Need help toning in blue

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andrewmoodie

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I've got a contrasty shot of a tree in fog that will look tons better with a blue tint. The prob I'm having is with test swatches of the image is that the bleaching is uneven, I get these dark blotches when all around is blue.

Is this a fixing issue? A washing issue? Or is my original print just too contrasty? I was careful to agitate each print individually for the full 5 minutes and I've washed the hell out of each print so this is getting a bit frustrating.

I know toning is a pretty deliberate business. Am I not being deliberate enough?

HELP!!!

Andrew
 

Les McLean

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andrewmoodie said:
I've got a contrasty shot of a tree in fog that will look tons better with a blue tint. The prob I'm having is with test swatches of the image is that the bleaching is uneven, I get these dark blotches when all around is blue.

Is this a fixing issue? A washing issue? Or is my original print just too contrasty? I was careful to agitate each print individually for the full 5 minutes and I've washed the hell out of each print so this is getting a bit frustrating.

I know toning is a pretty deliberate business. Am I not being deliberate enough?

HELP!!!

Andrew

Your problem is probably caused by too much washing. The depth of tone produced by blue toner is best controlled by over toning in the first place and then washing in a steady flow of water until you see the depth of tone you want. On the other hand you could tone your image in gold toner to achieve a very stable and permament blue tint, blue toners are not generalyy fully permanent.
 
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andrewmoodie

andrewmoodie

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Thanks Les. I think probably the problem was that I didn't let the print sit in the toner long enough, the longest I agitated it in the blue for was 3 and a half minutes. And even after that time some parts of the picuture were still grey and black, something was stopping the toner from taking. Thanks for the tip on using gold toner.
 

Ole

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What paper are you using?

Some papers go bright blue in seconds, while others hardly show any change in half an hour.

The quickest I've seen so far was a (not very good) print on Bergger Art Contact; I dumped it in the toner to see what would happen. It makes my cyanotypes look grey and colourless...
 

Ole

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andrewmoodie said:
I was using Forte cooltone FB semi-matt.

Ah. Cooltone papers are more "resistant" to toning than neutral- or warmtone papers. That also means that they are very susceptible to any slight unevenness in development, fixing, washing, fingerprints etc.

Try another paper - but not Ilford Multigrade IV RC. That is almost impossible to tone at all.
 
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andrewmoodie

andrewmoodie

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Thanks Ole I'll give it a try. I love the look of Ilford's warmtone FB paper and I'm curious to see how it would look toned blue.

Have you had any experience with gold toners? How much of a blue tint do they produce? I want to display the picture I'm working on and I'm a bit concerned about what Les says, that blue toners aren't that permanent.


Andrew
 

Ole

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That's another one of those "it all depends" situations - some papers don't respond at all (they just go archival), some go cool, some go cold, and a few go light blue. It also depends on the developer you've used, and the type of toner. The only one I've used is Tetenal Gold Toner, wich gives good cold tone on Maco Expo RF - and red, brown, pink, neutral, cool, cold or blue on POP depending on everything including the phases of the moon.
 

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Gold toners can produce a quite deep blue although not so much as blue toners. Clearly the length of time in the toner and the print tonality does have a bearing on the final result.
 

Ole

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Addendum: I have a print from around 1880 in my collection - I thought it might be a cyanotype. Then I thought it might be gold toned. I now believe it was blue(iron) toned. It still looks good - possibly a little faded, a few spots, but nothing you wouldn't expect in any 125 years old print.
 
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andrewmoodie

andrewmoodie

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Thanks for your respones guys. I've attached a bit of the offending blotchy photo. The fixer I was using was Fotospeed, and the toner was Speedibrew Porcelain Blue. I like the colour of the bits that have toned correctly. Could a gold toner get me something similar?

The only other thing that could possibly be a factor is that the paper is about a year old. Don't know if that could make any difference.
 

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ann

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We ran some test with various warmtone papers and toners and one of the papers and Fotospeed gold toner resulted in a very blue toned photo. So, a specific paper and gold can create a strong blue tone. However, it doesn't have the same intensity as the iron toners, which has already been mentioned by les.

i will get back to you later this evening with the specific paper as i don't have the print here at home.
 

Dave Miller

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Les McLean said:
tone your image in gold toner to achieve a very stable and permament blue tint, blue toners are not generalyy fully permanent.
My experience is that blue iron toners are very UN-permanent, even worse that inkjet prints. :surprised: However Speedibrew Porcelain Blue formulation is supposed to overcome this problem, so the thread is of interest.
 
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