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

Re: gum "curves"

On Oct 27, 2006, at 12:41 PM, Sandy King wrote:

For gum, I will defer to the experience of those who have worked with curves, and without curves. If anyone believes curves would not improve the quality of their work, I am inclined to agree with them. Question is, have these folks bothered to actually compare the quality of their own work with that of someone else who uses the curve approach? Some folks are perfectly happy with work that others would consider below par. There was someone on the list a few months ago who went on and on about how curves were not necessary (no names, please), but I have seen this person's work, and as far as I am concerned it barely rises above the level of pure crap. But to each his own.
Wow. Well, it's not hard to see why I stopped reading this guy's posts, too. This, while not being a direct personal insult, certainly is insulting even though it's delivered as an innuendo rather than a direct insult. I know who you're talking about, and I rather agree about his prints, but it's like one of the old propaganda techniques we learned in school to suggest that because so and so didn't like curves and his work was crap, then anyone who hasn't found curves useful... well, draw your own conclusions. If you're saying my work is crap, then come right out and say it, Sandy, let's not beat around the bush!

But that's the point I've been making all along, that I don't see any superiority of the gum prints I've seen (at least as reproduced online) coming out of curves systems, to prints that have been made without curves. If curves were so essential to superior gum printing, then surely the superiority would be apparent for all to see; there would be a line dividing "curved" prints from everything that has come before. And like I say, haven't yet seen this sea- change in quality of gum prints as a result of digital curves.

But yes, I've looked at my prints in comparison to those made by others using curves, and I'm not afraid to compare my gum prints to anyone's. Not everyone (not every photographer anyway) understands some phases of the evolution of my vision over the years, or shares my aesthetic preferences, but it should be obvious to anyone from my demonstration prints that I can easily produce a print that fits the idea of "political correctness" in photography when I want to, even if you don't understand some of my exhibition work, which is very much out of line, and deliberately so, with that ideology. But I'm curious; did you actually look at the comparison I posted?


If people like the curves approach, be my guest. . just don't expect me to follow suit, when there's no evidence that this is a superior approach in some objective sense that demonstrates its superiority in superior prints, 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.