APPLICATIONS PRINTING IN BLACK & WHITE TONING PRINTS
The most common metal toners are iron (blue) and copper (red) - their use can lead to some vivid colour effects being achieved.
Metal toners work well with virtually all types of photographic paper. They work by converting the original silver image to the ferrocyanide salt of a transition metal.
A number of metals can be used, but only those based on iron (blue) and copper (red) are commercially available.
In the case of blue toning, with the right subject matter - the end effect can look spectacular. Good subject examples are seascapes, night scenes, and frozen winter scenes. The toning should be used sparingly however.
Most commercial metal toners are single solution toners - readily available brands include those from Fotospeed, Speedibrew and Tetenal.
Below are the key points and methods associated with metal toning :-
Blue toning intensifies (darkens) the print slightly, so start off with a lighter print than you would normally make.
Copper toning however tends to have the reverse effect - and can result in a reducing effect on the image density during toning. So it is better to start off with a darker print initially to compensate for this.
It is advisable to refer to the toning manufacturers instructions to clarify if the above advised image densities are applicable to the toner choice used.
The below is a typical procedure sequence for a blue toner :-
- It is important to use a fully developed print.
- Mix the toning solution as instructed, pour it into a tray and immerse your well-washed and still wet print. It will turn blue very quickly.
- When the depth of blue you want has been reached, transfer the print quickly to a weak solution of Stop bath (Ilfostop - diluted 1+40). This will clean up the print of unwanted blue - in the highlight areas.
- Wash the print as usual, but do not over-wash as that reduces the intensity. Note - over washing can actually be a useful way to remove stains’ from the prints highlight areas. (For blue toners, images achieved from washing in alkaline tap water are slightly soluble - so wash times should then be kept as short as possible).
- Dry the print as usual, but do not use heat for drying - as this will greatly reduce the blue element.
Note, when using a blue toner - it is recommended that the highlights are cleared in a 10% sodium chloride solution.