Selenium toning. When to do it?

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Myxine

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Hello,

I've been toying with a question lately and after a few searches, i still don't have an answer. My apologizes if it is a topic that has already been largely discussed.

So. I was wondering if one can selenium tone some fiber based prints once they have dried out?

In my case, i often print at night and it's late when my print are washed. It's too dark in my apartment to rely on artifical light to check the toning so i was wondering if i could let my prints dry, and have them toned during the next days while in the garden (which also would help with the fumes since my darkroom is a closet)

Thank you for your help
 

wilfbiffherb

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yeah its totally acceptable - you just have to resoak your paper for a few minutes in water before toning.
 

Alex Muir

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Yes, you could do that. I tend to re-wet them for a short time before putting them in the toner, although that may not be strictly necessary. I also work outside when weather permits. Alex


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You also don't have to completely wash your prints prior to toning in selenium. I wash in running water for 5 minutes or so after fixing and go to selenium. Then a brief wash, hypo-clear then final wash. Some may tell you to hypo-clear after fixer and before selenium. That is fine and dandy too, but you can get away going from fixer to selenium with a brief quick wash in between. This will save you doing two sessions and also water as you will only have one final wash and you can get your print done in one evening as selenium toning doesn't take long at all.
 

MattKing

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Selenium toning can affect the apparent density of the shadows, so it is a good idea to make your printing choices with the toning in mind.
 
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Hello, ...
So. I was wondering if one can selenium tone some fiber based prints once they have dried out?

In my case, i often print at night and it's late when my print are washed. It's too dark in my apartment to rely on artificial light to check the toning so i was wondering if i could let my prints dry, and have them toned during the next days while in the garden (which also would help with the fumes since my darkroom is a closet)

Thank you for your help

Toning after washing and drying is perfectly acceptable.

My work flow may interest you. I print and give the first fix then wash and dry. After I've collected enough prints for a toning session (and weeded out some that are not keepers), I set up a water pre-soak, fix 2, toner, and wash aid trays. If you use an alkaline or neutral (enough ) pH fixer, you can transfer prints directly from the second fix to the toning bath. I use Ilford Rapid Fix diltuted 1+9 and have no problems doing this.

Also, I (like many) replenish and reuse my selenium toner. This keeps you from ever having to discard toxic heavy metals into the environment plus it is much more economical. I tone visually, so when toning times become uncomfortably long (for me, 6-8 minutes is too long), I add a small amount of stock toner to the toning bath to increase the activity of the toner. You only need a little. If for some reason you add too much, you can just dilute further to get the toning speed to a comfortable level. I like toning times in the 4-6 minute range. I keep two gallons of toner on hand, one stronger than the other, for toning different papers. Before and after use I filter with a coffee filter to remove the black precipitate that forms. My solutions are going on ten years old now and never a problem. Plus the unpleasant ammonia smell of fresh toner is only present for a small time immediately after replenishment.

A word about lighting when toning: The effects of selenium toning are more evident under tungsten/incandescent lighting than in daylight. If you plan to display your prints indoors, you may overtone a bit if you judge the change in image tone under sunlight. I find a 60-watt incandescent bulb 4 or 5 feet above my toning tray to be about perfect for judging image tone change.

The advice about keeping the denser areas just a small, tiny bit lighter than you want to compensate for the effects of toning is good, but keep in mind that the effect is small and depends on subject, type of paper, etc. Play around and get to know your materials. Sometimes I'll make two or three versions of a print, some lighter than others, and see which one is best after toning. I then discard the others.

Hope this helps,

Doremus


www.DoremusScudder.com
 

Hatchetman

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I was thinking about doing this out in the garage or outdoors....any problems with that idea? I have minimal ventilation in my darkroom in the basement.
 

Hatchetman

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OK. Thanks. Maybe I'll try the bathroom with a big fan in the window until the tempertures get reasonable.
 
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Selenium toning can affect the apparent density of the shadows, so it is a good idea to make your printing choices with the toning in mind.

Yes, and so it alters not just overall density, but the contrast as well. I usually anticipate this by giving the final print maybe 3% less overall exposure and also back off the contrast by 1/4-1/2 grade, depending. (I use a calibrated Aristo variable-contrast light source, so this is easy for me to do.)

Ken
 
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Myxine

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Thanks a lot for the advises. It will help a lot!
I tried toning yesterday on prints that had been made the day before.
Being very careful, wearing gloves and all, it obviously ended with a massive spill on the floor.
All for a barely visible result since I used Adox MCC paper with a dilution of 1+100, a paper which, i figured later, doesn't show a lot of shifting anyway :sad:
If i never become fluent in photography, i'll sure become very good at handling frustration ah ah
 

Karl A

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All for a barely visible result since I used Adox MCC paper with a dilution of 1+100, a paper which, i figured later, doesn't show a lot of shifting anyway :sad:
If i never become fluent in photography, i'll sure become very good at handling frustration ah ah
Why 1:100 dilution? 1:20 or more dilute should not cause much change to the image, especially with a neutral paper. I use 1:4 often. Check the directions on the bottle as well as online data sheets for info on whatever brand you're using.
 
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Myxine

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Well, i was using Moersch's Selenium and their online sheets and examples were showing different kind of dilution. The result i wanted (deepening of shadows, as well bit of shift in the cold tones ) was obtained with 1:100 for 2 to 5 minutes. Obviously, it depends on the paper and i'll try with a stronger dilution next time.
Spilling 1:100 was a better idea than 1:4 anyway :smile:
 

Karl A

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OK, my dilution references were to the Kodak product, I haven't used Moersch. I'm sure you will find the right dilution for your purposes through testing.
 

marciofs

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I am about to do my first selenium toning with Adox Toner on ART300 paper.

I was wondering what you use (if you use) to prevent you breathing the selenium vapour? A t-shirt on my mouth will do the job?

And how you wash your tools afterwards? Only water do the job or a sponge with detergent is better?
 

MattKing

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I am about to do my first selenium toning with Adox Toner on ART300 paper.

I was wondering what you use (if you use) to prevent you breathing the selenium vapour? A t-shirt on my mouth will do the job?

And how you wash your tools afterwards? Only water do the job or a sponge with detergent is better?

In solution, the selenium in toner is of relatively low concern. Just ensure that your ventilation is good, and that you rinse off any spills on your skin (gloves are a good idea).

Dried selenium stains and powder are of greater concern, but again, ventilation is your friend.

I just wash everything afterwards with lots of water.
 

marciofs

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In solution, the selenium in toner is of relatively low concern. Just ensure that your ventilation is good, and that you rinse off any spills on your skin (gloves are a good idea).

Dried selenium stains and powder are of greater concern, but again, ventilation is your friend.

I just wash everything afterwards with lots of water.

Thanks... I kind get a bit paranoiac.


You also don't have to completely wash your prints prior to toning in selenium. I wash in running water for 5 minutes or so after fixing and go to selenium. Then a brief wash, hypo-clear then final wash. Some may tell you to hypo-clear after fixer and before selenium. That is fine and dandy too, but you can get away going from fixer to selenium with a brief quick wash in between. This will save you doing two sessions and also water as you will only have one final wash and you can get your print done in one evening as selenium toning doesn't take long at all.

For how long you wash after selenium bath? I washing on soaking into a bath wather for about 5-10 mins. Then to a second bath with wetting agent for about 5 min. Then 1 minute in running water. But I am not sure if I should have more baths our more time on running water.
 
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Whatever your normal final wash time is. After selenium I will give a brief rinse then go to hypo-clear then into the print washer for an hour. You need to test your washing sequence for permanence. There is a kit available from photographers formulary. Residual hypo test. Your washing sequence doesn't sound like enough wash time. But then again ilford is recommending super short washing sequence which I haven't tried.
 
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