Thiourea toning : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

Anyone out there doing thiourea (thiocarbamide) toning, or anyone know of a listserv that might deal with this?

-- ALLEN BIRNBACH (, January 08, 2002


Allen - Look for Tim Rudman's book, The Photographer's Master Printing Course. It has a nice section on toning, including thiocarbamide.

-- Henry Friedman (, January 10, 2002.

Does the book go into detail about things like the timing and dilution of the ferracyanide, contrast issues, potential problems etc? I bought a book called Beyond Monochrome by Worpbiec and Spence. It had nice illustrations for different toning looks, but was short on the specifics.

-- ALLEN BIRNBACH (, January 10, 2002.

Another fine book on thiocarbamide toning is "Creative Elements" by Eddie Ephraums, Amphoto Books, 1993.

-- Gene Crumpler (, January 14, 2002.

I have tried sepia toning with a thiocarbamide toner. On most papers, I didn't like the sickly yellow color I got, but on a couple of papers (Bergger Warm was one) I got a warm tone I was reasonably happy with. Because there are so many possible variants, I suggest you simply jump in and do some toning. One thing you could try is to make a bunch of small prints that are all the same and give each a different treatment, keeping notes on the back.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, January 15, 2002.

I've been playing with thiocarbamide toning recently, and I've found that Ilford MG IV RC, with a 5:1 NaOH:Thiocarbamide toner gives a very warm brown tone. I've got a shot printed a few days ago of some palm trees, looking out over the water from the beach that just feels like a warm day at the beach (makes me want to jump into the water.)

I haven't tried the inverse of 1:5 NaOH:Thircarbamide, but I've been very pleased so far with what I've used. For an experiment, I took a bunch of old reject prints on various types of papers (fiber vs RC and different manufacturers) and bleached and redeveloped them to see the results. The differences were dramatic. Depending on what you want to achieve, you can use different papers.

-- Bill Leigh (, January 15, 2002.

I've been split-toning with Thiourea then following up with selenium for a double-tone. I'm very happy with the deep, warm-brown look. It is all about the combination of materials, so I will tell you I'm using Ilford Warmtone FB developed in Ilford Universal Developer 1+9, 2:30 at 70F.

Ephraums' Creative Elements, mentioned in an earlier post, is an excellent book with lots of specifics on method as well as formulas.

I got a useful tip from Larry Bartlett's Black & White Photographic Printing Workshop, which just touches on Thio: give the print a 5 second dip in the redeveloper (the actual toner) BEFORE bleaching to help preserve the blacks. I really like the combination of split-toning and pre-dip; the "regular" thio-tone method (complete bleaching) looks rather flat to me.

Split-toning is aided by making the bleach weaker than most formulas call for - mine is 25% the strength of the Photographer's Formulary mix, and my split-tone bleach time is still only 15 seconds, followed by full redevelopment. Like other posters, I gravitated toward the NaOH-heavy mix. I'm mostly using 4-to-1 NaOH-to-Thiourea.

Actually, the one-to-one ratio can look nice; when split-toned with the pre-dip in toner, the lighter tones and highlights approach a sort of shimmering pinkish-gold that reminds me of some of Albert Watson's Cyclops images.

I don't like the selenium to get too far when double-toning; 1+19, 70F, 2:00 is just enough for what I want, although this paper also looks great with complete Selenium toning on the right image; 1+4, 70F, will yield an all-over chocolate-brown in about 5 minutes.

-- Victor Allen Simon (, April 05, 2002.

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