From: Stuart W Melvin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 07/23/03-08:23:30 PM Z
A couple clarifications,
I tend to err on the side of underexposure only on later coatings of the
first printings of an image. My first print could be viewed as a work print
in that sense. Adjustments are made on successive printings to come closer
to the "bulls eye" where exposure is concerned. If one is truly honest with
oneself, every print is a work print in the sense that every print teaches
one something that can be applied at a later time if they are observant.
"Dry Dichro" allows for any percentage value (thus any contrast level) to be
applied to a given coating. We are all using "Dry Dichro". We simply add
water to the dichro to end with a stock solution of a given percentage. Once
the coating is dried a given amount of dichro exists. Try laying down a
"1.5%" coat made of 10ml Gum / 1.5gms Potassium Dichro / pigment / muck. You
will see a very hard line high contrast result that certainly could not be
achieved with a 30% Ammonium Dichro solution "dry" OR "saturated". The
latitude of the variables is what determines the amount of artistic license
one possesses. Choice is freedom. One or two bottles of saturated solution
at one or two percentage levels on the shelf dose not facilitate much
BTW.....I also am mesmerized by Sam's work......Truly stunning!
Also, a quick mention of the fact that most comments to date are intended to
facilitate an ease of operation for those new to the Dichro process.
Employing creative discretion is (as Christina touches on) a life long
journey. If I feel an image calls for me to incorporate a look of wet gum
and pigment dripping down the image, I will pull the image from the
developing bath "early" enough to achieve it. I don't have aesthetic
"rules". The Dichro process DOES have physical "rules" tho. Knowledge of
those physical "rules" = more "fun".
From: Christina Z. Anderson [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: News from APIS
Good Morning all!
<Don said> As long as you don't reveal our secret marriage in Santa Fe talk
as much as
> you want.
OK DON, just wait until I give Ed Buffaloe the digi images for his website.
Which I hopefully will do today! Seriously, I am sending a bunch of jpegs
for Ed to post to his site of dif people and their work.
<Don said> Some of the gums shown by others seemed to be dark
> and stained by comparison to Stuart's. Sam Wang's prints and images were
I have to agree here. Sam Wang's tricolor gums were gorgeous. They are
remarkable prints, not only in technique but in content. To get the
delicate flesh tones he did on his gums that look like translucent
flesh...AND from diginegs..amazing.
Sam, I have a jpeg of one that I am sending Ed for the website to illustrate
my point, but I think you should really send him better jpegs than mine
because mine are taken at low rez and under flourescent lighting and I have
no "transform" function on my computer here to square up the edges (whew!
run on sentence).
<Don said> Nathan Condon (I hope I got his name correct) showed some really
> platinum prints also.
(Congdon) I am sending Ed a jpeg of one of Nathan's images also.
I think, after mulling it all over the last several days, I was going to
APIS to find the holy grail of gum, after researching it for 6 months solid.
I had overblown expectations. I am probably more guilty of hyping Melvin's
technique on this list than anyone, because of that enthusiasm. I came away
from his presentation with two things: rollers rock, and miracle muck is
another tool in the box. I even went to that incredible art store in Santa
Fe, bought a quart of the muck, and carried it on the plane with me. So I
didn't go home empty handed, literally and figuratively. However, my
problem in gum is *not* getting the layer to stick nor flaking--because I
err on the side of OVERexposure, as per Demachy's advice. And use longer
wash times and no brush. Stuart errs on the side of underexposure, he says.
Melvin's technique is truly impeccable. If you sense a "but" coming, you're
right--only a little one, though, and not a criticism of Stuart. My fear is
that those in the audience who might be tempted to try gum may get the
impression that it is a difficult and capricious process. In one sense it
is, having way too many variables for our own good. In another sense, it is
cheap and easy as all get out!
As Dave Rose says, "Read the existing literature and then experiment....
it's not that difficult to produce large, high quality gum prints if you
really want to." I agree here.
My goal in gum is and has always been how to teach students a quick and easy
method, so they can get right into it with good enough results (90%) and
then fine tune it later. I do think that the Berger method of no
development between layers has some real possibilities. I am not "there"
yet with it! I get green Geishas and other such color imbalances because I
am still working out a color concentration method in my layers. But in
monochrome, piece of cake! With greater pigment loads (learned from Livick
and Demachy) you can have a fully tonal, nonstaining gum print in one or two
layers--with no paper sizing.
My thought is that this method in combination with Sam Wang's method of
separation diginegs printed in tricolor, may work. It may be possible to
adjust color concentration and produce a beautiful print. OR, maybe the
first two layers can go on without development and the third or more
"adjustment" layers after can be developed out in between each layer.
Sandy King asked, "So why are folks using saturated solutions of ammonium
it is not necessary?"
To me it is easiest to mix up the dichromate at saturation point, but if
there is no time benefit or tonal benefit to a saturated solution, then I
wonder why, too? Another thing to test...
Later--need to jpeg my APIS images.
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