U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: dig negs (Burkholder)

Re: dig negs (Burkholder)

I know I said I was done with this topic, but I have a few thoughts.

> To me, the test of a product or new method is the prints that result.
> If the hyperbole surrounding PDN had merit, one would expect the PDN
> system to be producing gum prints that are vastly superior to
> anything that's been made before, but  so far they just look like gum
> prints to me-- not better, not worse, than other gum prints  that
> have been made.

A consistent means of creating digital negatives (i.e. PDN or Dan's
method) wouldn't necessarily create "vastly superior" prints compared to
other gum prints.  If the system works for a given person, they may be
"vastly superior" to one's previous works.  That doesn't make the system
of choice any less valuable.

> The gum prints, present and past,  that I consider
> extraordinary in terms of the quality of the printing, tonal scale
> and so forth, have been made from a variety of negative types, from
> imagesetter negatives to continuous tone, and there's nothing about
> PDN that's suddenly blowing everything else out of the water as far
> as I can see.

I'm going to question whether gum's a good example to use here.  Correct
me if I'm wrong, but doesn't gum have a rather short tonal scale?  Based
on my experience, gum gives much more latitude in your digital negatives
than a process like pt/pd.  Assuming I'm right here (and I'm by no means
saying that I am), it follows that the accuracy of a digital neg is much
less important for gum.

Also, a "correct" digital neg wouldn't do anything to the tonal scale (or
continuous tones) of the process; it would merely give a more accurate
representation of tones in the final print.

> So I'd like to offer another point of view to reassure
> those people: if you can't or would rather not spend that kind of
> money, you can make perfectly acceptable gum prints without either
> system, and save your money for gum and paper.

It could be argued that you'd save money in the long run from all that gum
and paper that wouldn't be wasted...

Camden Hardy