From: Christina Z. Anderson (email@example.com)
Date: 07/05/03-09:41:39 AM Z
> On Wed, 2 Jul 2003, Jack Brubaker wrote:
> > in the past people used other bichromates. So people go off expressing
> > individuality by trying and making claims for other sensitizers. The old
> > literature is full of half-cocked ideas written by semiliterates who
> > to believe how important their work is when it seems their only real
> > is that they did it differently. But since they can't write we aren't
> > sure of that. And since the art of printing did not afford them the
> > to illustrate their writing with meaningfull illustrations we cant tell
> > the images.
> This has been exactly my experience... I've tried every miracle cockamamie
> additive & "trick' in the old literature, of which I have a fair range.
> Some do nothing at all, some screw up the print, and others just change
> the speed somewhat sometimes... but the print character remains the same.
Jack, Judy, Sandy, Katharine, et al,
Thanks, Jack, for the apology and I apologize if I write and think at
the same time and therefore lack clarity. It's just a habit to sit at the
typewriter half cocked. I just wish we could meet at APIS and share work.
I'm glad you got cleared up through Sandy's expertise, but Sandy, could
you please answer my former question: is number of steps only related to
contrast or can I safely say it is also an issue of exposure? In my mind
it has got to be! At a certain point, exposing both am di and pot di at
their dilutions will show more steps up the scale the longer the exposure
is, I would think (not talking greater number of distinct steps, or lower
contrast--just more squares toward the 21 that have image color, you know?).
Anyway...it may be clear in Jack's mind but not mine--yet. Your 3% to 4.5%
is absolutely invaluable information to me. You've saved me lots of time.
Katharine, thanks for your incredible clarity. I love the way you
write. No stone is left unturned. It makes sense what you say about the
dichromates being different chemically for sure.
Judy, in reference to dilutions, I cannot imagine why not mix the
chemicals at their saturation point... in practice it doesn't make common
sense to dilute am di to pot di's strength in your stock solutions. If you
need less speed, you may use water in your coating mix, or less dichromate.
And Sandy himself has said that you'd have to have pot di at 4.5% to match
am di's speed at 3%, so it is not just a question of dilution.
My theory is it relates to acidity and alkalinity, but I'll shut up
with my testing. However, anyone interested, just use acid and alkaline
drops and test it yourself. AND, I found this info out from arcane books.
But, all this testing doesn't make a better gum print, content wise anyway.
Furthermore, my whole interest in it was in reference to sod di and how
fast it was, being such a super saturated solution--that maybe there were
benefits to it. I have proven, at least to myself, there is no reason to
use it in my practice. It's not that fast at its full saturation, it is too
thick and syrupy, and too deeply colored. But all of you inveterate gum
printers already knew that--I'm certainly reinventing the wheel here.
But, Judy and Jack, I beg to differ with both of you! I've been mulling
this over for the last two days, and in agreement I will say that the most
valid way to learn gum is by doing. Period. The time I spend researching
if spent gum printing would be better for my understanding of the process,
since I happen to spend thousands (no lie, over the last 3 yr) of hours
researching photography! Research is not necessary to be an expert gum
However, when I begin to think of all the wealth of experience out
there that I have read in old books and how maybe *one point* from one book
is worth the time it took to read it, I just can't imagine why anyone
*wouldn't* want to read historical accounts of the process! But that is my
personality I realize.
Some people thrive on shopping. I get to "shop" and not pay ! AND be
on a treasure hunt at the same time! It's like detective work--it excites
me! Heaven to me will be a library! I owe a large majority of my
Experimental Photography Workbook (200 pages!!), and almost completely my
chapters in it on mordancage and dye mordanting (except graciously Jonathan
Bailey and Nate Apkon and some on this list helped), to old books. When I
asked current practitioners of mordancage who were experts in the process,
NONE of them had the *decency* to either reply to my emails or if they
replied they shared nothing. And I will not mention names. They held onto
their secrets. Hence, my search had to be in old books, coupled with
practice, to figure it out. In the search process I discovered new things
and cleared up old problems.
My reasons for sharing this info (or for teaching photography as I have
for the last three years) is to *save people time*, to inspire them, to prod
them to get excited and get their hands into the processes. Photography is
thrilling! It is not to be the supreme all knowing person on the alt list.
Screw that! I don't mind risking being "dumb" on this list. I wish more
people would feel the same. But I sure as hell mind when my efforts are
either not appreciated or invalidated. I get enough of that in academia.
Speaking of old books, whoever recommended the How to Make Old Time
Photos by McDonald--thank you, thank you! I got it from abebooks.com and it
is really cool--my crit is that he copies verbatim another book on gum
(still trying to figure out which it is) and doesn't reference it. I can't
find footnotes, bibliography, or acknowledgements, anyway.
Happy 4th of July weekend to all us U.S.'ers.
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