U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: gum "curves"

Re: gum "curves"


> I think there's some misconception at work here; I have an intensely
> classical mindset, and my objection isn't that the curves thing is
> too predictable or not romantic enough; it's that as far as I can
> see, it's not very predictable or repeatable for gum. Otherwise why
> would you have people using PDN and still adjusting their development
> or exposures to conditions, and saying things like "my method is
> predictable until it's not predictable"  which as far as I can see is
> exactly the situation we're all in, curves or no curves.

I'm beginning to wonder whether you even bother to read my posts to this
list any more.

Just the other day I pointed out that there's a serious flaw going on in
your argument here.  When used correctly, PDN (and curves in general)
eliminate any and all guesswork.  Anyone who tells you that their PDN
curves are unpredictable (no matter what the process) is not using the
system correctly.

I can tell you from my own experience (as well as others, I'm sure) that
making curves for gum has been extremely reliable, and has never been

As far as whether curves are better than no curves, I don't really think
there's any way to settle this.  So I say give both methods a try and
stick with what works.

But is it really necessary to bash the method that you don't use?

> If people like the curves approach, be my guest. .  just don't expect
> me to follow suit,

We don't.  That's not what the original post (Chris' curve vs no curve
comparison) was about.  Nor was the subsequent discussion.

> when there's no evidence that this is a superior
> approach in some objective sense that demonstrates its superiority in
> superior prints,

This may be true, but the "superiority" of curves is entirely subjective
anyway.  If that's your belief, that's fine.  But to quote you (see
above), just don't expect me to follow suit.

> and so far no evidence from my own observations
> that  this approach would improve my own prints in any way, or make
> them more consistent or my process more reliable than they already are.

It doesn't sound to me like you've given curves much of a chance.  The
comparison you posted recently was either a bad curve, or an incorrectly
applied curve.  At the very least, a good curve would have been able to
get a close match to the uncurved print (possibly with some changes in
exposure, etc.).

Evidence can be hard to find if you don't look for it...

Camden Hardy