francis schanberger frangst at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 20:51:22 GMT 2011

When budget permits I tone my VDBs in both gold (thiocyantate) and and
palladium. I've been reluctant to order more gold chloride lately but all of
the prints I sold this year were toned this way.

It's both for the color and increased Dmax (my images have lots of dark


On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 3:59 PM, Richard Knoppow <dickburk at ix.netcom.com>wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Keith Gerling" <
> keith.gerling at gmail.com>
> To: "The alternative photographic processes mailing list" <
> alt-photo-process-list at lists.**altphotolist.org<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>
> >
> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:01 AM
> Subject: [alt-photo] Re: ECONOMICS OF TONING
>  Timely post, as gold has been selling off lately, but is by no means
>> cheap.
>> I have no expertise in toning, but I do find it ironic that so many people
>> want to sepia, or brown-town a silver-gelatin print, but when confronted
>> with a brown or sepia VanDyke, argyrotype, etc., the first inclination is
>> to
>> blacken it with gold-toning.
>>     I think toning was used in the days before cheap and easy color
> photography as a sort of substitute for color. Sepia or other brown tones,
> or even very warm tone paper, mimics skin color better than neutral black
> and other colors were used for various kinds of scenes, especially by
> pictorialists. While the modern eye tends to equate sepia with antique
> pictures I rather think it was not so much because older pictures were toned
> as it is because they have stained. I think some non-silver prints may have
> had brown or other colors but certainly POP and similar processes were often
> toned with gold which produces a neutral or slightly blue black.
>    Toning and tinting was common in motion pictures, especially in the
> silent era, to set moods or establish time of day. It was almost completely
> discontinued after the introduction of photographic sound. Kodak made tinted
> print stock suitable for sound but toning might still be a problem because
> the toned sound tracks might not reproduce correctly.
>    I am not sure when the use of certain toners to protect images began.
> The main cause of image degradation now is atmospheric polution and that was
> at a far lower level before, say WW-2 than it became later. I think many
> snap shots processed by photofinishers have survived because they were _not_
> washed to the archival standards of the time so that the image was protected
> to some extent by small amounts of residual hypo. This effect was unknown
> until about 1961. I think the use of gold toning for microfilm dates back
> some time but if I ever saw a date I can't remember it.
>    POP is generally toned before fixing. The fixer tends to bleach out some
> of the silver image as well as removing the excess halide. Gold toner will
> selectivly tone the metallic silver but most toners commonly used for
> silver-gelatin emulsions will tone halide as readily as metallic silver.
> There are probably suitable toners using materials other than gold, I am
> sure I've seen toner formulas for platinum, but I am not sufficiently
> knowledgable about chemistry to know how to compound them.
> --
> Richard Knoppow
> Los Angeles, CA, USA
> dickburk at ix.netcom.com
> ______________________________**_________________
> Alt-photo-process-list | http://altphotolist.org/**listinfo<http://altphotolist.org/listinfo>

francis schanberger


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