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Specialist items

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Specialist items include toners: Sepia, gold, selenium and etc. These
are used to enhance the appearence of the photo by giving the blacks a
tone (or the whole print with sepia). Selenium makes the print archival, so it will not fade or discolour in the f

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      09.04.2001 06:39
      Very helpful



      Here I go again, boring you senseless with photographic advice, this time on the slightly more artistic subject of toners : Toners are utilised with black and white photographic prints. You can use them on resin coated photographic paper, but you will find the results much more satisfying if you tone images printed on fibre based papers. If you are going to tone your print, then three things are very important prior to toning: 1) Fix your print thoroughly for the recommended time. 2) Wash your print thoroughly for the recommended time. 3) If the print is dry, then re-wet it before you begin the toning process. If you are using an old print, then refix and rewash before toning. Always make enough solution to cover the whole of your print; you will get streaks of the tones if you have to agitate the dish to keep the print covered. Question: Why should you use a toner on your print? Two answers: The first is because you can create some effects with toners that can't be achieved in any other way, therefore you can add that little extra something to your print. Secondly, most toners will help to make your prints archivally permanent (they will be less likely to fade with time). There are an astounding number of different toners on the market and it would be hard for me to advise you on which would be most suitable for your use (or your print, as subject matter is quite important), so I will give you a quick insight into the most popular and useful toners - The rest is up to you. *Sepia Toner: Easily the most popular toner, it recreates the tea-stained images of yesteryear (without the torn edges and scratches, I hasten to add). Sepia toning kits will contain two solutions: The bleach, and the toner. These are usually provided in small quantities, so that you can discover whether or not you like the effects it produces. The two solutions are also sold separately in larger quantities (Jessops), but I wouldn
      't suggest buying these until you are sure you are going to need it, or if you want to use the actual toner neat - This produces the chocolatiest brown tone. The dilution of the toner allows you to achieve a range of tones: The darkest being neat, and increasingly yellow browns occur as you dilute the toner. Warm tone prints can be achieved with paper and normal developers; sepia just takes this a step further into oldie worlde style photographs. It is very effective if used properly, and can add a lot of charm (be it cliched or not) to portraits and landscapes. Most photographic suppliers produce a sepia toner (most are now odour free), the most affordable is Jessops own, but I prefer to use either Fotospeed (which has an informative guide for first time users), or Kentmere, which appear to have a wider tonal range when diluted (fotospeed can be found at bigger outlets of Jessops, both should be available at Silverprint - if not, contact the manufacturers directly). As with all toners, sepia exhausts itself very quickly and it is very hard to get more than twenty identically toned prints out of one preparation. For that reason, try to stick to the same product and always make note of the dilution that you use. *Blue Toner: Blue toning will make your print 'cold'; a gentle wash of toner will add a cleanness to the highlights of the image (the photographic equivalent of putting that blue stuff in your washing machine for whiter than white whites). This is a one solution toner (no need for bleach), put prepare the print you want to tone by printing it slightly lighter (lower contrast) than normal, as blue toner will increase the overall contrast of the photograph.This toner DOES NOT archive your print, and BEWARE, if not used with a delicate touch, the effects can be, very simply, a blue photograph (which I'm sure has its uses, but it aint that pretty). *Gold Toner: There are two ways of using gold tone
      r: 1) By pre-toning the print in sepia - therefore giving you a peachy red tint to your highlights and midtones. 2) Without pre-toning in sepia - therefore giving you blue tones with fibre based paper, and no tones with resin coated, but archiving both. If you use the first option, then the longer you leave the print in the toner, the rosier your print will become (20 minutes will give the maximum of toning). The same is true of the second option (if using fibre based paper), but this time the maximum result will be a seriously steely blue. Both have their uses; the soft peachy tones look great on skin, whereas the chilliness of the blues work wonders on architecture and landscapes. In both cases your print is archived, so you won't have to worry about the image deteriorating (she says, quickly adding that you WILL STILL have to store your prints safely).This is also a one solution toner. For both the gold and blue toners, I heartily recommend Fotospeed, but as before, there are cheaper options on the market. *Selenium Toner: This is predominantly used for print permanence (archiving), but it does also increase the contrast of the print, giving you the deepest of blacks. If you don't want this, but want to archive, then print lighter to begin with. If you tone for a short time, then the selenium will not be that obvious (a slightly colder/bluer print). If you tone for 20 minutes, then the results will be a purple brown. Kodak is probably the best on the market for this one, but Fotospeed are also in the running. Selenium is nasty stuff, and great care should be taken when you use it - try and work in a ventilated area, always wear gloves and remember to pick up the print with tongs. *Other toners: Copper/Red - creating subtle warm reds in the highlights (make the print darker to begin with). Platinum toner - I've never had the opportunity to try this one; it's very hard to find, but its archiving
      qualities are renowned. Green toner - a two solution system (bleach and toner), which, yes, you guessed it, turns your print green (again, make your print darker). Palette toner - a recent offering from Fotospeed, which lets you mix and match your own colour toners. Contains red, blue, titanium yellow and vanadium yellow. If there is no end to your creativity, then why not try split toning (using two toners on one print)? Great combinations are: Sepia and selenium = brown purple. Copper and blue = mauve. Selenium and gold = purple, with blue midtones. But don't take my word for it, try any two together to see what you get.The first tone should be at 25% of the recommended normal toning time, and the print should be washed thoroughly in between toners. Go on, express yourself. Other useful stuff: *Masking Fluid: I use Fotospeed's Fotomask, a red liquid plastic that you paint onto the areas of the picture that you DO NOT want to be affected by the toning process. Once the print is toned and dry, you simply remove the mask by attaching a piece of sellotape and pulling. *Photographic Dyes: These are not toners, they are more like food colourings, and they can be used to 'colour in' your print. For best results, practice using these on unwanted prints; only use a small amount and be careful with fibre based papers, as the colours may well bleed. (Fotodyes, Fotospeed). *Retouching Dyes: Spotone is the best retouching liquid I have found so far; use it to black out those tiny scratches and imperfections in your print. Again, practice makes perfect, and don't expect amazing results with resin coated papers, as the liquid doesn't penetrate the plastic coating too well. Apply a little at a time, building up layers slowly (let each layer dry - be patient). Spotone comes in various shades of black (green, brown, grey etc.), so you should be able to match to your print. Thank
      you for staying with me, once more, as I drone on about all things photographic. Happy photo taking.


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