393. Caution - Toning

Caution - Toning. If prints are allowed to lie in the tray, without being constantly separated and moved about, they will tone unevenly and disagreeable streaks or spots will appear, completely ruining the prints.

394. While, as just stated, about twenty minutes will be required to properly tone and fix a print, you should not judge the progress of toning by timing, but entirely by watching the appearance of each print. When first put into the bath it turns a disagreeable yellow, but as the toning progresses it slowly improves in color, growing darker, more on the brown or sepia tone, and the white parts (the high-lights) become clearer and whiter.

395. As soon as a print has the desired tone, place it in a tray or dish containing plenty of fresh, clean water. Leave it there, face down, until all the remaining prints are toned. If, however, you have many prints to tone, they should be handled over in the fresh water several times after toning, to avoid the staining that is apt to occur if the prints lay packed for any length of time before a final washing.

396. After-Fixing Bath

After-Fixing Bath. To insure thorough fixing, which is absolutely necessary if you want your prints to be permanent, they should be placed in the after fixing bath prepared according to the formula given. Before immersing in this after-fixing bath, give the prints three changes of fresh water, and between each change of water pick them over just as you did in toning, so as to thoroughly separate them, and wash off any sediment left on the prints from the combined toning bath. Then place the prints in the above weak hypo bath for ten minutes. This bath can be used until you have fixed fifty 4 x 5 prints, or their equivalent, when it should be discarded and a fresh after-fixing bath made up.

397. Caution - Washing

Caution - Washing. The washing of the prints, removes the sediment of the combined toning bath still on the prints. If you carry this sediment into the after-fixing bath you will have a weak toning bath, which would act upon the prints and very likely spoil them. After fixing in this weak hypo, place the prints in fresh water and give them ten changes in about an hour's time, carefully picking the prints over and over between each change of water. If the prints are not picked over and over (even in running water) they are apt to sink to the bottom of the tray and mat - stick together - and then the toning and fixing chemicals would not be eliminated from the prints. This changing of water and keeping the prints constantly in motion is very important. If not done properly the prints will not be thoroughly washed, and as a result will soon fade and discolor. After washing, the prints are ready for mounting.

398. Squeegee

Squeegee. In case you do not wish to mount the prints, dry them flat, by squeegeeing them onto a ferrotype plate. Ferrotype plates are tin plates, Japanned, which can be purchased at any photographic supply house. To squeegee a print, first clean the plate with clean water, and then, before placing the prints in contact, swab the plate with the following solution, rubbing dry with a clean rag or cotton:


1 ounce


10 grains

399. Next place the print in contact, face down, and squeegee by covering it with a dry blotter and rolling thoroughly with a print roller, to expel all air-bells. Then allow it to dry. When bone dry the print will drop off, or can be removed easily by raising one corner with a pen-knife. Should the prints stick, the plate has not been properly prepared and they must be soaked off carefully in water and the plate gone over again, before using a second time, with the paraffin solution; but with care you will have no trouble on this score. Usually, where new squeegee plates are employed they can be used for some time without paraffining. Should the prints at any time stick to the plate, you can apply the paraffin and overcome this difficulty.