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  1. #1
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Toning - but not your grandma's toning.... (primary/complementary color toning)

    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 ) 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!
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

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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.

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    holmburgers's Avatar
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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/Photogr...acement_toning ...this gives a pretty good synopsis.

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

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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.

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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...
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  6. #6
    Vlad Soare's Avatar
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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. #7
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    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?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by VladSoare View Post
    I suppose you could get yellow with a vanadium toner, and cyan with an iron blue toner. Alternatively, there are chromogenic toners that give you any color you want. Wolfgang Moersch sells one called Multitoner.
    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.
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    You could try the process known now as tri-chromie see here:

    http://translate.google.com/translat...il&sl=fr&tl=en

    Google translated, this will give you a start.

    You could try colour carbon or carbro - as it seems that dye transfer materials are unavailable.

    nn

  9. #9
    Marek Warunkiewicz's Avatar
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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 Marek Warunkiewicz; 08-30-2010 at 06:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Marek Warunkiewicz

  10. #10
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numnutz View Post
    ...as it seems that dye transfer materials are unavailable.
    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?
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

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