Sunday, April 20, 2008

Introducing the Auratone - Guaranteed to make YOU shine!

The Auratone is a process I developed several years ago...I showed it to a few people and watched as their eyes lit up, but then decided to just keep it close to my heart for a while. Then suddenly it felt like the time had come to set it free and share it with here it is: The Auratone Print Kit!

If you’re familiar with early photographic processes like daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, sepiatones, and tintypes, you’ll get this right away. If not, you’re in for an exciting surprise!

Years ago I had seen an original Edward S. Curtis Orotone (circa 1920) at a friend’s house and was completely blown away. Curtis’ Orotones were made in the darkroom where he applied a mixture of gold dust and banana oil to the back of a glass plate print. The results were stunning…when turned over, the gleam of the gold shone through the black-and-white photo for a subtle yet very powerful effect. I started thinking of ways I could accomplish something similar without access to gold dust and banana oil. Early permutations involved the darkroom, glass, and gold leaf...all that, and yet it just didn't really work. Then I had one of those "A-ha!" moments (while in the shower, no less!) and its current incarnation is perfect...simple, classic, and DIGITAL. No darkroom! There is some hand work involved, of course...that's my thing...what to do with our favorite photos "after capture."

No matter what your specialty is, I just know you’ll love making Auratones!

Fine art photographers: Auratones are perfect for unique still lifes, scenics, nudes, and nature studies worthy of a gallery show!

Portrait photographers: Set yourself apart from the competition. Auratones look gorgeous matted and framed!

Wedding photographers: Nothing could be more elegant than an Auratone of the bridal couple…AND you can offer them custom Auratone thank-you notes to send to their guests!

Artists and crafters: There’s no end to the creative applications of an Auratone – on collage, assemblage, photomontage, and altered art.

Everyone: Miniature Auratones adhered to fine card stock make elegant notecards…create your own line of handcrafted cards!

Making an Auratone is easier than you might imagine. Aside from your computer, basic Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements) skills, and a desktop printer, everything you need is in the kit. If you’re curious but just not quite ready to buy the kit, for a limited time I’m offering an introductory special - to see the effect, purchase an Auratone notecard and receive a coupon entitling you to $5 off the regular price of the kit. Visit My Shop at

The kits will be available for shipping beginning June 1st.

Note: Auratone kits are for adults only…not intended for kids!


  1. This technique looks terrific. I just saw it reported in After Capture. It will be great to develop it when your solution become available. In fact, I can't wait to try it!

  2. Extending brush life:

    I have found a simple way to reuse brushes. After finishing applying Auratoner I clean the brush as well as I can with a paper towel, removing as much of the toner left on the brush as possible. When the brush dries out, I use a paper towel to squeeze and work the tip to soften it up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that actually works. The bush is a little stiffer than a new one, but I am still able to easily apply Auratoner with it. The slight added stiffness may even make it a bit easier to avoid brush strokes.

    This cleaning technique doesn't work indefinitely. After a few times the tip of the brush starts to tear and crumble. But it certainly is better than having to use a new brush each time I want to make some Auratones. I hope this technique will work as well for other people as it has for me.

    Steve Gadol