U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: New Blog on the block

Re: New Blog on the block

Well, as the author of that piece, I'll just chime in and tell you that my language was perhaps not precise enough. Dimensionally stable implies: "Won't change dimensions", and as you point out, humidity and other things can affect the dimensions of damn near any material. 

What I should have said is that any changes in dimensions are proportional. For example, when I treat COT320 or Platine with identical procedures, they still show non proportional dimensional changes. In other words, they make lousy papers for multiple printing because you will be 'on' in one direction and 'off' in another when you try to re-register your negative. I still haven't found a way to make a paper shrink or expand in only one direction.

And yes, I will confess to being somewhat 'trained' with that paper. It works exceedingly well if you are consistent. If you procedures are more slapdash, it will give variable results.

Who would have figured that a 175gsm paper would make a great 3 layer gumover substrate? That sure wouldn't have passed my sniff test until I tried it.


On Aug 21, 2007, at 8:54 PM, Judy Seigel wrote:

Don, that is an interesting blog & very informative on many points, but it reminds me of something my Swiss pediatrician said more years ago than I care to reveal.

It was the custom of Swiss mothers to put the baby on the potty, and the potty on the floor and against a table leg, then tie a diaper around baby's waist plus the table leg after every feeding, starting at about 3 weeks.  That is, the diaper acted as harness to fasten baby to table leg, hence sitting up on the potty.  Eventually of course baby peed in the potty, and at some point or other (maybe when it could say, "Mutti, untie me") was considered "trained."

As the pediatrician pointed out, the baby wasn't trained: the mother was trained.

And that's what came to mind when I read the fellow's comment about his Rives BFK that, "once it is treated it is dimensionally stable." He then describes an exacting protocol, with every aspect of handling, from initial soak to ambient humidity, drying, coating and timing precisely controlled and the same.

With those factors rendered identical after an initial soak, any paper, including probably newsprint will be "dimensionally stable."

Which is to say, the photographer is trained.

(My own tests show that  UNLESS treatment is thus identical, NO paper is "dimensionally stable.")


On Mon, 20 Aug 2007, Don Bryant wrote:

Hello Listers,

There is an interesting blog that maybe of interest to some of you. It's
main theme is whole plate cameras but today's posting discusses palladium
printing using Rives BFK. Very informative.

Here is the URL:

Don Bryant

-----Original Message-----
From: Loris Medici [mailto:mail@loris.medici.name]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 3:29 AM
Subject: RE: Freeform gum (Re: Gum printers in UK (Re: Scott McMahon gum
workshop, September

I see... Makes sense.

Nevertheless, I tend to include the method "separation by using the same
negative - with different colors - for multiple printings" into the
classification of "freeform" -> especially when one doesn't use stock
gum/pigment solutions (mix / add pigment by eye, instead). Additionally,
one can change the order of colors + the colors + printing times and/or
dichromate amounts to get very different results with the same

To me, only prints made [using strict separations (either duotone or RGB
/ CMYK) + using strict gum/pigment solutions + using automatic
development] don't quality as freeform -> these are simply reproducing
the printing press' actions by hand - with the freedom of choosing
colors... (Manipulating the image in development such as using a brush,
sponge, water jets / turkey baster ect... would allow the print to
qualify as "freefrom".)

Of couse, this is a highly subjective view open to discussion...


-----Original Message-----
From: Katharine Thayer [mailto:kthayer@pacifier.com]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: Freeform gum (Re: Gum printers in UK (Re: Scott McMahon gum
workshop, September

Actually, when I mused that maybe this isn't a freeform gum, maybe
it's done with "a separation negative of some sort,"   I wasn't
thinking just of tricolor separations but of anything that separated
the tones into a separate negative, in addition to a possible color
separation.  But certainly c would work too.  The question was, if
it's a freeform gum, how was the color separated?  None of the
answers below assumes a freeform gum, but all are certainly possible
ways of achieving it with "a separation negative of some sort;"
even "c" uses the negative to separate the colors rather than
separating the colors in application or development.  (When
tentatively defining freeform gum,  I was only thinking of separating
the colors by selective application; I hadn't thought of separating
the colors in development  as Damiano did; that's very well done).


On Aug 19, 2007, at 10:37 PM, Loris Medici wrote:

Not that I think I have a better idea but will list some solutions
look probable to me:

a) Making duotone (or tritone, or quadtone) separations. My color
/ duotone knowledge is limited, so I can't say if one could design
duotones profiles giving results similar to the image in question...

b) As Katharine says -> making tri-color separations... (Coloring done

in image editing program...)

c) Using a fairly high contrast negative and printing the highlights /

midtones and shadows in different colors. Shadows could have been
printed using a fairly opaque color or a color that gives green when
printed over earth colors - if possible... (Again, I don't know if
are such opaque greens - or if there's a color which will give green
when printed over earth colors... A transparent blue?)

I would first try (c) then (b) and (a)...


-----Original Message-----
From: Katharine Thayer [mailto:kthayer@pacifier.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2007 10:40 PM
Subject: Freeform gum (Re: Gum printers in UK (Re: Scott McMahon gum
workshop, September


Hence David's question about how one would get such a nice separation
of the green, in the absence of the use of color separations.  One
possibility is that maybe that image isn't a freeform gum but is done
with a separation negative of some sort.   Otherwise, I don't know
how it could be done.

Hope that's helpful, and as I said, I hope if someone has a better
idea, they'll say so. Katharine