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Thread: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

  1. #1
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    This is a follow up to my Bridal Falls video (link to Bridal Falls video: https://www.largeformatphotography.i...10#post1706710}


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    Re: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    You can also bleach and redevelop a negative in Pyrocat HD and increase contrast. Plus you get the effects of the tanning and increased accutance. Not sure it would work once you use the selenium though. Here is a discussion with Doremus Scudder from my first attempts. Use of a rehalogenating bleach is the trick, and you can do this in subdued lighting so you can see the effect.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...%20lights%20on.
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    Re: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    I took a photograph of a fireplace in a cement fortress on the Oregon coast, and light levels were low. The walls were blackened with white streaks in them. After developing and printing the negative, I couldn't get the white streaks to pop like I wanted.

    Having read about John Sexton selenium toning his negatives, I gave it a try at about a 20% solution for fifteen or twenty minutes. It worked beautifully! It's one of my best prints.

  4. #4

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    Re: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    Ha! I crashed a John Sexton workshop years ago...had been waiting outside for his workshop session to end before our prearranged meeting, when it started to rain buckets so I let myself in - to see John and his students, all hovering over a large lightbox...evaluating negatives which had been intensified with selenium!

    While I find myself (my negatives!) needing occasional intensification, this is something I do only rarely....especially since I'd basically moved forward with Pyro/Pyrocat developers some time ago. But I do have some pyro negs that could benefit from such (rehalogenating bleach/redevelop) treatment...and I've copied the recipe which Eric has shared with us. Thank you Eric!

  5. #5
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    A friend of mine uses Se toning. He uses it straight. Without dilution.

    As always, test before you bet the farm.

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    Re: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    Are you talking about Selenium intensifying with KODAK R.S.T.?
    I ask because I only have ADOX standing at the moment.
    I suppose that there is a difference (but I hope not).

    BTW how to check if there is a difference, anyway, the DMAX intensifying (@1+9) of prints with ADOX is as good as with KODAK (@1+9).

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    I have also bleached a negative slightly to reduce the shadows, re-fixed, washed, and then selenium toned. Works well if the shadows are already fully exposed. None of this works very well with thin (underexposed/under-developed) negatives. One needs some meat (exposed/developed silver) for the selenium to work with.

    A fun way to test -- take a non-favorite negative, dunk a third of it in Kodak RST, dunk the other end in Adox's version, and leave the middle portion untoned wash, dry, and print.

    Following what AA did to his Moonrise negative, I only selenium toned the upper half of the negative for this image I did not want to increase the density of the snow. Merced River, 4x10 carbon print...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MercedRiverSnow.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Selenium Intensifying A Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I have also bleached a negative slightly to reduce the shadows, re-fixed, washed, and then selenium toned. Works well if the shadows are already fully exposed. None of this works very well with thin (underexposed/under-developed) negatives. One needs some meat (exposed/developed silver) for the selenium to work with.

    A fun way to test -- take a non-favorite negative, dunk a third of it in Kodak RST, dunk the other end in Adox's version, and leave the middle portion untoned wash, dry, and print.

    Following what AA did to his Moonrise negative, I only selenium toned the upper half of the negative for this image I did not want to increase the density of the snow. Merced River, 4x10 carbon print...
    I selectively intensified an HP5 negative with a brush once. I wanted better separation in the relief of a big bell outside a Buddhist temple. I carefully puddled the selenium toner over the bell, and let it sit there for a few minutes. Quickly rinsed it, then reapplied the toner. I repeated that several times. It worked, although it was a bit odd having a negative with a blue bell in a neutral coloured negative.

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