Iron Blue Toner and Double Toning : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

There is a wonderful article entitled FUN AND GAMES WITH BLUE TONER, by Liam Lawless, in issue number 4 of Post-Factory Photography. I think I'm going to embark on some experiments with blue toner. Does anyone out there have any experience with double toning with iron blue and sepia? Any other combinations? I'm interested in any advice you might have.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, September 06, 2001


Ed; my toning class played around with some split toning but the results where unpleasant. I don't know if it was something we did or just a personal reaction. Where can i get that article? as a P.S. I really enjoy your web page

-- Ann Clancy (, September 06, 2001.

I sometimes will selenium tone a print before I sepia tone it in order to control the sepia effect. I wandered upon this by accident (sepia toning a print I thought had not been selenium toned), and I now use this process with some regularity. It controls the brown- cast of the sepia, especially in the shadows. Highlights show a more sepia effect. The more control I want, the stronger I mix the selenium solution.

Obviously, this will not work with warm tone papers since selenium already gives them a sepia-like effect (and I never have liked the look of sepia on warm tone paper -- kind of a putrid yellow).

I have not used blue toner much, but look forward to seeing the cite for the article you mentioned.

I too really enjoy this bulletin board, though lately some comments have been rather snappy. People shouldn't be discouraged to ask questions for fear that others will think they are stupid. Nasty posts aren't very friendly or constructive.

-- Jim Rock (, September 06, 2001.

I used blue toner on a couple of photos some years ago and was horrified to seem them discolor in about three years. Is that normal?

-- Richard C. Trochlil (, September 08, 2001.

In response to the question about iron blue toned prints discoloring. What happens is that the silver in the print gets bleached to a halide which must be removed in a very mild hypo solution. Liam Lawless recommends a 2% hypo solution for this purpose. If the silver halide is not removed it will eventually discolor.

I tried Lawless' method of double toning with sepia toner. You first tone lightly in blue toner (so only the high values are toned), then bleach in sepia bleach and tone in sepia toner. After washing you tone again in blue toner. This can cause the entire print to discolor, but the brown in the shadows is restored by soaking the print in a very mild alkalai solution (about .1 gram of sodium carbonate in a liter of water). I got it to work, but my technique needs some perfecting.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, September 09, 2001.

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