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  1. #1
    Katie's Avatar
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    Do you always tone your prints for the sake of consistency in your work?

    When printing, do you tone all of your prints? For a uniformed body of work, that is? I would think that to match your "style" you would want to be consistent in the appearance of your prints, so do you always tone your prints similarly? Or do you select the toner based on the scene? Are there some you simply don't tone at all?

    Also, I know it's been discussed at length, but if you are going to frame behind glass, do you see a need to use fiber over rc paper? I made some 11x14 prints last night in RC and toned them this morning ... could never have done this so quickly with fiber paper. Will I notice a difference once they are framed and behind glass anyway? I have a set of 8x10's on the wall of my kids - 1/2 RC and 1/2 Fiber, and I swear I cannot tell the difference!

    Thanks and be nice.

    Katie

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Hi Katie,

    I tone most of my prints, and use a variety of toners for different results.

    For example, all my portraits are now printed using Ilford MGWT semimatte, and those are selenium toned to get rid of a fairly ugly green cast to the paper.

    All my other prints are on standard Ilford MGIV paper, and I use Moersch Carbon, Moersch MT-3, and selenium toners in varying combinations to get what I want in the final print.

    As you suggest I go for a cohesive look to each series of pictures, and tone all landscapes the same, and then while different I tone all street shots the same, etc.
    Your choice of RC vs fiber isn't something I'd like to be snobbish or arrogant about, but if you for example use Ilford MGIV RC and fiber papers, it would be important that they are of the same tonality, toning properties, and printing speed, in case you want to make another print of the same negative down the road. If I were you I'd stick to one kind, for the sake of consistency. It's easier to not go insane in the darkroom that way, and keeps you from choosing when you print, so you can just get on with interpreting negatives.

    My two cents.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Hi Katie,

    I use selenium toner on all my prints, not necessarily to change the tone but because I believe there is an archival benefit. I prefer to follow the same steps all the time.

    I prefer FB esthetically. Also it feels funny to me to wash only a few minutes. Always using FB lets me follow the same steps all the time.

    p.s. I'd never hesitate to use a different toner for a print that needs a different look.

  4. #4
    Katie's Avatar
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    It seems I need to be more consistent in the darkroom. I AM driving myself crazy with testing different papers, methods, toners, etc...

    I have lots of various papers, though - some gifted and some purchased. I am not too crazy about the Sepia I have - will need to test the Moersh out (I have KRST). Selenium is easy, and I am finding that i use it most of the time as well. I would like to have a blue toner on hand for some water images I have made at the coast. I will be visiting Freestyle shortly it seems.

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Katie, if I toned a print it would be because I thought that particular subject suited that particular treatment and would apply the same rule to any after treatment or alternative process. You may find the Colovir range fun to work with. With regard to RC or Fibre, I use RC all the time.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6
    clayne's Avatar
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    I always tone with selenium because it's very easy. It's 100% safe to Se tone right after the second fix bath so I do this and then wash.

    No need to wash and tone and then wash again.

    Se is almost always beneficial.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  7. #7
    ROL
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    Pretty much. Usually selenium. Fiber not only looks better, behind glass or not, it is better – for any number of reasons you'll find elsewhere.

    What makes you think I wasn't going to nice? Was demanding I be nice, nice?

    To quote Col. Henry Blake of Mash, "It's nice to be nice to the nice".

  8. #8
    zsas's Avatar
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    Be careful with blue toner sold as "blue toner" is not (I believe) archival. Gold toner (aptly more $$) will go blue and it is archival. I generally tone my prints the same. At present, I tone all in gold. Have fun, figuring out what you like/don't!
    Andy

  9. #9

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    I must be the odd one in the bunch.

    I don't tone unless the print needs it. My understanding is that archival property of the selenium toner is dependent upon the degree of toning. That would mean lightly selenium toned prints have very little protection. Conversely, to get a worthwhile protection, I have to tone it to the point the color change will be obvious. I happen to like the result I get from MGIV.

    So far, I played around with Selenium, two bath sepia, and brown. I use all of them occasionally but not as a rule.

    I use StabAG for print protection if I think the print is worth preserving.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I frequently print with the effects of toning in mind. I would say therefore that it is best to take into account what toning will do for you when you are evaluating your test prints.

    I don't care about consistency per se, but like to be able to depend on consistency in the situations when I need it (I hope that makes sense).

    EDIT: I should mention that almost all of my printing is on RC. Behind glass, I don't think you can tell the difference between FB and RC.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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