The only toning I have done was bleaching in household ammonia and then into a bath of tannic acid.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Joe, just I re-developed a toned reject in Peroxide. Seemed to bring a little blue/purple dmax increase in the very darkest of tones, other than that, not much happened.
Some come out a bit purple, some pink, some orange or tan. It seems to vary by the exposure and bleaching ratio. Less exposure with more bleaching and toning tends to tan/orange. More exposure with less bleach seams to be purplish. The middle ground seems deep pink. Sometimes I get split tones.
I've done it with ammonia. Ammonia totally destroys some papers, tends to bleach unevenly, and it's just nasty to work with compared to the soda.
Ok! I got a chance to try this method to compare to the direct toning in tea that I mentioned above - so time to report back.
I tried several combinations, always pre-soaking the print and then washing between solutions - Bleach -> Tannic Acid -> gave a nice dark blue-black tone - not the sepia brown. (I, too, mixed my own chemistry).
TA -> B - gave a pinkish purple tone that I really didn't like.
B -> TA -> B -> TA - yes, I went back and forth and got a bit of a dark mageta tone - but the paper was starting to get heavily stained.
I was trying to get more punch in the whites compared to direct tea toning - i.e. less staining and more of a toning. But thus far the highlights don't look to be any whiter than direct tea toning. But you definitely have a wider palette of tones. What I did like was the rich blue-black tone you get immediately after putting the print in the bleach - before the print fades. But I'll have to try it with some overprinted samples later.
To Gandolfi (and others) - any comments on this bleach only procedure will be appreciated. How do you stop the print from fading beyond a point. Does the alkaline bleach only procedure make it non-archival - how are your bleach only prints holding up?
tannic acid vs. tannin
O.K. I am quite enthused about trying out tannin for toning after reading this thread. However, I am a little confused.
Jason talk about using Tannin from a winemaking store and other are talking about using tannic acid. From a general search I did, it seems that these are not the same thing. I can get tannic acid from my chemistry supply place but it seems somewhat expensive.
Tannic acid is a liquid form of tannin usually derived from hardwoods.
Originally Posted by davido
There are lots of "kinds" of tannins.
The tannin I use comes as a powder, and is supposedly derived from grape seeds and stems. It's pretty cheap.
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I tried various toning on cyanotypes. Straight morning tea stains, but can develop nice pink highlights. I also tried to tone in Selenium for a joke, and the print turn gorgeous rich purple --- until you remove it from the toner where it turns back to the original ..
One that I found useful is Gold; I had a gold toner tray lying around and as usual dunked a cyanotype in; it did develop the blue, moving it from the cyan toward a more cold blue, quite rich, and it enhances the contrast quite a bit. I now try to tone my 'keepers' in there if I want to keep them straight blue...
Of course it could have all to do with the paper itself (Arches Aquarelle)
Oh, to keep sharpness/details, it's very important to do the developing/washing carefully. I first put the print face down gently in a slightly acidic tray (vinegar works but stinks..), then put it face down on running water, with the water hitting /just/ the side of the tray to create a flow over/under the paper. Don't run the water on the print !
Make sure to change the first bath often, there is a large amount of blue being washed out in this one, and it can and will stain paper. The good thing is that the color seems to 'sink' at the bottom. Nevertheless...
Here is a 10x8 in Tea :
And one in Gold
Last edited by buze; 08-15-2008 at 04:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I am working on a project with a photographer where we are doing cyanotypes. i have a fibers/textile background and have a few insights i can offer you all.
Tannic Acid is present in many plant or tree-borne elements
oak gall and sumac leaves
this is why tea works so well is that it contains a number of similar ingredients
these elements are sold already processed through a number of natural dye suppliers
Earth Hues is a great one.
i will post additional suggestions once our experiments are complete.
for those that don't like the strong smell of vinegar can use citric acid
ammonia is also marketed to dyers in a form called Urea which doesn't have the horrible smell
these are easily obtained from Dharma Trading Company, i've even seen them sold at Dick Blick stores as well
there is a product called "bleach stop" sold by Dharma Trading Company
in textile work, i use hydrogen peroxide as a bleach deactivator
i will try Rit Dyes color remover (sold anywhere that carries Rit)
reviving this oldish thread.
My girlfriend has just made her first tonings of cyanotypes, made with a "tea" of oak tree bark - and it works really well! No need to go buy that tanning acid!
Fun, and easy to do. And it works quick too...
I wonder how walnut or willow would do... off to experiment!
Emil, thanks for the info.
You may want to add boiled sumac into your list; some species of sumac contain high levels of gallic acid. (Gallic acid gives more neutral black tones...)
Edit: See this. (Notice the image of sumac at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul...)