaching the print, then sepia toning with Kodak's mix, followed by selenium toning (1:6). It gives a beautiful (and archival) tone that isn't as brown as straight sepia.
Talking of MGIV, I just did a print on the fiber version. Printed for normal density, selenium toned it in KRS 1/6 for 4 minutes, then about 3.5 minutes in fotospeed copper at standard dillution. Came out quite nice, though the skin tones in the picture were initially a bit of a problem. I'm hoping to get a copper effect without the obvious split tone effect you get on a warm paper. Seems to work quite nice, with the selenium holding down the backs and the copper picking up the highlights. Hoping that the selenium not only makes life easier by holding down the blacks but that the print will have a reasonable display life rather than the short life of straight copper toned prints. Any thoughts?