Well, no use crying over spilt milk. I'll have to get more paper coated tonight (I coat in the evenings, when there's no sunlight around) and make some exposures tomorrow to get extra copies of the image. I have three un-altered prints left to work on, so I'll be continuing the tests. Some additional research on toning cyanotypes with easy-to-find and safe-to-use chemistry has added some more tests to my list. Notes now include how many scans I plan to make, so the process is fully documented.
- Ammonia Bleaching – 2 Scans: Before and After
- Borax Bleaching – 2 Scans: Before and After
- SuperTea Toning – 2 Scans: Before and After
- Ammonia + SuperTea – 3 Scans: Original, Ammonia-Only, Ammonia+SuperTea
- Borax + SuperTea – 3 Scans: Original, Borax-Only, Borax+SuperTea
- Selenium Bleaching – 2 Scans: Before and After
- Dektol Bleaching – 2 Scans: Before and After
- Dektol+SuperTea – 3 Scans: Original, Dektol-Only, Dektol+SuperTea
- Household Bleach Bleaching – 2 Scans: Before and After
- Laundry Detergent Bleaching – 2 Scans: Before and After
- Lysol Spray Bleaching – 2 Scans: Before and After
Originally I planned to compare all these results to a single untoned image, but I realized that would be a terrible control group. Because I use the sun to print instead of a UV exposure table, my prints are all slightly (or significantly) different from each other. As I noted earlier, even four prints all made for 50 minutes outside on the same day did not match perfectly. Two are much lighter than the others and I have no explanation as to why, other than clouds potentially blocking some light during their exposure.
This new plan should be much more rigorous and provide far better documentation of the effects of different bleaching and toning agents. I'll have to make a stop by the Light Factory to do the Selenium and Dektol processes, and a stop at the grocery store to pick up some Ammonia.
When I post my final results and scans, I'll include notes on the dilutions and exact steps I'm using for each toning process.