U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Not All Fresson Prints Are Great

Re: Not All Fresson Prints Are Great

Title: Re: Not All Fresson Prints Are Great
The exchange of information on Fresson is always interesting from a historical perspective.

Regarding the "pointillistic painterly" look which is characteristic of color fressons made from 35mm negatives, this results from the fact that exposures are made from 35mm separations and what you see is the mixture of the grain through the various exposures.

I have commented before here, or at least I believe that I did, that I saw an exhibition in Barcelona many years ago of color Fresson prints that were made from original 6X6cm negatives. The look was entirely different in that the "pointillistic" look was entirely gone.

I think the "pointillistic" look could be obtained just as easily with CMYK gum  if someone really wanted that particular kind of image.

At 12:11 PM +0100 5/23/07, John Grocott wrote:
Judy and All,
Judy, You wrote:-
''For what it's worth, I saw a portfolio of Metzner's Fressons when she
spoke to a class a friend was teaching at Cooper Union some years ago. I'm
probably a clod, but I didn't get the thrill -- perhaps less fault of the
process than the photographs, which struck me as ordinary. I add, FWIW,
that from where I stood (off to one side) I noticed a white haze over part
of one background and asked about it. Metzner hadn't noticed it, but upon
examination recalled she'd said the area looked dark, so they'd apparently
added a thin white layer.

I have in my possession a 16'' X 20'' Fresson print which was rejected by the company who commissioned it several years ago. The print was paid for and then thrown out in the garbage. They said it did not meet their expectations. I can see nothing about the print which is objectionable.  It looks exactly like a matt surfaced bromide.  But maybe that is what the company did not want. The print has no apparent grain. It does not have the ''pointillistic  painterly''  character so much admired. There is fantastic detail and tone gradation on a smooth paper base and it does not look  AT ALL like an Echague. But it is a Fresson print all the same.
            Re. the ''white haze'' in the Metzner print. I suggest that more probably it was achieved by the brush removal of  some pigment whilst development took place showing the base colour of the paper support. Direct Carbon does allow for retouching to a great degree both by adding  or removing pigment, or both. The effectiveness of this, of course, depends on the skilll of the worker. So  here we are discussing  just two examples of what could be considered crap prints for totally different reasons appart from considering whether the subjects of the prints were attractive or interesting.
Can you remember what the Metzner subject was?  The print I have contains much fine detail of a leather workers workshop. The subject does not bring out the notable aspects of Direct Carbon, but still it is very archival.
                            More later. Regards
                             John- Photographist - London - UK