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Re: Basic toning

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  • Subject: Re: Basic toning
  • From: Richard Knoppow <dickburk@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 07:46:55 -0800
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----- Original Message ----- From: SusanV
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 6:48 AM
Subject: Basic toning

(Sorry guys... I'm reposting this question with corrected subject heading)

Hi List,

My question today is so basic and simple it hardly qualifies as "alt".

I want to tone fiber based photos, but without the strong "sepia" color.
What i want is to just add the slightest tone of warmth.

Maybe tea?


Probably the best toner for partial toning is Kodak Brown Toner which is a polysulfide toner. This type of toner tones all densities evenly so it is also a good choice for protective toning. You must watch the tone and stop before it gets quite as far as you want. A bath 10% sodium sulfite is usually recommended as a "stop" and clearing bath but I've found that working strength Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent works fine. Soak the print in this for a couple of minutes and then wash. Note that polysulfide toners have the peculiar property of toning faster as they are more diluted or become exhausted. The stop bath or a very rapid initial wash is necessary to prevent possible staining.
The color produced by a toner depends on the original image color, or more precisely, on the structure of the developed silver. Generally warm tone paper has finer silver grains than cold tone paper and tones more readily. As a rule of thumb (with exceptions as usual) the colder the original image the colder the toned image and vice-versa. Warm tone paper developers generally result in finer silver grains hence shifting the image color toward yellow.
Nelson's Gold is another toner which works well for partial toning but which you must must mix youself and which is somewhat expensive because it contains a small amount of gold chloride. The formula has been published both as Kodak T-21 and as AGFA/Ansco 223 but the best instructions are in Nelson's patent which is USP 1,849,245 which you can obtain from either Google Patents (in PDF form) or from the U.S. Patent office site at http://www.uspto.gov
Tea is not a toner but stains the gelatin and paper which may result in a warmer appearing image. In the dear, dead, past each paper manufacturer offered papers in many stock tints. The warmest of these made even rather cold tone papers look warm. For the most part modern papers are offered in neutral white although there may be some tinted stock available. The warmest of the old stocks were intended to suggest caucasion skin color, most tinted stock did not survive the popularity of relatively inexpensive color photography.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA

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