Anyone ever tried this?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Hiernst, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. Hiernst

    Hiernst Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Medium Format
    I just recently posted a question about the possibility of selectively bleaching selenium toned prints and knifing or etching was recommended as the better option.

    In selenium toning over the past couple of days, I dumped the used batches into a bucket and then shoved a bunch of non-washed test prints in to thoroughly exhaust the toner before disposal. I decided to keep some of these really messed up and stained rejects because I thought they looked interesting - but only got to wash them and dry them today. Lo and behold, they've been wet so long the emulsion started sloughing off the paper in areas.

    Now, my question is, has anyone ever tried to do this on purpose and selectively? It seems like if it was possible to control it could possibly have softer edges to work with and would seem less scary than taking a scalpel to a finished print (?). Maybe there would be a way to locally waterlog a print? Or is this just an absolutely ridiculous and absurd hypothesis?

    I've only ever spotted/spot-toned, never tried to remove dark spots - which is what I'm faced with now on several prints. In discovering the slough accidentally, I thought I'd throw it out to everyone and see what peoples experiences or thoughts might be.
  2. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    Warning! I have never done this to a print, but you might try spotting on a "test print" with household laundry bleach, and then washing afterwards. I know it will definitely remove the emulsion from film. It is very destructive to gelatin. If it works . . . great! And if it fails . . . then I don't know where you got this information. There is a good possibility that it won't work as intended, or it may stain the paper.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2011
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Sep 10, 2002
    yes, there is a technique which one does remove or at least attempts to remove some of the emulsion from the paper, google Mordancage
  4. rmolson

    rmolson Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    Mansfield Oh
    Medium Format
    etching highlihgts

    Barry Thornton in Edge of Darkness describes a technique that uses bleach to brighten the highlights of a thoroughly toned selenium print. The toner protects the middle and dark tones allowing the weak bleach to lighten only the highlights. Knifing on prints to brighten highlights is a technique Mortensen used. But the papers he used back then were different than modern papers which may not lend themselves to that technique..,I believe some of the papers then had either thicker emulsions. or the emulsions were not has hardened as today’s papers which allowed etching with a knife. They certainly were different. . Or the emulsions were not has hardened as todays papers