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Thread: Toning with Tea

  1. #21
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    North Carolina, USA (transplanted from Seattle)
    Multi Format
    Last time I bought Red Rose I still got the little animal in the box, yes.

    I've toned cyanotype with cold-brewed Lipton and cheapo store brand black tea. Never tried other varieties, but the Lipton seems to work better (I think it's actually got more tannin than the store brand). The Prussian blue darkens, eventually (over around an hour) going to a strong, neutral black that makes the print look almost like a very matte silver gelatin print -- much more pleasant, for many subjects, than the rich blue (in portraits, for instance, the blue is disturbing to many people). The paper stains a very light tan, lighter than many off-white papers would be without toning.

    I have not tried toning silver prints with tea, but when I get my darkroom in a state to make silver prints, I'll have to try it -- cheap tea is CHEAP, and it's got to be safer and smell better than selenium...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Medium Format

    Toning with Tea

    Warm-toned papers tone beautifully in tea. Specifically, I use Ilford Multigrade Fiber Warmtone.

    My process is similar to others: I take a large mug, boil water, put a Lipton tea bag in and leave it overnight (or until it cools off.)

    I find that 30-45 seconds is fine. Longer looks good when the print is wet, but when dried it is a bit too much for my taste (no pun intended.)

    What I like about this combination is that it comes out looking like the best cream-based papers; but I find the current cream-based papers to be "weird" to work with, and I don't like the finish. I get the beautiful tone, with a wonderful paper with a great finish.


  3. #23
    titrisol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Multi Format
    I tried some AGFA MCP and MCC in tea.
    Brewed a cup of Lipton tea (the cheap one), allowed it to cool overnight with the bag in the cup.

    The dumped a test strip with more white than black
    MCP: - Very fast staining, in about 2 minutes it was cream, 5 minutes yellow
    No blotches or streaks. The tone of the image seems a bit bluer (maybe it's just me)
    The edges of the paper seem yellow (like old newspaper) but the back is white

    MCC: took the stain real well, and the tonality changed fast as well.
    The tonality overall looks very pleasing, but the back of the print looks stained as well.
    Mama took my APX away.....

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