View Full Version : A question concerning daylight exposure for print after stop bath.

12-Feb-2013, 15:34
After developing my prints i drop them in the stop bath and
then i expose them to light. Day light.
Since the development has been stopped they do not solarise
only the paper gets a creamy base tint that stays after fixing. While the paper is exposed on the daylight
I see the a tonality of grey and blacks that are almost silvery cyan color, very soft and rich,
magnificent i must say
that disappear after the fix, they turn into an ordinary blacks and grey.
I was wondering if anyone knows how to keep that way, or what chemicals i can use to arrive
To similar result. For example a developer or toning bath.

Doremus Scudder
13-Feb-2013, 02:42
It seems that you are exposing your prints to daylight before they are fully stopped and that you are getting a bit of development of the non-image silver halides that have just been exposed, which causes the discoloration you see. I'll bet that if you leave your print in fresh stop for a full minute before turning on the light, you will not observe this.

The "creamy base tint that stays after fixing" is fog! You don't really want this, as it degrades the high values of the print. Since the discoloration/fog is "creamy" in tone, the other colors you are seeing are likely the result of a mix of this and "regular" image tone colors.

Part of this "partially developed" overall fog is able to be dissolved away in the fixing stage; this is what removes the image tone you see.

Now, if you wish to manipulate your image tone after fixing, there are a number of ways to do this. Imitating the effect you see may take a bit of experimenting but should be possible. Tim Rudman has a great book on toning, which should give you a lot to go on if you want to pursue that.

And, I'd recommend not turning on the white light until your prints are halfway through the fixing time, to be on the safe side.



13-Feb-2013, 03:33
Doremus , thank you for taking the time to answer.
The thing is that the prints are fully stopped and they are not foggy at all.
The shades before they get fix are definitely different, i' ve been working this way for a while
and the change that appear in the fix is something i observe on strongly lighted place.
More the paper is exposed, it becomes more beige pinkish color that goes lighter cream when fixed,
It is only the highlights that go that way. The greay and blacks stay silverish and do not move while on light,
they change when fixed. Try it, you will see..

N Dhananjay
13-Feb-2013, 04:45
I have observed the same phenomenon myself. Yes, you are looking at small amounts of development. Non image silver is exposed to daylight and devloper is readily available (although exhausted and in a somewhat acidic environment). This can commence development but it will not go much distance. The silver particles formed are very small, hence the colourful look. Stopping development has usually meant sticking the print in an acidic solution, but stop baths can get exhausted from developer carry over and I must confess that I am not convinced they stop development, at least in the way we think about. I think they reduce the rate of development drastically but it is the fix that actually makes it safe for a print to emerge into daylight since the unexposed silver halides are removed. In fact, I've noticed that a sheet of paper left in the sun will also discolour, even in the absence of developer - I don;t know if that is because of stray ransom environmental particles that act as developers or whether sufficiently large amounts of energy are capable of depositing an image, maybe a fugitive one.

If you are not careful, the highlight tonality can get destroyed, as Doremus pointed out. The prints do look fascinating but I have always thought of them as a curiosity and have never been intrigued enough to pusue it as a means of control. Part of my concern stems from the fact that this reasoning suggests fog that mildly deforms the toe portion of the HD curve and so the highlights lose micro contrast. And usually that has been important to me and I am unwilling to yield ground there.

Cheers, DJ

13-Feb-2013, 08:14
Guys, please.. There is no fog. It is the paper itself that changes a color. All the nuances are there,
It simply looks like you are printing on cream paper. I had compared and nothing is lost in the highlights, they are just
a bit softer due to the slightly darker paper. Now, something important is that before the fix there is no deep blacks..
only quite rich grey, as i said with slight blue tint, with the cream of the paper it looks like two toned print.
I have no idea what is happening in a chemical paths when fixing, but visually the deep blacks appear only after that.
For the cream tone, i am curious to know if it isnt the barite it self reacting, couse it isn't the chemicals which can explain
the lack of solarisation.

13-Feb-2013, 10:30
Well I have noticed what you are talking about.
my test strips and prints oten only get as far as the stop bath and at the end of the day various shades of pink and cream have appeared in the highlights. It can be very attractive. It seems to be PH sensitive and changes somewhat in the fixer depending on how long it has sat in the stop.
I suppose it is fog, but it is different from over all fog and seems to be a bit of developing out in room light.
It is an interesting effect and worth working on if you like it.

13-Feb-2013, 12:57
You know more than we do. Good luck with your prints.

Dear Dakotha Jackson, if i knew more then you i wouldn't be here virtually
begging for some knowledge.. Irony aside, anybody with an answer is help apreciated.

N Dhananjay
13-Feb-2013, 14:11
I think you might have misunderstood what I said - I take you at your word that there is no fog. Fog is basically discernable density - what we would use to describe a situation where the lowest tone is grey i.e., when it is impossible to get a paper+emulsion base white. However, exposure and development can still distort the toe of the HD curve without causing any fog. I should also add that you should try measuring the density of the paper white when using this technique versus not. There might actually be a minor bump in density but this will just show up, as you say, more as a shift in paper colour - in other words, the CMY readings on the densitometer will move more than the visual (or black) reading. People do not colloquially refer to this as fog since it shows up as a high value colour - so the highlights look cream rather than white but there is still some micro-contrast in the highlights. Others might disagree since it is elevating the reading on the densitometer. Cheers, DJ

13-Feb-2013, 15:00
Ahh, i am sorry, i did misunderstood.
And probably you are right about the development reaction not stoping,
the stop bath is eficient in halting the chemical , but even if you expose virgin sheet on daylight it
becomes colored.

That leaves the question of the grey blue softness though.
Can it be that the non yet removed by the fix silver bromide is giving the nuance? But why opticaly
removing it will make the print darker and a way more contrasted?

13-Feb-2013, 15:40
Could be the undeveloped silver compounds scatter light on the surface...thus reducing the blacks in the same way a matt surface does relative to a glossy surface. Or the undeveloped silver compounds are not black, but are off-white (creamy-colored) and bounce light back to our eyes that normally would be blocked by the developed black silver compounds.

If you like bizarre colors, hit the print with intense light after the stop bath or a very short fix.

Doremus Scudder
14-Feb-2013, 03:57
The "cream color" that the paper base turns is fog, regardless of how little you think it affects the hightlights. It that remains after fixing, then you've permanently fogged your paper. It may be negligible, it may even be pleasing, but it's fog.

The lack of blacks in the unfixed print is due to veiling by the yet-undissolved but undeveloped silver halide particles. These disappear in the fix leaving the black for you to see.

The unfixed, exposed to light print in the stop bath might be pretty, but it is not permanent till you fix fully. I know of know way to keep the effects you like. If you don't fix, then the print will simply continue to degrade. Fixing seems to take away the colors...

I would experiment with toners rather than go down the road of trying to somehow find a process to replicate the effects you describe.

Or, you could simply photograph the print lying in the stop bath with your digital camera, make 30x40 prints and call it art... :)



14-Feb-2013, 13:41
That is funny, the digital shooting part.I thought about it today. Not for reprinting, but to give to my magazines clients.
Call it art.. That i wouldnt.