Color toned print from black and white negatives.

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fingel

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I just had a thought, and it may be a stupid one, but it occured to me that it may be possible to make a color print out of 3 black and white negatives. One exposed through a red filter, one with a green filter, and the last through a blue filter. Then print the first neg (red) on a sheet of paper, develop,fix, wash and tone with cyan toner, bleach, then print with the next neg on the same sheet and tone with its opposite color, bleach and repeat with the last neg.... and finally print a high filter (4 or 5) untoned image of the red neg over the top of the last toned "layer" to bump up the blacks, kind of like offset printing except with toners.

Has anyone tried anything like this? It would probably be a pain, and definately not perfect color, but it may be interesting. :smile:

Now, before anyone says, "Why not just use color film?", the point of the question is not to be able to reproduce perfect color prints, but to get the effect of semi-natural color in a black and white print (kind of a tri/quad-split toneing techinque)
 

Donald Miller

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I don't know how what you are wanting to do would work with toners in black and white images. I do think that by separating tonal ranges in your black and white images (masking) that you would be able to come up with separations and then use these separations to print through on color materials using a dichroic head or even sharp cutting filters.

I need to dig out my Creative Darkroom Techniques because there was a whole series of things along this vein that could be done with lith films. Some were quite unusual and attractive as I recall.
 

glbeas

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Thats very similar to some of the very old processes for color. The very first color was done by color separations via B&W film. Try it with some of the gum processes.

I've got a sneaking suspicion the bleach would have an adverse effect on the color toned images.
 

lee

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When graphic arts professionals made separations they shot on a big camera like Jill uses. They shot the art work thru filters to filter out the color of the filter. (CMYK) They made the work on Black and White high contrast film. The film was screened so that the high contrast film would have mid tones and not just high lites and shadows. The color was added in in the printing press stage. This is after the offset printing plates were made. There is a lot of care put into the issue of registeration of the plates. This is where I think the senerio would fall down as it is stated above. I suppose that one could tape everything in register and flip the negs out of the way for each color. It is lot more work than I want to attempt. Plus because it is a color paper it should be done in total darkness.

lee\c
 

Jorge

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Dye transfer and color carbon pigment are done like that. You can make 3 in camera negatives, or you can shoot a slide and then make what is called separation negatives.

Dye transfer is not that difficult and there is at least one guy working on matrix film and the dyes. Carbon pigment OTOH is another matter. Very difficult process and time consuming.

If you are interested in the dye transfer or carbon then here are a couple of links

www.dyetransfer.org

http://rmp.opusis.com/mailman/listinfo/carbon

Sandy King is the only one I know who has done 3 color carbon pigment prints and his opinion is that you have tobe crazy to do it...
 
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fingel

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Thanks for all the responces.

Jorge,
The carbon process sounds very similar to what I was thinking about. I will have to check into that more.

Lee,
I was making color seps today (although on a computer) and that's what made me think of this. I was thinking of the individual grains of silver as the dot pattern on the films but much smaller.

Donald,
A second piece to my crazy puzzle is on page 150 of Tim Rudmans toning book where he shows the yellow toned print, then below he shows what it would look like with just the yellow toner left after the silver image was bleached. What got my thought process going was that the yellow toned print by itself looked like a press sheet with just yellow ink on it.
So I thought that if I could expose three seperate negatives filtered through red green and blue filters to seperate out the componant colors of light, and then expose the same piece of black and white photographic paper, treating the toner as the ink in a press (C,M,Y) , and the 3 seperate negatives as the plates, that maybe I would get something when it is all said and done. The K (black) would be from developing out some of the silver slightly to beef up the shadows.

I am not really familiar with the gum processes, but that may be what I need to check into to make this more feasable.

Thanks again everyone for all your help. If I loose what is left of my mind and give this a try, I will let you all know how it turns out. :smile:
 
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fingel

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Here is a link of something that I found very interesting.
Dead Link Removed
 

cjarvis

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Steichen and Stieglitz were making color prints (Lumiere Autochrome) 100 years ago - tricolor carbon. All modern color separation methods are extensions of this method.
 

Donald Miller

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Scott,
I have been giving some thought to your idea. If I understand you correctly you are wanting to make three separate in camera exposures shot through the filters that you mentioned. That these exposures would be the basis for matrices that would become the basis for the color additions in the printing stage.

The first consideration that I see would be that the filters used would need to be "sharp cutting" filters and not conventional contrast control filters that are normally used in black and white photography. The "sharp cutting" filters are much more discriminatory in their spectral response then contrast control filters. Additionally, conventional panchromatic film may not be the material of choice since it's spectral response would again be too broad to afford the discrimination of color separation that is required. My thoughts would be toward the use of graphics arts films.

The second consideration would be that changing conditions between in camera exposures would possibly render different light/shadow conditions etc.

I wonder if possibly another approach may not be to shoot a conventional color material and do the color separations that you want in the darkroom. It would be fairly straight forward to make separations from a color film using "sharp cutting" filters and high contrast materials. In that manner you would eliminate the potential variance that would arise from three separate in camera exposures. I believe that most of the multi color alternative printing methods use this approach.
 

Ole

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Lee filters make colour separation filters: I have a green and a blue one for "special effects" with panchromatic film. They cut off very sharply, and are actually made for this...
 

holmburgers

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This is a cool old thread that never seemed to come to fruition.

There are indeed many precedents to this method. There are two routes off the top of my head; one is dye-toning (or dye-mordanting) and the other is chemical toning.

Dye-mordanting requires a b&w positive that is bleached in a solution that turns the silver into a mordant, like potassium-iodide (? I'm going off the top of my head, and the cream doesn't rise in this case...). This has turned the silver image into an invisible mordant that will readily accept dye in proportion to the original image. The images could be superimposed physically or optically (with a viewing device).

The other method is chemical toning, something that I know nothing about. In the way that an iron toner will turn the image blue, there are ways to achieve the other appropriate colors.

I've always thought that something like this would make an excellent demonstration of color synthesis, particularly for kids. Youv'e got 3 slides in the CMY colors and you superimpose them on an overhead projector and voila... kids are freaking out.
 
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When I was working at prepress industry , I was giving customers children cmy films and combine the colors. None of them impressed. I think childrens are smarter and they cant be excited easily.
 
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