Selenium Split Toning 101

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andrewmoodie

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I was relieved to see people saying that selenium has no colour effect on Ilford Multigrade RC, I was wondering if I was doing something wrong. I recently saw an example of a picture given 3 minutes of selenium and then the same in blue and the result was wonderful, it didn't say what paper it was though.

Anyone got any recommendations?

When I tried it with an Ilford multigrade RC not only was there no change due to the selenium, the blue had absolutely no effect at all. Is this a result of selenium's archival effect?
 

Les McLean

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Andrew,

Ilford Multigrade paper does not respond very well to selenium toner although results with other toners are very good. Ilford Warmtone was designed to respond well with all toners and is worth a try. Other papers worth experimenting with are Oriental Seagull, Forte, Bergger, Agfa, Kentmere (if you are in the UK) Luminos in the US, I understand that they are more or less the same papers with different names. These are the main papers available although I'm sure that other APUG subscribers will add to this list.

My personal favourite papers for selenium and gold toning are Ilford Warmtone, Oriental Seagull, two papers that I have used for many years and more recently, Bergger who have started making papers in the past 7 or 8 years.

Generally, papers are made with different characteristics, either warm, neutral or cool toned and all respond differently to toning. The normal colour of each are, warm tending toward brown, neutral cooler brown toward blue, cool will tend to be noticeably blue when compared to the others. To add to the complexity of the issue, papers by different manufacturers will differ in colour and respond differently. You also need to consider the changes that different developer combinations will have on the paper colour even before you start to tone. I don't wish to confuse you with all this information but feel that you should be aware of them and please don't be put off by it. You are about to enter an exciting phase in your journey of discovery in photography.

Might I suggest that when you do try toning new papers that you keep a note pad with you in the darkroom and make a note of dilutions, temperatures and time toned. If you need more detailed information don't hesitate to contact me off line and I'll be happy to help.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.
 

edbuffaloe

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I have recently seen some prints with split tones I would like to emulate. I queried the photographer, who said she partially bleaches the prints, on warm Forte paper, typically using selective bleaching with ferricyanide, then tones in selenium. The bleached areas of the print are a striking blue color after toning. I haven't tried it myself, but it's on my list.

Ilford Multigrade, as Les has intimated, is probably the worst paper on the market to try to tone (excellent in other ways, though).

I have a couple of articles on my site that might interest you: Double Toning Prints at http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Double/double.html, and Tips & Tricks for Blue Toning at http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Blue/blue.html.
 

Jim Chinn

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I personally can get a slight color change with Ilford MGIV RC in selenium 1-9 for about 6 minutes @ room temp, 72F. It gives a slight change over to a purple brown, but very slight. If compared to a untoned print it is obvious but not dramatic. If you were displaying it with prints processed in a similar way you would not realize any toning was involved.

If you are trying to avoid toning RC, I believe Sistan is a better treatment for archival purposes.
 

motcon

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</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (edbuffaloe @ Apr 30 2003, 03:43 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> I have recently seen some prints with split tones I would like to emulate. I queried the photographer, who said she partially bleaches the prints, on warm Forte paper, typically using selective bleaching with ferricyanide, then tones in selenium. The bleached areas of the print are a striking blue color after toning. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
need to revive this thread for a question:

Ed, does she selectively ferri the shadows? i would assume so due to it being selenium, but would like confirmation from you before i go off experimenting. it sounds like it can be something worthwhile.

o, and btw, i've read many of your articles countless times and a big 'thanks' to you for them. my recent run of split toning (sel/brown) on agfa has turned out quite nicely.
 

Les McLean

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</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (motcon @ May 15 2003, 01:37 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (edbuffaloe @ Apr 30 2003, 03:43 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> I have recently seen some prints with split tones I would like to emulate.&nbsp; I queried the photographer, who said she partially bleaches the prints, on warm Forte paper, typically using selective bleaching with ferricyanide, then tones in selenium.&nbsp; The bleached areas of the print are a striking blue color after toning. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
need to revive this thread for a question:

Ed, does she selectively ferri the shadows? i would assume so due to it being selenium, but would like confirmation from you before i go off experimenting. it sounds like it can be something worthwhile.
</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
If you are experimenting with selenium split toning and bleaching try either fully or partially bleaching the print and before toning in selenium expose the print to UV light, either sunlight or on a UV light box. You can achieve some interesting splits but you have to pull the print quickly when you see a combination that you like for once change occurs it moves quickly. Partial bleaching can be achieved by being selective and using a wad of cotton wool on certain areas of the image, or, you can partially bleach by immersing the whole print in ferri and removing it before the mid and lower values are bleached. Selenium will have a more significant affect on those areas not bleached because there is silver present.

You may also wish to try bleaching a print and allowing it to fully redevelop in UV light, rather like a sun print. Again you will get some interesting changes sometimes good sometimes not so good but that is the nature of experimenting.

Have fun.
 

Huib

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Hi,

For those that want a good book about toning: have a look at Tim Rudman's latest book: The Photographer's Toning Book: The Definitive Guide.

It answers almost any question you can think of in respect to toning. It's a good reference and tutoring book as it covers all toners available, all techniques possible (single, indirect, partially toning, split toning, double toning etc etc).

Huib
 

motcon

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Les and Huib; thank you gentlemen.

Huib; the book that you mentioned, is it much more elaborate than the toning section (large) that is in his master printing book?

Les; thanks for the tips once again.

// Will
 

Huib

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Will,

Yes, it is larger than a chapter, it's a complete book.

Here's the TOC

Table of contents:
Chapters:
About this book
Toning – general considerations
What’s going on?
Practical issues affecting toning
Sepia toning
Polysulphide-based toners (including Viradon, Poly-Toner and Brown toner)
Selenium toning
Gold toning
Blue toning
Copper toning
Green toning
FSA toning (a.k.a. thiourea dioxide or Manotone)
Silver and bronze mirror toners
‘Toning’ with tea, coffee and gelatine dyes
Selective toning
Multiple toning techniques
Multi toner kits
Toning & processing for archival permanence
Toning negatives
Print finishing
Useful printing controls for toning

Reference section:

DIY toning
Formulary
Glossary of terms
FAQs
Toner search by colour
Colour search by toner
Toner characteristics table
F-stop table
Making up solutions
Weights & measures
Temperature conversion table
Useful websites, internet discussion groups and references
Useful addresses



Huib
 
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