Saturday, 8 November 2014

Toned print developers.

Print developers add another layer of creativity to the analogue experience. Most of us start out using the manufactures suggested developers and do not move on from this but there is life beyond this with a whole range of cool and warm tone developers to enthral the eye. You don't have to use these developers with the respective papers but they do add warmth to a cool paper and vices versa.

Please don't get me wrong! I started my printing journey with Ilfords Multigrade developer, it still has a well earned place on my print developer shelf. It sits along side a number of other manufacturers toning developers. You need not stop here, for there is a range of powdered developers to consider as well. The choice can be mind boggling so it is a case of picking one that catches your eye and giving it a try.

I did this with Moersch 6 blue and it has become a favorite. It has been used with warm, natural and cool tone papers. It produces rich blacks and the highlights have a hint of blueness to them. That's the thing with toning developers they are subtle in their colour. It opens up another way of communicating with the viewer. The thing with these types of developer is the more tone you want the longer the development time and the weaker the mix needs to be. The type of paper being used also influences what sort of tone is produced.

All the pictures here were made with medium format film, FP4+ and Foma 100 from a 6x6 negative printed on Silverproof matt paper.