This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Preparing The Bleaching Solution. To prepare the bleaching solution dissolve one capsule in 4 ounces of water. Place this solution in a bottle and label " Bleaching Solution." Next add to this solution 3 drops aqua ammonia (full strength ammonia) and tightly cork the bottle.
Preparing The Re-Developing Solution. To prepare re-developing solution take one pint of water and add one-half ounce concentrated solution of re-developer. This solution must also be placed in a bottle and kept tightly corked. Label the bottle " Re-developer."
858. When ready to use, pour the bleaching solution and the re-developing solution into their respective trays and proceed exactly the same as formerly instructed. The prepared re-developer will also produce excellent sepia tones on any bromide or gaslight paper. The age of the print does not seem to make any difference in the tones obtainable. The finest results are obtained from prints which have a good black tone rather than green or olive, as would be produced by the use of too much bromide.
Life Of The Re-Developing Bath. Both the bleaching and re-developing baths will retain their strength for some time if kept in well stoppered bottles; therefore, immediately after use the baths should be returned to the bottles and tightly corked. If the prints show a tendency to blister it doubtless comes from not having used sufficient hardener in the fixing bath, when making the black and white prints. Too strong a solution of re-developer, or an immersion of excessive length in this solution will also cause blisters. A salt bath after bleaching may be used if blistering is excessive, but should not be necessary if prints when first made are properly fixed in a fresh acid hypo bath. The use of pure aqua ammonia is recommended. The ordinary household ammonia should be avoided. This chemical clears the whites and does not change the tone unless an excessive amount is used.
A Special Re-Developing Bath That Will Not Blister. For those who have experienced difficulty with the previously mentioned baths or prepared solutions, we can recommend the following formula. This formula should be prepared in three solutions and the solutions kept in tightly corked bottles.
861. Solution No. 1.-
Ferricyanide of Potassium.....................
862. Solution No. 2.-
Bromide of Potassium............................
863. Solution No. 3.-
Sulphite of Soda............................
Note. - Do not confuse Sulphide with Sulphite.
864. For use mix equal proportions of 1 and 2. For example, if you find it necessary to use 4 ounces of solution use 2 ounces of No. 1 and 2 ounces of No. 2. Add to this from 4 to 6 drops of aqua ammonia (full strength ammonia). Add enough ammonia so that the solution will possess a strong ammonia odor. The Nos. 1 and 2 combined constitute the bleaching solution. Solution No. 3 is the re-developing solution. Pour 4 ounces of this solution into a tray and you are ready for toning. Place the print first in the bleaching solution until it is sufficiently bleached. Then rinse for a few minutes in water, after which place it in the re-developing solution. The image will come up brown, and all detail which was lost in the bleaching will be re-developed. When fully re-developed, place the print in the wash water. The bleaching and re-developing will have a tendency to cause the print to soften. When this occurs place the print, after re-developing and washing, into a weak solution of alum. This will harden the surface. After hardening, wash thoroughly in the usual way. The tone is governed to a great extent by the quality of the negative. As before explained, it will be found that the amount of ammonia as well as the bleaching will vary the tone considerably.
Note. This bath must be made up fresh each time. The stock solutions for bleaching will keep indefinitely if kept in a tightly corked bottle.
Practice Work. For practice on sepia toning, it is not necessary for you to make special prints, although it may be done; any prints you may have can be redeveloped to give a sepia tone. The warmth of tone, as you will note by reference to instruction, is controlled entirely in the bleaching bath, so a large variety of tones can be obtained and, of course, various negatives will have the effect of producing different tones. A hard negative for instance, will produce a colder tone than a softer one, and vice versa.
867. Complete data should be written on the first experiments and these prints filed in the usual way for future guidance.