Tim Layton Fine Art | Selenium Toning Silver Gelatin B&W Prints - A Visual Comparison

Selenium Toning Silver Gelatin B&W Prints - A Visual Comparison

April 30, 2018  •  5 Comments

In this video, I show you two silver gelatin black and white darkroom prints, one selenium toned, and the other not toned.  I think this will be helpful for you to visually see the possible tonality changes when selenium toning, in addition to the archival benefits.  

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Comments

David Christensen(non-registered)
Hi, Tim. Thanks for posting this. I've found that the results I get with selenium toning depend on what the paper was developed with. It's surprisingly all over the map depending on what the paper developer is. What did you use for this video?
Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Peter, thanks for the kind words. I used Ilford MGIV Portfolio paper. I found that a time between 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the print at 1:25 is what I do most often.
Peter Campbell(non-registered)
Hi Tim, thanks for showing that comparison. Selenium gives a beautiful tone to the print.
I was wondering what paper you were using in that demonstration, it certainly toned beautifully.
regards
Peter
Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Rolf, always good to hear from you. I use my 1:25 Selenium for 5 working sessions. I typically don't tone more than a dozen prints or so per session. I just keep my toner in a dark brown bottle and put a plastic bag between the top and the lid to help keep the oxidation a little. Not sure that really works, but I do it anyway. The process depends if you are using fiber or RC paper. For fiber, you need to take your washed prints and soak in a tray of hypo clear for a few minutes, then tone the print(s), and then rewash again. On a side note, I only use distilled water for my hypo clear and selenium baths. For RC, you don't need the hypo clear bath. Hope that helps. Back in the day, Ansel would mix his hypo clear with the Selenium, but I don't do it that way so that I can reuse my selenium and I discard the inexpensive hypo clear after each session.
Rolf Schmolling(non-registered)
Hi Tim, this is very helpful. Thank You.
Question: how long does the working solution (1:25 in your case) last, I mean, besides number of prints processed with it, how long will the working solution be usable? How does one treat it (glass bottle, remove oxygin… or is that uneccessary?).
Procedure (afaik) is after proper washing, put in tray, stop toning with water bath (?), then rewash (again).
This is something I will have to try out, now that temperatures outside allow working on our balcony.
Cheers, Rolf
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