Blue Tone : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

Does anyone know of a way to blue tone a print with a subtle tone that is also archival. I shoot portraits only and want a light tone. I read some information on gold toners but they seem to have a rather dark blue tone.

Thank you.

-- Michael McBlane (, January 31, 2002


Well, Iron based blue toning is not considered archival, but classic process cyanotypes of the 1830's are as fresh as they were made in that time. I'd try iron blue toning with a Agfa Sistan post process.

-- Marc Leest (, January 31, 2002.

Isn't the silver converted/plated with preussian blue on prints processed in iron toners? I don't think Sistan will help preserving the blue on these prints.

-- Patric (, January 31, 2002.

Yes. You can obtain a very subtle blue tone with any gold toner by reducing the amount of gold chloride. I would recommend a formula that starts with 3 grams of thiourea and 1 gram of citric acid added to 1 liter of distilled water. For very light blue tones, start by adding 1 to 5 milliliters of 1% gold chloride solution. After a test print or two you should be able to tell how much to add to get the amount of toning you desire. Gold toners are very slow acting at room temperature. I usually heat the toner to 100 degrees F, where toning takes only a few minutes.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, February 01, 2002.

Ed, what type of paper responds best to gold toners?

-- Patric (, February 01, 2002.

Patric: Forte Polywarmtone is great for gold toning. Deep steel blue tone. Best paper for any type of toning.

-- Marc Leest (, February 01, 2002.

Gold toning works well with any warm tone paper--Portriga, Bergger, Ilford MG Warm, Forte, etc. With cold tone papers you will get increased density, but will not notice any change in image color.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, February 02, 2002.

Okay, I will try gold toner with Efke paper. They respond well to all toners I've tried so far, selenium, Viradon, Kodak sepia toner. Haven't tried gold toners yet. I have a pack with Iron blue toner I bought from Photographers Formulary. Will try that on winter photos. :-)

I once tried selenium toner with Forte chlorobromide paper, and got a light brown tone looking like milk chocolate. Didn't like the result at all.

-- Patric (, February 02, 2002.

One thing with Iron toning. Under no circumstances touch the surface of the print. This is a good idea with all types of toning but Iron blue toner is especially sensitive.

-- Adrian` (, February 03, 2002.

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