hi - this is interesting!
Originally Posted by JBrunner
as you might know, I have done a lot of cyanotypes, and I have bleached/tannin toned many times - but never got this colour...
mine gets more purple in tone.
maybe it is the recipie? I don't know the Photographers formulary kit, as I make my own chemistry..
I don't recommend coffee as a toner (apart from partial toning done with a brush) as it tones the paper too, so the image tends to get very flat..
tea is good! and there are a LOT of teas around. with quite different "qualities"
to make an image dark brown, I bleach as you recommend - then rinse and let it tone for about 8 hours or more (image side down), using a tea called "travancore" tea. (Travancore is an area in India I think). this tea has a lot of tannin in it - and it is the one I know, that makes the image most brown..
bleach alone: bleach the image as you recommend - snatch it before you think it is ready - then let it rinse longer than you'd normally do - the image will keep getting lighter and lighter in the water..
(best to work with a slightly high contrast neg and then overexpose it so the original tone will be very dark....)
the fibers in the paper tend to rise when getting wet. - that will make the image slightly difuse to look at.
however, if you cut a piece of thick card board, slightly bigger than the image, ( make the paper damp) and then put it through an etching press - then you'd have two things happen:
1: the image field will be pressed, and as a result, the image will look much sharper.
2: as the pressed area is larger than the image, it will make a kind of framing, wich can look quite beautiful..
(getting side tracked)
to get back to the original issue: I'd love to get the tone you have, but but but...