U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Heat-toning salt prints?

Re: Heat-toning salt prints?

----- Original Message ----- From: "Joseph Smigiel" <jsmigiel@net-link.net>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 6:56 PM
Subject: Re: Heat-toning salt prints?

On Mar 11, 2007, at 8:41 PM, richard jones wrote:

also, anyone know of any books dedicated to the salt printing process?

James Reilly, "The Albumen and Salted Paper Book" online here:


I found this in the above book using the search engine at the site:
Probably the oldest toning method was the use of heat to darken the image on salted papers. This method was used by Talbot and most other early printers; it no doubt evolved after a hot iron was applied to a finished print to flatten it, whereupon a distinct strengthening of image occurred. Heat toning with a hot iron must be carefully done in order to avoid scorching the paper, and the hot iron must never be applied to the face of the print. Recently a large number of Talbot's original negatives were printed on salted paper at the Kodak Museum in Harrow, England, and heat toning of the prints was accomplished by drying the prints in a modern heated print dryer.2 Heat toning has more effect with plain salted papers and arrowroot paper than with other kinds of paper.


I wonder if this is related to the effect known as plumming which occurs when Silver-Gelatin prints are overheated when drying or dry mounting. I also wonder why this method was chosen by the gallery.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA