RE: Gum oil
Don, I think never in the history of photography did anyone ever get so
much publicity for so little. In retrospect, I'd say there were at the
time still *many* photo magazines aimed at, or including in their
audience, what we'd call "art" photographers, and the editors were
definitely aware of "alternative processes," as the latest thing, &
generating much interest.... but then they came to the end of the line:
They'd done what they could with whatever they thought their audience
would go for.
I don't recall an oil print article, by the way, tho there may have been
-- but oil print was probably more material and process than their average
reader cared to undertake.... and then, along came "gum oil."
Koenig's genius was not in the process, at least it never struck anyone I
knew as worth trying -- (and of course if you could do real gum, no reason
to bother) -- BUT what the man did UNFAILINGLY was get just enough in the
magazine article to sound good, with a few prints reproduced in color that
looked good -- and for the rest... YOU HAD TO BUY THE BOOK ! (which he
Of course shame on the magazines for going along with that, but nobody
there knew diddle about any of it, and it probably also sold magazines.
I purchased the book and still found it lacking but perhaps I wasn't savvy
enough to ferret out the salient details of the process, especially the
section on digital positives.
It was refreshing to see the work at the links posted by Katharine.