View Full Version : Question about selenium toning procedure
The time to tone has come. I want to try selenium toning some of my FB prints (Ilford MGIV). I want to do this not only for the archival characteristics but also for the tone changes. So my question is what is the procedure you use to tone in selenium and what effects have you noticed?
Thank you for your help in advance.
Have you checked out www.photo.net?
Do a search in their printing forum. You'll get many different answers as everyone has their own techniques, but it'll give you a good starting point.
I regularly selenium tone for archival permanence. I don't print on MGIV but use a variety of other FB papers including Ilford warmtone. I usually work with a 1:20 dilution at roughly 68 degrees F. The effect of toning has a great deal to do with the particular paper you are working with. Forte warm tone will quickly go rusty red if toned for more than a minute or so. Ilford warmtone will only change very slightly to rthe warm side in a period of five minutes. The dilution of the toner aswell as the particular paper will determine the color and depth of toning. The best way to do the toning is to place a print on the back of a clean tray next to the toning tray. I do this to judge the effect and depth of toning. I place the print I prints I want to tone in the solution and start a timer. It's a visual process and when you are about to the point you want pull the prints and wash again. I tone for greater depth in the shadows aswell as permanence.
You'll probably want to experiment with a few prints to see what MGIV looks like. My guess is it will cool down the color very slightly ad add depth to the shadows.
Selenium toning Ilford MG IV has only a very slight effect on the tone of the print. It has always been notoriously hard to get a color change on this paper with only selenium. A bleach and redevelop sepia toner is the most effective way to get a color change on this paper. If you want an exhaustive resource on toning, buy Tim Rudman's "The Master Photographer's Toning Book". He pretty much covers all the possibilities.
If you're after both archival and tonal properties, another thing to consider is Kodak
Polytoner, which has both selenium and sepia. Be careful with timing, because it
will hit that previously mentioned "rusty red" rather quickly.
I've found Ilford MGIV warmtone reponds well to Fotospeed Se toner. At first the tone cools a little as the contrast builds, then the colour change begins. It then goes a nice brownish purple colour. I often stop before the colour change unless the subject calls for it.
Brown toner, thiourea and sepia are archival and produce beautiful warm tones on many papers. Thiourea and sepia are a bleach and redevelopement process and by diluting the bleach you can gain great control. You will find with all three toners that you must overprint your image because there is density loss when you tone. I find I need to make the print about 1/2-2/3 stop darker.
Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. You gave a lot to start with.
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