A masterpiece. Comprehensive, practical, easily understood. Useful tips,inspiring images, previously well kept secrets. No darkroom worker should be without it -- Photo Art International
This truly excellent book should be on the shelves of anyone claiming to be a photographer. -- Photovision
From the Author
There is no doubt in my mind that toning can often contribute enormously to the effectiveness of a monochrome print. It cant make success out of failure of course but it can make some successful images very much stronger. It can certainly affect the way in which an image engages the viewer and the atmosphere it creates. Ideally this is pre-visualised at the taking stage, but sometimes inspiration comes later.
For some, colour - or even a warm tone - is an anathema in a monochrome image. There is no absolute right or wrong about this of course, only our personal prejudices which we sometimes choose to label right or wrong.
In any case, and whatever our preference is in this matter, toning is still always a vital part of fine print making, be it for the introduction of subtle or even gaudy colour, to neutralize the slight colour casts inherent in some papers, to enhance Dmax and make the print gleam with an inner light, or to make our prints archival in this increasingly polluted world. We all need to tone our silver-based prints for one reason or another and often our negatives too.
Given the importance of toning it may seem surprising that there exists so little in the way of reasonably comprehensive books on the subject, in a form that is at the same time well illustrated, easily understood and not too dry. (It is also surprising how many inaccurate old wives tales still survive and remain in regular practice.)
In fact, toning is such a large subject with so many ramifications that it is extremely difficult to cover every aspect of it comprehensively in a single book without it being either too complex and frightening for some, or too simplistic for others. A totally comprehensive book would run into more than one volume and would find too small a market to make it affordable.
I have tried to bridge this gap by concentrating on the main toners of today and some less common but still accessible ones that have much to offer and are easy to use. Also by structuring each toner chapter on three levels, so that readers can enter each one at their own level and move up to slightly more complex techniques as they become more confident and proficient. I hope to show that what is often perceived as a daunting and difficult process can frequently be quite easy and great fun.