View Full Version : Abrasive toning

Jorge Gasteazoro
6-May-2001, 02:01
Hi, all. I have heard of abrasive toning or abrasive treatment of prints, but I never knew how to do it. Does anybody here know the technique and/or where I can read up on this?

Joseph Dickerson
7-May-2001, 17:12

Are you perhaps referring to "abrading" prints or negatives? It is a technique whereby you use a knife or abrading tool to etch or shave the emulsion to reduce the density. It is a very exacting technique but one that can be quite useful.

Any older retouching book will probably describe the technique in detail.

It is one of those "lost art" techniques that was once very common but has failed to be passed down to most of the current generation of photographers.

Joseph A. Dickerson

7-May-2001, 18:23
Jorge, if you're talking about etching and/or using Kodak Abrasive Reducer on negatives, you can find inforamtion about this in Kodak's "Photographic Retouching" (Pub. E-97). I'm not sure if this is in print anymore, but it covers negative & print retouching. What Joseph is talking about is right on, you could etch a negative to reduce density, and use a bit of the Abrasive Reducer (which is a paste) to sort of polish out the rough edges from the etching knife. This really is a bit of a lost art. It's been at least 15 years since I've done any neg. retouching (and I was really lousy at it...). The only other source of info about this sort of thing that I can think of, may be some of those training materials put out by Veronica Cass on print retouching.

Ken Burns
7-May-2001, 20:55
Jorge: You might be referring to the abrasion tone process used by William Mortensen. If so, it is covered in one of his old books entitled "Print Finishing." This book is occasionally available on ebay or on some of the used book websites. You might want to try abebooks.com.

9-May-2001, 05:50
The book on Abrasive toning by Mortensen is auctioned on e-bay now, Item #1235810286

Ed Buffaloe
9-May-2001, 09:04
Mortensen's abrasion tone method is described here: http://www.bostick- sullivan.com/Technical_papers/mortenso.htm.

27-Aug-2013, 10:48
Seeing as B&S site is dead as door knob on old articles.