Toning Cyanotype with Tea and Coffee - alternative photography | Ben Panter | Skillshare

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Toning Cyanotype with Tea and Coffee - alternative photography

teacher avatar Ben Panter, Alternative Photography & Game Making

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (1h 44m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Printing Cyanotype for Toning

    • 4. Green Tea Toning

    • 5. Black Tea Toning

    • 6. Instant Coffee Toning

    • 7. Brewed Coffee Toning

    • 8. Final Analysis

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About This Class

Cyanotype is a beautiful and simple alternative photographic process that lets you get hands on with photography. But are you out of luck if you want something other than blue? NO!

In this class we will be walking through 4 simple toning methods that will give you colors from red ochre and sepia to slate blue and grey. And all of this is done with household ingredients that you probably have on hand (or can get from a local grocery store). The star ingredients: Tea and Coffee!


Need an introduction to the Cyanotype Process? Check out my other classes that walk through the basics in more detail.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Panter

Alternative Photography & Game Making


My name is Ben Panter and I am an artist, professor and game-maker. My art is photography based and I enjoy experimenting with and combining new and old media. I've been honored to have several artist residencies through the National Park System over the past few years, including Rocky Mountain National Park and Acadia National Park.

I've also been designing board games for about a decade now. Like many in the field, I started out very casually, but have more recently committed to creating a more steady flow of games. I especially believe in helping others enjoy game design as a hobby unto itself, and through my classes on skillshare I hope to make it accessible for more people.

You can view more of my photography work on my website,, and follow me on Instagr... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey there, my name is Ben. I'm an artist and educator. Welcome to this class. Toning cyanotype with tea and coffee. Now, it's no secret to you now that I love cyanotype. I love the hands-on process. I love the experimental nature. I love printing outside, and I even love that rich blue color that you get in all your prints. But there's times when you might say to yourself, all right, I've had enough of the blue. I want to experiment with some other colors, whether it's because you want to match your living room decoration palette, or whether it's just that a particular image doesn't feel right in blue. There are reasons why you might want to explore other colors. The great thing is that cyanotype doesn't actually lock you into that blue color. That's what it is natively. But there are relatively simple toning processes that you can do to change those colors. In this class we're going to talk through four different methods of toning cyanotypes with standard household ingredients. We're going to use two different kinds of tea and two different kinds of coffee. Let's go ahead and look at the results you can get. Of course, you're familiar with your standard cyanotype color. This is an image that we're going to be looking at a lot in this class. But you can get colors more like this, a more traditional sepia type tone. You can even get something that definitely has more of a red to it. There's this much more faint, very faded blue-gray type of color, almost like a slate. Then this really rich, almost black that you can get out of these other methods. Is it complicated? No, it's really not. Is it hard to get the supplies? No. You can get these probably from your pantry or the very least at a local supermarket. I'm excited to build on the skills you already have of cyanotype and open up new possibilities of expression and creativity by teaching you how to tone. In the next video, we'll be talking specifics about the supplies you need. So I'll see you there. 2. Supplies: Well, hey there and welcome back to this class on cyanotype toning with tea and coffee. In this video, we're going to be going through the supplies you'll need in order to complete this project, and just know that I'm going to be giving you all the supplies I'm going to be using, but you can feel free to pick and choose which of the specific toning methods you want to do, whether that's because you have stuff on hand or because the colors are what you want to make your final print. To start with, I'm going to be showing you all the regular cyanotype supplies, doing a quick review of that. The most important part, you have your part A and part B of the cyanotype solutions that you will mix together in order to make them light sensitive. You need some basic containers to mix them in, measure them in, things like that, and you're going to need your basic watercolor paper. Again, watercolor is important, one, because it's the way it's treated and because it's meant to be handling wet media, and this is a process that, of course, we're going to be developing it like normal in tap water, but then we're going to be soaking it again and again in several different baths of solutions, so you need to make sure you're getting a decent quality watercolor paper that will hold up. The specific watercolor paper I'm using for cyanotype right now is this, just regular Strathmore 300 gram cold press, and then there's also Canson of the same variety and thickness. These certainly aren't 100 percent cotton or anything like that, but I think these are a good enough quality to handle the wet of the process well, while not being so expensive that I hate to waste a sheet if I make a mistake or if I'm just experimenting. For me, that is the paper that I like using. Of course, if you want to take the easy route and just go with pre-coated paper, you can go ahead and do that for this process with toning even. Just know that that is not watercolor paper, so I'm honestly not sure how that's going to hold up through multiple water baths. It might be fine but you have a little less control over the quality of materials, so you're going to be experimenting a little bit more. But if you want to go ahead and try this out and you already have some of this pre-coded paper on hand, well, then go ahead and give it a shot. In this project, you are welcome to do a regular plant or object silhouette type print that is very common with cyanotype. For me, though, I am particularly are going to be doing some photographs on negatives. I have the printable transparencies here that I have used before, and that's going to give me a good way to see not just the color shift, but also how the tonal range works with these different toning techniques which can be important. Of course you're going to need a frame and one big enough to hold the paper you're using, and you can see I actually still have my negatives in there and with that, you're going to need to print. Now if you're somewhere that's nice and sunny and warm, you can print outside. That's a great way to do cyanotype printing, that's one of the things I love about it. But if you've gone through one of my most recent classes on how to do an indoor printer, you could go ahead use your indoor UV printer, which mine looks something like this. I've got strip UV LED lights and a big bin, and I can do all my printing inside in a relatively short amount of time and has really helped me be able to make more cyanotypes more quickly regardless of the weather, or time, or day. If you haven't taken that class, I highly recommend it. That will help you get into cyanotype, making cyanotype more often. That's the basic cyanotype stuff, and if all of this is foreign to you and you're just interested in the tea and coffee photograph aspect but you've never done cyanotype, I really recommend going through my foundations classes. I have cyanotype 101, 102, 103 that walk you through from making your very first blueprint or a cyanotype prints, all the way through how to mix your own chemicals, how to make negatives, and all of those steps to bring you up to speed on this process. If you're starting from scratch, never done this before, I'd recommend checking out those videos on Skillshare first, and then coming back here once you have the basics taken care of. Now let's talk about the specific materials you will need in order to do some toning. The first part is you're going to need some bleach, and you could use household bleach, just regular chlorine bleach. However, that tends to be harder to control and it is not a favorite of most cyanotype photographers out there, and so we're going to give you some alternatives that are more common to use. You're going to want to use at least one of these. There is washing soda. This is sort of related to baking soda, but baking soda will not do the same thing. So you need to get washing soda. You can pick this up normally from a grocery store or places like that. Washing soda is option number 1. Option number 2 for your bleaching is ammonia. Now, you can go to the store and buy straight ammonia and this is the most scientific efficient way of doing it, but I have heard of people using ammonia-based household cleaners as well. Now, there's other things mixed into those. There's alcohol, there's possibly other elements that are mixed in, so there's more variables at play that you don't have control over. But if you don't want to go out to the store and buy something and you do have household ammonia cleaners on hand, you could try to do some of these steps with that. One huge disclaimer is, I'm going to be talking a lot about bleach baths, and then of course we're using ammonia. If you're not aware, mixing together bleach and ammonia is always wrong. If they mix together, they can form a deadly chemical to inhale, and you do not want to do that. I'm going to be talking a lot about a bleach bath, but I don't mean that I'm using bleach. I'm using ammonia and washing soda. It is possible that you could use just bleach, but if you choose to do that, do not also use ammonia. You never want to mix those two. Hopefully that's clear. That's one of those things I never want to take for granted that everyone knows. Once again, you will need at least one of these on hand in order to do the bleach bath, now let's go on to the actual toners. In this video, we're doing your household toners. There's a lot more options out there and I do plan on making more classes on more advanced toning techniques, but right now we're doing tea and coffee. The ones most commonly used for that are green tea, which is funny because you don't imagine green tea being that strong of a color. But remember, it's not necessarily about the colors being used, it's about the chemical compounds, in this case, the tannins that are in here. Just regular green tea, and then of course black tea as well. You're going to be using probably about 10-15 bags of each of those teas to make a single bath. Then we move on to coffee, and really there's two ways of going about the coffee. You can do the instant coffee method, which is very popular. I know a lot of people do that just because it dissolves in water, it's a little easier to work with, but you can also use brewed coffee. Instead of using my good coffee because I like a good cup of coffee, I went out and bought some very cheap coffee because compounds involved, they're going to be just as good as using great coffee but it's a lot cheaper. So I went ahead and got some very cheap bottom of the shelf type of coffee to use for that. Again, the reason we're doing these little variations is because toning is all about subtle variation. You're going to see that while there are formulas to follow, there's a lot of experimentation and little variables along the way will make a big difference in the final outcome. So I recommend that you take these as guidelines starting places, and then you can see how you can make your own unique versions of these prints as we go. Last thing you're going to want is some trays. You're going to need some containers for these various solutions and baths we are making along the way. I happened to have some old darkroom trace that were made for various sized prints, so I have some small ones like this I might use. I also have some larger ones. Of course any plastic container like one of those plastic shoebox organizers, anything at all that's going to be holding these solutions is fine. Of course some of them are just going to have tea or coffee in them so anything food safe is fine, other ones are going to have more household cleaners in them so you might not want to use something that you're putting food in all the time. One thing to keep in mind is you don't want to be using metal trace. Metal and cyanotype don't mix together. Typically that shouldn't affect the toning process, but it's just something that personally I don't want to go near. That's not one more variable I have to account for it. Some type of plastic container is what you're going to want. Of course you're also going to need access to some running water in order to make your prints, as well as washing between the toning process steps. That is all the supplies you need. Of course you can find the list below in the class description. In the next video, I'm going to talk through a very quick overview of how to make a cyanotype print, and a few key things to keep in mind if you are making a print for toning. There's a couple of things that you might want to adjust in your normal cyanotype process. I'll see you then. 3. Printing Cyanotype for Toning: Hi, there. Welcome back to this class where we are toning cyanotype photographs using tea and coffee, regular household products. In this video, I'm going to talk through the cyanotype process and specifically call attention to some things you have to pay attention to when you are cyanotype printing and planning to tone it. First, let me start off by saying, I'm not going to walk through the cyanotype process here, the absolute basics. If you need that, I suggest you go to my other classes, I have cyanotype 101, 102, and 103, and then you can come here. It's not that it's all that complex, but you need to have the foundations right first before you move on to here because you need to know things like being able to do a test strip, being able to get a good exposure, all those fundamentals. In this class, I really just want to focus on the toning techniques. Once you have the basics of cyanotype down and you feel comfortable making prints of your own, you really just need to keep these four things in mind when it comes to making prints with the goal of toning them afterwards: Number 1, I already talked about in the supplies, and that was that you need to have a decent quality paper. If you've been using very thin paper, it is more likely that that paper is going to cause an issue, whether it's that it's starting to degrade too much because there are so many liquid buds in this process, so it's something you need to consider. Now, I don't recommend going top shelf, like I said before, because that starts to get very expensive and it's still a very experimental process. I would go middle of the road, something you can pick up at your local craft store without breaking the bank, but somewhere in that 300-gram weight. It has been really good for me and so that's what I'd recommend. Number 1, get good quality paper. Number 2. This one is a little counter intuitive, but it makes sense when you think about it, and that is overexpose your prints. Now, overexposing, when it comes to printing from a negative, means that your print is actually getting darker. You want to overexpose with the purpose of making a very dark print. Why is that? Well, that's because these toning processes are based on, first, bleaching out some of the color and then replacing that color with something else. Since we're bleaching out, we're inherently making the final print a little thinner, we're removing some of those darker tones. If you make a dark print, suddenly when you start bleaching it back, you're going to start seeing into those shadows a little more, you're going to start seeing detail. Then when you replace it with those tones later, those details then take on a different color. If you start with a regular exposed print and then bleach it back, you're going to end up with a lighter print at the end. The colors aren't going to be as rich or anything like that, so you're going to want to overexpose. Now, there's not a hard and fast rule for how much you should overexpose, there are so many variables in terms of what your light source is, and the density of the negative you have, things like that. But as I say, for myself, I did a few different options in the 1.5-2 times my normal exposure, and that, for me, lead to some darker than normal, but not completely dark results. That's a starting place. One of the things, this is going to be a theme of this whole class, is that this is so experimental in terms of things changing off the literalists variables. This is something that you're going to have to experiment and find your own solution for what works well for the results you want. But number 2 is, you need to overexpose your prints, get them darker than you would normally get a print that you were just going to leave. Number 3 is, you need to make multiple copies of your print. You can't plan on just making one print and saying, "I want this one print toned." That is, once again, because this is an experimental process, the tiniest variables can make a difference between something being good, getting really nice tones at the end, versus something being a little bit muddy, or the highlights getting too toned, or something like that. So you really need to have several to pick from and go through the process and you'll end up with a few that you like at the end, but probably not all of them, especially when you're just starting out. If you do the same process again and again and you get really comfortable with those specific parameters, then you might be able to dial in where you only need to do one at a time. But for what we're doing here right now, myself included, I definitely need to have a bunch of prints to choose from as I'm doing each toning. I get myself in the range of 6-8 prints to try with each toning method, so that's what I would suggest for you as well. The last thing is, you need to let these prints sit after you develop them for at least 24 hours. This, in the alternative-photographic process world, is called letting the emulsion harden. You're not taking these freshly develops prints, and then bleaching them right away, and then trying to tone them, that's going to be too catastrophic, not only to the paper, the fibers themselves are just getting overworked, and so they're going to get muddy, they're going to be taking on colors that you don't want. But also the emulsion itself, it needs to rest, it needs to get in its final state before you then are going in, and bleaching some out, and replacing it. This is a bit of an entire weekend project, you make your prints, you let them harden, and then you move on to the toning process, and ideally, that's in the over 24 hours of rest that you've given them. I even heard people say they find old prints, years old, and they go in and tone them just for the fun of it or to practice with different methods, and that's fine. So if you have any sitting around, that's a great way to experiment and figure things out before moving on to the final versions that you want. Those are the four things to keep in mind when you're doing cyanotype for toning. Get decent quality paper, overexpose your prints, make multiple copies and let it rest for at least 24 hours before moving on to the toning step. In this next video, we're going to actually be starting with the first toning method, so get your supplies together. If you haven't made your prints yet, go ahead and get started, and I'll see you there. 4. Green Tea Toning: Hey there, and welcome back. In this video, we're actually going to be walking through the process of toning with green tea. It's always important to remember with toning a cyanotype, that this is an experimental process. Meaning, the slight changes even in the water types, in the specific amounts or even kinds of green tea, many other variables you're going to get probably different results than me exactly. We're going to have a starting place of these formulas that you can use but then it is up to you to be experimenting from there and hopefully we can be working together in order to get results that you love. At the end of the day, we get these cyanotype prints that are a beautiful color of not blue. Why don't we go ahead and get started. I'll explain to you what is here in front of me so that you know what to mix and what to make and then we'll go ahead and start the process. So let's dive in. Let's go ahead and talk about what I have here. First of, we have my stack of cyanotype prints, and I've got a whole range here and I've given myself a few good ones. This is the base print and if I get this to focus, there we go. You can see this is the image that I wanted to use. This is actually a spot we got to stay in Rocky Mountain National Park for a residency. It was really beautiful and I'd love to go back there someday and so I chose this image. I've overexposed it a little bit. You can see like in the shadow areas where there's detail in the original digital file, this has just gone dark blue. In this process, I'm hoping I can get some of those tones back. But there's others, you can see in here. This one definitely didn't get dark enough. I've got a few lighter ones. Throughout this process I'm going to be making use of all of these prints, even the ones that aren't as good because I need some to get the lay of the land. As I'm using the bleaching process, I need to learn how that's reacting to these specific prints. I need to learn how the toning is reacting. It's good to have some prints that aren't your favorite to test things out on first. Let's look at what's in these trays. First, I have a large tray of water. Now, if you're doing this on your kitchen counter or bathroom sink or something, you can of course just be rinsing in the sink but I'm down here in my studio, so I wanted to have plenty of nice clean water and we're going to use this as a rinse between steps. Over here, we have the green tea. The green tea is a pretty strong solution of tea, much stronger than you would normally make. This is seven bags of green tea that I've put in boiling water for 10 minutes and we want to end up with a total of a half liter but I did 250 milliliters of the boiling water with the seven tea bags, brewed that for 10 minutes and then I topped it off with 250 more of cold water. Our final solution isn't boiling hot because boiling hot would make it so the emulsion on the prints would probably get too soft and might cause some different effects. Some recipes call for as much as double that, some call for half of that. That's one variable you could play with. Then over here we have actually two different bleaching methods set up. You'll only need to use one but I wanted to show both depending on what you have on hand and also depending on what results we get, you might prefer one or the other. The first one, we have 30 grams of ammonia for a half a liter of water. That dissolves very readily, mixes together with the water, no problem. The second one we have is a one gram of washing soda to a half liter of water. That one, I actually did use a little bit of hot water to get the washing soda to dissolve better before I added it with the half liter of water. These are both medium weak solutions. They're not as weak as you can go, but they're definitely not the strongest solution you could use. Again, depending on the results we get, you can choose to make that a little weaker, a little stronger and you're still going to get some version of a toned cyanotype. Anytime I'm dealing with ammonia, I like to make it clear, be sure you are not in any way mixing this with some chlorine. Chlorine, ammonia, you should never, never mix them together. Of course we don't need to do that here, but we're talking about a bleaching step, but it doesn't actually involve chlorine bleach. We're only using ammonia or washing soda. One last thing, these are all fairly safe household chemicals. Ammonia is the most caustic, washing soda is the same stuff that's in a lot of detergent but ammonia definitely has a much stronger smell than the other. If you're worried about fumes or ventilation and things like that, then I would probably opt for washing soda. Related to that, I also do have a set of tongs that way I don't have to be running my fingers through these chemicals all the time. Then last but not least, I do have some more scraps of prints and these are ones that didn't make their way to a full sized prints, they're just little bits and pieces left over, but they're going to help me to run some tests of seeing what the bleach step is doing and making sure we are getting the results we want. With no further ado, we're going to go ahead and get started in this process and I'll just give you the general breakdown, it's very easy. Generally, we're going to want to be bleaching out some of the colors, some of the original chemistry and then we're going to be toning it with the toning solution, in this case, the green tea. But there is some in between steps to that. What we want to do first, I'm going to use one of these test strips is we want to actually get the paper wet again. We want to get this so that it is ready to evenly take the different solutions in. If it's completely dry, then it might absorb it differently and so we just want to put that in the water and get it wet. Once we get going here, I might have a few prints just soaking and getting ready. What I'm doing right now is just called agitating. With the water step, it's probably not that important but you do want to be aware of a few things and that is, if the solutions aren't evenly touching the entire print, then you're going to get unevenness in the final result and that can be really, really noticeable and basically impossible to fix once the error occurs. You want to make sure the entire print is covered. If I leave it face up like this, you can see like there's a corner that isn't completely under and if that was happening in the toning solution, then that corner would not be toned correctly. There's a few things you can do. You can be, one, making sure you are agitating it, that means basically moving it around. You can also have it upside down, especially if you have to leave it there for a while, you can have it upside down. The one thing you have to be careful of with that is to make sure there are no air bubbles underneath there and there's really no guarantee but the best you can do is to be tapping, forcing it all the way under tapping, making sure that you've given the chance to tap any air bubbles out from underneath as you're going and that will be the best you can do. This one's wet enough as I let the excess water drip off. Then we can drop this into the ammonia bath. You can see really quickly that is taking on a different color and this is completely up to you how much you want to leave this in here. You can leave this in for a relatively short amount of time, you can use a timer to time it, you can see some of that we're starting to lose color in there already. It's been about 10 seconds. I don't want to go too far, so I'm just agitating. I can definitely see some more details are visible in there. The shadows are getting lifted. Of course it's taken on that different color but we don't go directly into the green tea. Drip this off, and then I'm going to go in and rinse this off again. That's essentially like a stop bath that's causing the ammonia solution to stop acting to not have any more effect and I can rinse that off. In the meantime, I can take this other print that's been wet over here. I'm going to go ahead and drop this in the washing soda. Again, I'm going to agitate this and you can see this had a much slower reaction, but it is slowly changing and slowly bleaching out. This one's starting to lighten some more. As you can see for these two, we're just going for that like 10 to 22 range, just enough where they're a little bit lightened. Later on we'll try some full size prints for a little bit longer, see what happens if we bleach it out more. Again, I'm going to dip that in there. In the meantime this first only had has definitely stopped rinsed off enough and rinsing also helps to make sure that we're not getting the ammonia or the bleach bath into our toning bath. I'm going to go ahead and drop this in and start toning. This color wise is going to be hard to see immediately because of course the yellow of the tea is going to get in there and so we just want to make sure doing that. It's already taking a bit of a different color there though, which is encouraging. There's definitely a little bit red, maybe a little bit of violet in there and so I'm just going to leave this in there and now this is where you want to be as scientific as you're willing to be. In my case, I don't normally like having to over analyze things, but I am going to just set a timer to make sure I don't completely lose track of things. I'm moving to set a one minute timer, so I don't forget that I need to check on that. In the meantime, I'm going to actually start putting a couple more prints in here to get them ready. We'll do a light one, move on to a medium, more dark one and get this going, of course, get those wet in the top, then flip them over. I can see this one is actually starting to take on a nice violet tone. Yeah, it's getting there. It's getting really nice. Make sure I'm not bringing too much over. Now I'm going to move over. This is the one that was bleached with the washing soda. Same thing. I'm just going to get it, make sure it's under there. Nice and good. Then flip it. Flip over this one. It's taking on a pretty similar tonality, which is nice. I'm just going to leave that one in. This one I'm going to pull. Oh yeah, that's a really nice violety tone. I'm just going to put that into our rinse, so that starts getting rinsed. In the meantime, I'm going to go ahead and start pulling this over. I'm going to take the little bit darker one, put this into our ammonia bath. Again, that has taken on an immediate change. This one, I'm going to leave in just 10 seconds, I don't want to lift too much of the color. Washing soda. Pull this one out. It's definitely got a little bit of a darker coloration than the one that was done with ammonia. That's an interesting outcome. Go ahead and move this one, the larger print, so you can see what it looks like right now. The reason, even if you liked this color, you couldn't really leave it like this is because we've put it in this bleach bath and that's made the print unstable. It's not going to be able to stay like this. It wouldn't immediately change, but it would fade over time. But when we're putting it over here, the tannins of this toning solution are going to make this still a light fast and relatively permanent image. This one definitely got lightened from the washing soda. It was a light print to begin with. So we'll see what kind of results the green tea has on a very light print already. How much of that image does it bring back? These are pretty similar prints. I'm just going to go ahead and see what happens if we let them bleach a little bit longer. See, as I'm going back and forth between these two bleaching, I do. Well, one tried to get as much chemistry off of there as possible. I also dip it through the rinse bath, just to make sure I'm not cross contaminating this because they're able to be different results from the two bleaching baths and I want to make sure we keep it that way. I'm going to keep going, I'm going to keep pushing this till it is very light. We still have a lot of details in there, we keep going a little bit till some areas look blown out, and see what this final result has. Go ahead, and this one seems, the image is definitely still there, but it's very bleached. I think I'm going to give this a try. Into my rinse, really the only thing that remains in here are the darkest shadows. Everything else is getting bleached out. You can see just what happens with that. This is an example of one that was toned in the ammonia and left in for about three minutes in the toning bath. I have these last two cyanotypes, and I'm going to tone there on the medium, and this one's a little bit darker. I'm going to try to actually do a bit of a lower amount of bleaching. I'm going to try to do these quick and see, again, the difference in results that we'll get. Let me go, this one here. Just enough to get that blue out. Let's take it on that color, get that in here. To stop it, and do something similar with this one. Just till it changes colors. You can see this one is definitely a slower reaction. Definitely, different than it was originally. I'm going to leave these ones in for a couple more minutes. They're starting to get some interesting color going on, sometimes leaving them in there longer, as long as it doesn't seem like the highlights are just getting dyed by whatever your toning liquid is, it doesn't really hurt anything to leave it in there a bit longer. I'm going to go ahead and do that. We can actually look at what we've got so far. We're getting some interesting results, and you can start to see the difference of the colors that are going on. Up here, these are the ones that were bleached in the washing soda. This is the one that was bleached for about 15 seconds or so, and then toned. This one is the one that was bleached quite a bit longer, a few minutes till it was almost gone. Then same down here, these are the ones that were done by the ammonia. This is the one that was bleached for about 20 seconds. This is the one that was bleached for several minutes till it was almost not there. The only thing that was visible was the darkest shadows really. All of them were toned for relatively the same amount of time, about the 3-5 minutes range, and you can see the difference in results we're getting. Now, one thing to also keep in mind, is there was a difference in the density of the prints, the darkness of the prints. This one I think was the darkest print to start with, and we have the darkest final print. But of course it wasn't bleached as far as this one either. Again, we're going to see the differences that are able to be achieved through different methods. Again, that yields some interesting results. These two were both only dipped in the bleach solution for five seconds maybe, they were just enough to start changing colors where there are no longer the cyanotype blue, and then they were brought out, put in the tone, and you can see there's definitely different results. It's interesting. Here, the darkest one was in for about 20 seconds, the second darkest was about five seconds. This one was for several minutes. There's some relation possibly between how long you're leaving it in the bleach and the darkness or the density of the final print. Of course, there's also a color difference which is pretty pleasing in these, I think, with a little bit of a bluer shadow, versus here the entire image is basically just toned with that lighter red color. We were seeing the same thing up here. The one that was left for a long time is basically a uniform color, versus the ones that were left a little bit shorter, have a bit of a shift between the shadows and the highlights. This has been toning with green tea. Hopefully, you're starting to get some results that you really like. Just remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There's lots more variety that you can achieve by mixing different amounts of each solution. You can vary the amount of time. You can vary the density of your original prints, how long you expose before originally, the negative you're using or the object that you're printing can change and change the final results. So there's a lot more room to play, but hopefully, just these examples, walking through the steps, have equipped you to start making your own experiments and get results that you really like. In our next video, we're going to go through the similar process, but with the toning with black tea. I'll see you there. 5. Black Tea Toning: Hi there and welcome back. In this video we're going to talk through the process of toning a cyanotype prints with black tea. Now, if you followed through the last video, we've already toned with green tea, and so now we're going to see what the difference is. There's some similarities, we're still dealing with tannins, but you're going to end up with different results or we'll see. I already had everything laid out in front of me, I'm going to talk to you about what it is, the process we're going through and then get to the actual toning, so let's go. Once again, I have my trays laid out in front of me, and I'll just talk through what they are really quick to make sure we're all on the same page. I have my central tray of water, and yes, I did change this water since we did the green tea toning, so this is freshwater that I can be rinsing in. Over here I have the black tea, this is our toner, and I did seven bags of tea for a half liter of water. What I did actually, I did a quarter liter of water boiled and I let that steep for 10 minutes with those tea bags. Into that I added in fresh cold water to bring it up to a total of a half liter, and so now I have a half liter of barely warm black tea that's fairly strong. Over on this side, I have our bleach options. Again, you don't need to do both of these, if you only want to do one, that's fine. But there's going to be some differences that we'll call attention to. Over here, I still have the 30 grams of ammonia to a half liter of water, and here I have one gram of washing soda to a half liter of water. They're both going to achieve the same thing that is we're bleaching back our print, but they're going to do it in slightly different ways. They can blend to different techniques and color shifts, so I want you to be able to see what happens with those. Up here I have my prints, these are ones that have been hardened for a while, and I have a full range, some that are nice and dark, really ideal for this, some that are a little lighter but we'll be able to see the results for all of them. I have my tongs, that way I'm not having to dip my fingers in all of these, and these are going to be able to be rinsed off as we go in the water. Then I just have a few little test strips, and this just lets us makes sure that everything is acting the way we want to right at the beginning. As we get used to these specific mixtures of ammonia and washing soda, we don't need those nearly as much, but it's always good to start there, it's like a test strip, if you will. Once again, I do want to mention that if you're concerned about chemical safety or anything like that, of course tea, water, that's perfectly fine. Washing soda, this is regular household detergent, so that's really not an issue. The only thing that could be an irritant here would be the ammonia, this is 30 grams to roughly 500 grams, so it's pretty dilute. But at the same time this is much stronger smelling than anything else here, so if you're worried about ventilation or anything like that, certainly you can opt for the other option. If you're worried about having that on your skin, then you can of course wear gloves, goggles, that type of thing as well to be as safe as you want to be, but this is a fairly innocuous toning method here. Let's go ahead and get started. Once again, let me just go through the major steps so you're clear with what we're doing. We want to bleach and then tone, but to do that we want to make sure there's a water step in between each. We're going to start by putting some in the water, and what this allows you to do since these prints have hardened, we want to get the fibers wet again just to make sure that they're able to take the chemistry into the paper evenly. If they're not wet, then it's possible for more unevenness, so I'm just going to plop this in here. As those get wet, I'll just say, it's always a good thing to be a level of scientific, and there's varying degrees of that. For me, I like to have a phone available for timing things, but I don't try to time everything down to the second. I have general feeling, once I get results that I really love and I'm trying to duplicate that, then I might try to dial in the timing. But for a loose experimental time like what we're doing today, I just like to keep a general track of how long things are taking without being overly precise. These are nice and wet, so I'm going to go ahead and put that in. You can see there's an instant change for that to a different color. Let's put this one in, it's always good to agitate prints. Get those underneath, flip it over. Same thing here, make sure it's completely submerged under. One thing we've noticed so far is that the ammonia definitely appears to have a quicker reaction, and so I'd say that's been about 15 or so seconds, drip that off a corner there and drop it in here. Once again, we go from the bath, we don't go directly to the toning, we go to a rinse step in between and that acts as a stop bath, it stops the action of the bleach. This one has also taken on quite a bit of that color, so drip this off, drop it in here as a stop, and let that rinse off for a second. Meanwhile, I'm going to get two more prints ready that are roughly equal to the same, and I'm going to go with these two. I'm going to go ahead and start getting these wet so they are ready to go. You always want to be careful of agitation, meaning you want to move them around, so if there is a solution that, that is getting mixed around and evenly covering your papers. Also just so everything is getting evenly coated, that there aren't spots that are above that are only in contact with air, and so you want to be moving them around a little. If you want to make sure the surface of the print has it on there, you can turn it upside down like I'm doing here. Then you also want to make sure you're tapping it so any bubbles would come out from underneath because bubbles especially when you move to the toning or the bleach step, would be an issue. Come back over to our original prints. See, it hasn't been as significant of a shift as the green tea, which is crazy. You'd think that this would be a lot darker, and therefore it would tone more, but there's still quite a bit of blue in there. It hasn't shifted quite the same. Let me let these just rest a while longer in here. These are some interesting results we're getting right now. Can see a few things from here. One is the highlights aren't getting too dye, they're starting to turn a very light tan. You can see in these areas, even areas over here that didn't have any chemistry on them, they're not turning tea brown, which is a good thing. What we do have though, is there's quite a bit of blue in the shadows still there, this cyanotype blue, and it's the medium to lighter tones that are starting to take on the brownish from the tendons of the tea. We get a duotone image that I think could be really nice. That was about a seven or eight-minute stint in the tea like this, which I'm going to keep stirring these two ones around. I think those could be interesting results with these ones. I'm actually going to go ahead and let these bleach a little bit longer. I'm curious what will happen if we have more of the image get bleached out, so we have more of just the tea as the result. We can go ahead and figure that out. Very faded. Just a small amount of that image left. We'll see what happens with tea. I'm going to leave just another minute or so. Interesting. You can see different curves of the reaction. The ammonia has an immediate change on the color, but then it seems like it slows down a little bit over time. Whereas the washing soda takes off a little slower, but it definitely faded this image more quickly in the same amount of time. Just interesting different effects it will have on an image. These ones, I want to take out before I start just completely dying the paper. I'm going to go ahead and pull both of these. [inaudible]. This one is really, no, the blue is pretty much gone. There's a little bit of that residual image left, but I'll just go ahead. Let's take a look at this image. We can look at it right next to this. This is a lighter cyanotype print, but you can see very significant change in the color. It's up to you, of course, what you like better. But this one, I would say, it's got that very faint reddish-brown in the highlight areas. Especially, again, that's changed to what you'd call I got a little bit of a muddy blue in the shadows. It's a nice split effect that will warm and cool. We saw some of that with the green tea as well. I think with the right image, that can be really nice. Of course, there it does give it like an antique type of look, like a sepia-toned effect, but it's not that, it's cyanotype. It's good to know that you can get very different color like that. This one is looking even more antique than the others because of that more monochrome look. Here we've done almost a total value or color shift. I just wanted to do some instant analysis here. Up top we have the ones that were bleached with washing soda. Down the bottom, we have the ones that were done with ammonia. Not a ton of difference between them this time, I would have a hard time telling these apart, I think, which is good to know. Just use the one that's most available to you. Of the images that came out, I think I like the first one we had which was roughly 22nd bath in the bleach and then toning for 5-7 minutes or so. I like the richness. I like the split between a little bit of the cool shadows in there. Still nice and dark. I think there's nice between this and this one. The more monochrome we got, I think is pretty good as well. But it is much more faded. It's much more low contrast of an image, and as this dries, it'll become even more low contrast. That could be an issue. Then the next one is where we just did basically, a quick dip in the bleach and then tried to tone. I'm not a huge fan of those, but it definitely did keep more of the blue. If you like that look, there is even more contrast between the blues and the background got less of that color because it swapped out less of that color. That's what the process is all about. You can pick which of these combinations you prefer. My overall lesson from this batch, I would say as I do still think the overexposing tip I gave you makes a lot of sense. Those are my favorite ones, the ones that were most overexposed. They lend a higher contrast-toned print at the end. The other thing to keep in mind is maybe, a higher contrast print to start with would be a good idea, because the overall contrast is getting lowered as we print. That has been toning with black tea. Of course, your results may vary, but at the end in the final video, where we're talking about all of these examples, we'll talk about the pros, the cons, what we liked or did not like about any particular toning technique. In the next video, we're going to be talking about toning with instant coffee. See you there. 6. Instant Coffee Toning: Hey there and welcome back to another video of toning cyanotype. In this video we're going to be toning with instant coffee. If you've gone to the last couple of videos using tea, it's going to be the same process, except with a different toning material. I have everything set up and ready to go. Let's go ahead and jump into the process. Once again, let me explain what's here in front of you, in case anyone has skipped ahead to coffee because they didn't want to work on tea. So I have my water tray. This is for rinsing between different baths. I have the instant coffee. The instant coffee is mixed four teaspoons to a liter of water, and I did half of that amount of water in hot water first mixed together, so the coffee and got nice and mixed, then mix the rest in cold so that our final solution is just warm, not hot to the touch. Over here we have our bleached buds. As I said before, I have two setup here to try two different techniques, but you don't need to use two, you can use only one. The first one I have is ammonia. I have 30 grams of ammonia to a half a liter of water, and then I have one gram of washing soda to a half liter of water. I did use a little bit of hot water just to get the washing soda mixed together. Once again, all of this really is pretty innocuous. The only thing that you do need to be a little careful of is the ammonia. If that's something your skin would be sensitive to, then you need to take precautions, maybe wear gloves or just be careful as you use tongs. If you need to choose between the two, the ammonia definitely gives off more of a cent that you might need to worry about if you're sensitive to that kind of thing, so make sure it's a little ventilated where you're working and you'll be fun. We're going to jump right in and follow a pretty similar procedure as the previous two videos in terms of just testing out what the reactions are going to be, and then maybe make some adjustments with our prints, and just so you see an image of the print we're starting with, same one we've been using in the other videos. We have a nice comparison. I have several of these that are ranging from nice and this is a little bit overexposed, to some that are more right on their exposure. These are going to give us some different results, but they're going to show us a full range of what toning with instant coffee can give us. Remember the overall steps are that we're going to be bleaching away some of the cyanotype colors first, then we're going to be toning. But between each of those steps, we're going to be using a water bath. So we're going to go to water bath, bleach, water bath, tone, water bath, and then we can let it dry. Starting out, we're just going to use a couple of little spare squares of cyanotype here. Of course we want to start by getting these wet. Of course I'm going to be using my tongs to be moving these around for the most part, and we get them wet just so that the fibers of the paper start being able to take in liquid so that when I put them in the different solutions, that they will take that in evenly as opposed to sometimes if it's dry and they're not going to be able to take that in as readily. Drop that in. See that one changes almost instantly. The other one takes a bit of a slower change. It's going to leave these in here for about 15 or so seconds, maybe 20 seconds. This is the importance of agitation so that the water is being evenly distributed. Chemistry is being evenly distributed. You can see the color has definitely changed. If I hold one of these original prints over here, it's a lot different. It is important to note that these are not stable at this point. You've messed with the chemistry where if you were to bring this out, it would probably fade over time much more quickly than a regular cyanotype would, because we've added the bleach into the process. We want to make sure that we do move on to the toning step as these rents, I'm going to actually prepare our next couple of prints. Go ahead and dump these into the coffee. Now, you might have some expectations for what's going to happen, there's definitely a lot more what we would call pigment in coffee than there is in tea, so you would expect the paper itself to start getting died, and I would expect that we will see that happen. But remember, we're not just dying things here, these are chemical changes that are happening to the paper. That's really what we're most interested in. Finding the right combination of the bleaching step to the toning step of how long and what measurements of the solutions we need to have in order for some interesting results. The very least, the smell of the coffee is starting to overtake the smell of the ammonia, which is a good thing. These at this point are nice and wet. I'm going to go ahead and just put these in. I'm going to follow pretty similar steps to what we just did a second ago. You can see, I'm not being too overly precise with this. To me, the joy of cyanotype is the ability to experiment, and if I found a really nice print, and I was intent on trying to make a series of those, yes, I would begin to be more precise by timing things and things like that. But generally, as I'm working with, especially toned cyanotype, I like to just have my clock handy so I can have a general recollection of the times, but we're just in really experimentation mode, and to me it's not worth taking super careful notes or care of the time, because I don't really know what I'm aiming for. These are moving towards black actually. Just really nice. There's a warmth to them and to the highlights. But the actual color of them is, you'd say a very blue black, more of this gray tone, which is really nice. You got to go ahead and pull these before the paper itself starts getting toned, and again, we go back in to that rents to get rid of any excess before they go to dry. Once again, we're noticing some interesting changes into these, that the ammonia has a really quick change on the print. It starts bleaching it right away. It levels out and really slows down its bleaching process. The washing soda has a slower change at the beginning, but it does continually bleach away the image at a more steady rate. You can say this one is noticeably lighter at this point, and we keep agitating it here. It's going to keep getting lighter. You don't have to agitate it just with the tongs, with your hands, you can also just tip a tray like this. See these prints definitely started out as being lighter and so the result is lighter. But they have this really pleasant gray tone to them, which is just so different than the blue. It's a nice result for a very different feeling image. These last ones, I'm going to go ahead and just do what I've done before, which is we're going to do a very quick dip into this bleach. Let's see how our things here doing. That's only very soft, which follows a trend of the other two where the longer we left them in the bleach, the lower the contrast was of the image. But you start with the right image, so that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. See between these two images that are rinsing right now, there's a pretty significant difference in the colors that are there. This is so much warmer. It is that tannish brown these tones, which is this is pretty cool. There's slight warmth to the highlights, but there's that really neutral, cool gray that the rest of the image is made up of. That makes a nice contrast there. That's the difference perhaps in the bleach. Could just be a difference in the original image as well. Darker image, crispy, bleached less of it away. This is more of the original image. The coffee just lended a bit of that change of tone, which is another unique result. Again take a quick look at what we have here. The top ones were put through the washing soda, and the bottom ones were put through the ammonia. There's a pretty significant shift from one to the next in the difference in colors. Overall, there's a theme, but you can see there's a lot of difference between this and this image, and that's just the difference in a long bleach versus a very short bleach, and this of course is in-between. There is that trend being followed. Again, a lot of this is just preference for what type of image do you have and what's the aesthetic you're going for? Sometimes it might matter if you have a really high contrast image, then maybe you need to go with one of the lower contrast treatments in order to bring some of those details back into it. I really like how these toned images do keep these really subtle highlights in there. It's not bleaching those away, it's pulling those back in when we tone, which is very nice. Then even in these darker shadows in the shadows areas, there's quite a bit of detail in here. I really hope once these prints dry that that is maintained. This has been toning with instant coffee. Hopefully you've gotten some results that you love. The next video, we're going to be going through our fourth and last process, and that is toning with brewed coffee. I'm curious the results we'll get and we'll see you there. 7. Brewed Coffee Toning: Welcome back to this fourth installment of toning with tea and coffee. In this video, we are going to be going through the process of toning with brewed coffee. Now if you're following along, we just did the instant coffee and now we are going to the brewed coffee and I'm not expecting that much of a difference. I did kind of up to the octane of the coffee, so it's a little stronger, which could lead to different results in terms of tonality, but we might also try to get a little experimental with some other techniques. I'm ready to go. I've got my stuff setup, so let's get started. Let's talk about what we have here. We have first the water. This is where we're going to be rinsing between each step. Over here we have the bleach step, and of course you only need to do one of these, whichever you want to, and I'm experimenting with both so you can see what the differences are. We have 30 grams of ammonia that went into 1.5 liter of water, and we have one gram of washing soda that went into a half liter of water. I did use a little bit of hot water to get that dissolved before putting it into the half liter of cold water. Then we also, of course, have our brewed coffee. This is six tablespoons of coffee brewed for five minutes and a quarter liter of water. Then I added another quarter liter of cold water before pressing in, and depending on how you like your coffee, this is either really really strong or just right. We have my prints right here, and again, these are a range of some pretty good darker size prints. Several of these are little on the lighter side than I want. Actually I made a bit of a printing error over here. I accidentally got the edge wet after I had already coded the chemistry. So we get these weird lines, and that wasn't on purpose, creates an interesting watery effect though if I was doing it on purpose. I have my tongs, of course, that I'm going to be using to move things around. Then I have our little test strips over here that I can use just to make sure everything is functioning as expected. With no further ado, I think we're going to go ahead and jump right in with these test strips. Just by way of review to make sure we're all on the same page, we're basically trying to bleach away some of the image, some of the blue, and we're going to be toning that using the tannins in the toner. But we can't just go from one state to the other. We really want to be rinsing between each, and I actually want to do water between every step. We do water, bleach, water, tone, water, and that will give us the best results. Let's go ahead and add a couple of these test strips. We really need to get these wet to start with since they've been aging for over 24 hours now. Emulsion is nice and hard, but the paper needs to be more receptive to the solutions we're putting them in, so we need to get this wet to open up those fibers. As you can see the ammonia has an immediate change that happens, whereas the washing soda that's a much more gradual change to the image. But it is changing. It's doing more or less the same thing. Leaving these in here 10-20 seconds. Just enough where the image does start to fade a bit and start seeing into those shadows. Once that's done, we drop this back in the water, and this acts like a stop bath where this is stopping the bleaching process before moving on to the toning. Straight in, and see I am agitating and moving these prints. It's important that the liquids are moving around circulating so they don't get exhausted right at the spot what's happening. It's important to remember that these are not dying processes. We're not just making this paper sepia, although if we leave in there long enough that will happen. But there is actual chemical changes that are happening to these prints that are changing the colors of blue. If you remember with the coffee, you can see this is as pretty similar results as the instant coffee at least so far that it's getting into this like a gray tonality, maybe a cool gray with a bit of a split tone in there. It's pretty nice, and we'll see what things we can do to alter or expand those capabilities here. These look like they're about ready to go. You can see I'm not being overly scientific with this. I don't have timers running. I do like to keep my watch in front of me just so I can know what time it is and keep it general sense of the time, but I'm not counting these down to the second by any stretch of the imagination. If I had very specific results I was looking for and I had been doing a lot of experimentation in order to dial that in, then I would be keeping more careful attention and paying attention to that. But as we are more or less just experimenting, seeing the differences that can be achieved, then I'm not being too precise with it. These two that are in the bleach baths are starting to get quite a bit thinner, and when the shadows are opening up, the highlights are starting to get bleached away. I'm not going to push them quite as far as some of our others. I'm going to go ahead and pull these out. Really nice settled tones in here, and let's make you think about drawling with the color they get, maybe like charcoal or something like that. I'm going to pull these before the highlight, start just getting dyed. I'm going to go ahead and pull that. With this one, I'm going to try something different. I know that it's possible, although I haven't done, to actually invert the order. So instead of going bleach to toner, you can go toner to bleach. We're just going to experiment with this. We have this extra print. You see I know what's happening. It's really just muting the blues, and warming up the highlights, sort of the effect we've seen in the others which isn't terrible. This is just going straight into there. No bleaching process at all definitely giving it more of that antique look. Now, of course, we couldn't leave it in here, but I think the highlights would just start getting muddier and muddier. I'm going to go ahead and rinse this before we go on to the next step. These one's going to go ahead and put into toner. Make sure I'm going to go into the washing soda, I think. I'm going to go back in here just because I know bringing the bleach definitely destabilizes it. So I want to come back in, grab some of this toner just to finalize it just for a minute. These two still going to go back into the bleach again. We did bleach toner back into the bleach. Again, this is just experimentation for the fun of it. Like a bit of a pinkish maybe peach coming into there, which is interesting. Just look at the difference in color there, it's really interesting to see what shifting the order of some stuff does. Let's take a quick look at what we got here. This top part is prints that we did through the washing soda. The bottom ones are ones we did through the ammonia. We have our standard prints right over here. This was about 20 seconds in the bleach and then into the toner for a few minutes, four, five minutes maybe. We got these pretty nice prints. Again, there's almost like a drawling quality to the tones in these, which is nice. These we bleached for a bit longer and these were a little bit of a darker print, and we have pretty similar results. There is some difference in the amount of detail in the highlights, maybe. But overall, very similar tonality. We do get some shifting though once we started experimenting with the order of bleach, tone, bleach or toning and then bleaching. That's what we did for this one. There's a little bit more warmth. There was more pronounced when we didn't go back into the toning at the end. This isn't that far off. But when you look at the ones we did here and just this little scrap down here, there's definitely like a peach or a rose color in there that came out. Now, the last step that I went through though was a bleach, so I'm not sure how stable those are going to be as prints. Definitely not something you'd want to do if you're hoping there's going to be archival, but certainly different results in terms of color. That's something, again, another variable in any of these processes we've done, that would be something you could experiment with. This has been printing with strong brewed coffee and the results I think are pretty interesting. I'll be most interested to see how these prints that we just did at line up next to the instant coffee prints and certainly a lot of similarities. But since I don't have them directly next to each other, it's hard to make direct comparisons. But in the next video, we're going to be looking at all the prints we made with these four methods and seeing which ones we like the most, which we like the least, what things we would tweak if we did it again. Join me in the next video where we'll be talking analysis of these prints. I'll see you there. 8. Final Analysis: Hey there, and welcome back to this final video where we are going to be talking about the analysis of all the prints we did. We can look at the final, dried prints, talk about what we liked, what we didn't like, what we would do differently next time, and maybe some of the variables that we could play with as we continue this toning experimentation. I'm really happy with some of the results I got. It's very enlightening to see the small changes I made and see what the final outcome would be, and hopefully you got the same. Before we actually look at the prints, there's a couple big things to remember. One, don't get discouraged if something didn't turn out quite the way you want. There's a bunch of variables at play here from the very beginning of the process of how you've coded your paper through the very end to figuring out the exact amount of time that you're going to have things in the different solutions, the exact mixture, amounts of each chemical and each solution, the temperature of the water, all these things can make little changes along the way, and so don't expect your prints to look exactly the same as mine. These are just representative of some of the results you can get. Personally, I like the experimental nature of this, but it does mean you have to be willing to experiment. You have to be willing to make more prints than you think you'll need and not necessarily be able to get the same print over and over again. I'm okay with those as results. If you want to be more controlled, more exact with your results, then you have to be more precise with every step along the way. You have to code exactly the same way, have paper that's been dried the same amount of time, print exactly the same situations with the same negatives. All these things are going to affect you along the way. You're going to need to be weighing out amounts of the different chemicals in grams, making sure you're mixing that in the same way every time and having everything at the same temperature, and ultimately, then making sure that each print is in each step of the process for exactly the same amount of time. It's certainly possible to get repeatable results, but it does require a next level of precision that I definitely didn't show in these videos. With no further ado, let's actually look at the prints that I have here in front of me. I like this broad view first where we have everything compared, and you can see, each of these is a stack and we'll look at the different examples of each. But on top, I have my favorite print of each different variation. We can see what we started with, right here, which you've looked at before already here and again, this is a nice cyanotype print. The tonality seems pretty good and this is what you're probably used to in your prints, and so we're going to go through each of these and talk about what we liked or didn't like. This top row up here are the ones that were done with ammonia as the bleach bath, the ones down here are the ones done with washing soda. So even looking there, you can start to see if you think there's differences between this row and this row, and then we have in order what we did the videos in. We have green tea, black tea, the instant coffee, and the brewed coffee. Little comparisons like this, I think are really helpful to say, is there a difference between the two bleaching methods? When I'm looking at the difference between green tea and black tea, what am I noticing? Because if you were to look at either one on its own, you might just say, oh, they're kind of this sepia tone print at the end. But really when we look more closely at them side-by-side, there's quite a bit of difference between these two prints, and so I think it's nice to be able to compare all these together. Let's go ahead and look at this first batch. This is the green tea and ammonia. We're using ammonia to bleach here, and this was the five-second bleach bath that I did. You can see here, this is definitely a reddish brown, a fairly significant red to this print when you're comparing it to the other more sepia tone. If you have those next to each other, you can see that this actually is turning very red and it's nice. Here's another one. It was hard to tell between these two which prints I preferred. This one is still a little bit dark in the shadows, this one has some more visible details in those shadows. The thing I like about these prints is that color, that's a really nice, red that's significantly different, obviously than the blue, the monochrome blue, this is monochrome red. However, the prints that I got were fairly low contrast. When you compare that to the original print, this is a much higher contrast, this is much lower contrast with the tone diversion, and that's going to bring me to a theme that we have overall, which is the beginning state of your print when you're toning. It is a dark print versus a light print, if it seems to be a higher contrast print versus lower contrast. That's going to probably be the single biggest factor in determining whether you like the final outcome of your print. Some of these, they're a little lower contrast, but they might not have been quite as dark of a print to start with, which gave us a little less to work with. But overall, it does seem like the green tea gives a lot of toning in the highlight areas, but it does make for an overall less contrasty print. This one, again, is the example. I like how this one came out quite a bit. This was the 22nd bath in the bleach, and then here was like three-minute bath in that ammonia bleach bath and you can see this got very low contrast, but also it is the most monochrome. It's that very flat, red brown color, which again, in the right application, might be just the thing you're looking for. We'll go over to the green tea and washing soda combination here. This one is the five-second bleach baths. Again, not very long in that washing soda mixture. Here's a little longer, this was 20 seconds. Last we have this print that was done for about four minutes in the bleach bath, and you can see it's definitely a little bit lower contrast than the others, a little bit more kind of that solid, red brown color, but it hasn't completely lost contrast. There's still a lot of values in there that can be pulled out and again, depending on the lightness or darkness of the original print, I think this could still change the final outcome quite a bit. So make sure you're paying attention to what prints you're starting with. That was the green tea, that nice, rich, red brown. I think of all those, I would say this is probably between these two are still my favorite with the ammonia and with the shorter bleach bath times. Next we're going to move on to the black tea. Black tea, I think the results this gave us are the closest thing to what you would think of as a standard sepia tone. But with the shorter bleach time, they're left in some of those hints of a dark blue in the shadows that I think are really nice. It's not just a flat sepia tone with a shorter bleach time, and those are the type of results I really like. Here we have the black tea and ammonia bath with a 20-second bleach, and I'll hold that up next to the blue so we can see. Let me do it this way so you can see. Very significantly different, obviously, and you can see what I'm talking about here in the shadows. This is not just brown. There is a cool richness to those shadows that I think gives it some interesting details. Here we have the five-second bleach bath. But what's important to note with this one is, this was definitely a lighter print to start with, and so even though we did a short bleach, it couldn't really recover from it being a too light of a print of tone to start with. So that can be a bit of a cautionary tale to you. Then last, we do have this one that was bleached for about five minutes in the ammonia, and you can see it is a very flat print. This is what probably the closest thing we got to just that very traditional sepia type image, which again, this is not my favorite result of this bunch. But in the right scenario, if you want that very old sepia look, this could be a way to go, and that is a longer bleach bath in the ammonia. Next we're going down to the black tea with the washing soda. I think there's quite a bit of similarities. Here I'll hold the one done with the ammonia up next to it. There's quite a bit of similarities, a little bit of difference in the amount of red or blue in each of these images. The one with ammonia has a bit more blue, this one has a bit more red, and that could be some variation of the actual chemistry involved. That could also be a difference in the print. It could also be a difference in the exact amount of time I had these in there. It's always important to think about what variables were in play as you were making these. But again, I like these for this image was able to keep quite a bit of contrast in there. The highlights are definitely a little bit of a warm brown, not quite as warm as the red of the green tea though, but in those shadows, it's still that rich contrast. There's enough blue in there that gives it that really nice, not just tonal contrast, but also color contrast. Here we have one that was done five seconds again though this was a lighter print so this is probably not a great example and then last, we have the one that was left in for about five minutes in the bleach bath. You can see this really did start getting very flat, very low contrast, which does generally follow the theme we're going to see. All right, so those were the teas, green tea, black tea, now let's move on to our different coffees. You can see, well, there isn't as noticeable of a difference between the coffee's as there is between the teas, there is some difference. Again, some of that you can chalk up to the different toning methods, some of that you can chalk up to that there were different prints and slightly different times probably, and all those other variables. Take all these observations with a grain of salt, knowing that there is room for experimentation and change within each of these categories. First, we're going to look at the instant coffee with ammonia and this was the five-second bath, and I do really like the results here. It's still fairly high contrast and it's short of black, almost. There's definitely some blue in here, I think this is just a really dark, navy blue tone and the highlights are just the faintest bit of this warm gray and so again, that's a pretty nice contrast. That was the five seconds in ammonia with the instant coffee. Next one we have the 20 second bath in ammonia with instant coffee. Again, we have the same idea, I remember this print was lighter on one side than the other and so we have that contrast between where the shadows are really nice and dark versus where they get lighter, you can see the difference that makes in the print. Then last, we have the longer bleach bath and you can see it got more faded, is not quite as noticeable with this one. Here I was experimenting with doing darker prints, it's a little less contrast and a little bit flatter, but probably not as noticeable, as noticeably low contrast as what the teas were at the end. Next, we have the instant coffee with washing soda, bleach bath, and again, nice higher contrast image, and I think pretty much identical tonality to here where we have, it's a very, extremely dark blue really, you'd call it a dark gray with just a hint of blue, maybe a dark slate or something like that with just a hint of a warm gray in the highlights. I do really like the results of this compared to the original cyanotype blue a stark difference. It doesn't look as blue when you put it next to the blue of the cyanotype, but when it's on its own, there is that coolness to those colors that I think makes it read as blue. This is an example of the five-second bleach in the washing soda. Here's the 20 seconds bleach. Again, this was a lighter print to start with, so I don't think that's really a great representation. Then this one was interesting, this did start to really react to a long lease back so that three-plus minute bleach bath in that washing soda, and it just watched those details out and flattened things out beyond repair. I think this is what you'd call muddy where the tones are just all starting to blend together because the highlights aren't bright enough and the shadows are dark enough to cause that contrast. Next, we're going to go over to our brewed coffee and up top here we have the brewed coffee with the bleach bath very similar. Let me have these side-by-side here, and you can see, I think the difference that I would see is the highlights here are a little bit cleaner in the brewed coffee one. In the instant coffee, the highlights are a little bit more brown. In this, they're not quite white, there's still slightly off-white, but they're whiter than the instant coffee. This tends to lead towards a higher contrast image and just like a cleaner-looking image overall, which is a nice effect. This is an example of the 20 second bleach, here we have an example of the three-minute bleach. Still kept quite a bit of contrast in there which is interesting. I know this was a darker print, so it was able to keep more of that contrast in. This is the one where I also experimented with some different orders of toning. This just tiny little snippet, this was actually put in the bleach and then toned and then bleached again, but it's really a negligible difference. This one didn't seem to really change things that much, I know it's possible with some toning techniques to invert the order of steps or maybe even add in another toning step, but for these that did not seem to have any effect. Last we have our brewed coffee with washing soda and this one was actually the three-minute bleach ended up being my favorite, but again, I know at this point I was experimenting with what would happen with a darker print with a longer bleach, and so that was still able to keep quite a bit of the detail in the shadows, still maintain a fairly high contrast print. I do think if you compare the washing soda with the instant coffee to the washing soda of the brewed coffee, I do think that the highlights are still cleaner, slightly cleaner in the brewed coffee one. That's something to take note of or definitely pay attention to as you keep experimenting. Next, we also have the 20 second bleach of the same method. We also have the one that we experimented with putting it in the toner first and then bleaching and then the toner. But what's interesting though is basically I think doing the bleach and then toner step at the end made it more or less impossible to tell it apart, there doesn't really seem to be that much of a difference. Looking at these two side-by-side, these are very similar prints. I think most of the difference has to do with what the original print was, not with the difference in toning, which is interesting because this was a three-minute one and this was a 20-second one. Last, and probably least actually, this was another experiment I tried. It was a lighter print to start with, but I tried a bleach tone and then bleach with this one and indefinitely just bleached out a lot of the details. I wouldn't say that the shadows in this appear to be more black, but the highlights also got more brown. It's a low contrast print, but the shadows do appear black so that might be a method that was bleached bath, then toner in the brewed coffee, and then back into the bleach that might be worth experimenting with to see what results you could get. Looking at these again, now we understand what these are, I have the ones that I think are my favorite prints of each category up of the tea methods. I really like the reds over here, but they're a little too flat so I would want to experiment with darker prints with shorter bleaches to see if I could get a little bit more of that blue in there. I think with the red of the background and the blue and the shadows might turn into that really nice purpley rich color in the shadows, which could be cool. If I was going to continue to experiment with the green tea, that's what I would do. With the black tea, I think contrast is everything. The black tea might be more suited if you have a high contrast print because the highlights are definitely no longer white, they're taking on that brown color in both of these methods and because of that, it's a lower contrast print. I do like the ones where there is a bit more richness to the shadows where you can see a small amount of that blue still coming through. If I were to be using the black tea method on more prints, I would keep it on the shorter side of that bleaching period to make sure that I keep that richness in the shadows. But overall with the teas, I'd say my observation is this is going to be a lower contrast print at the end. Now, over here to the coffees, I'm really a huge fan of the overall color that's slate blue. The instant coffee and the brewed coffee aren't that different, but the differences we see, I think, are worth noting, that the instant coffee did leave a bit of that warm gray in the shadows versus the brewed coffee didn't seem to die the paper quite as much, it didn't seem to turn those shadows quite as dark. I would say of all of our images, the brewed coffee has the greatest capacity for a high-contrast print just from that fact alone. Probably my favorite print overall and remember this is a combination of the starting print and the final combination, but my favorite overall would probably be this one. This print ended up having to me the right amount of contrast, the highlights are still very light. There's a nice richness to the color of the shadows and I just really like the results. When you compare it to what the original is you see that stark contrast between the two and I like the results so I would definitely try the instant coffee again. I also tend to like prints that are higher contrast and so if I had to choose between one of these to continue experimenting with, I would probably go towards the brewed coffee. I like the color that we were able to get and I like the amount of contrast that's in the final image. Once again, I want to thank you for coming to this class. I really hope you've had a blast exploring some new possibilities of what you can make with cyanotype. I know I've had lots of fun diving into these, explaining all the thought process and variations that you can come up with. I'm really excited to see your results, make sure as you're experimenting, you take photos, you share them as a project with the rest of the class because we can all learn from each other what we're doing, different combinations we've tried and the successes or failures we've had together. I'm sure I'm going to be making more classes like this in the future because there are more toning techniques. Some of them are very accessible like this, tea, and coffee, other ones might require some different ingredients that are a little harder to source so I'm going to expand on this toning process series as we go. Remember if you've had any questions about the overall process of how do you mix chemistry, how do you make it negative? All of that I've answered in previous classes, so be sure to check out my channel and go to my other classes and get yourself up to speed on cyanotype to fill in any gaps of knowledge that I haven't covered specifically in this class. Thanks so much for joining me, I'll see you in the next class.