U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: my first two gum prints

Re: my first two gum prints

Hi All,
This seems to me a demonstration of how differently different people will view the same image.

I think Little Sister is a nicely made tricolor gum print and a cute image, but the other image, the portrait, really speaks to me. I could live with this image, in fact I keep it open on my desktop so I can look at it often. I like the colors just as they are; the golden brown light in the face echoes the golden brown light in the background, and the pink of the vest provides a subtle color contrast while still echoing some of the same hue tones; it brings out the light of the face while remaining in the background itself. To me, it's an analogous color scheme that works very beautifully, and doesn't need any cool tones to be a well balanced picture. I was a bit sorry to learn that the sweater is actually more purple, which would be a different, more complementary and therefore competing rather than supporting, color interaction. Not bad in and of itself, but the effect would be different.

But that's the cool thing about gum printing, is that like painters, we can think about these questions of how colors work together, and like painters, we could even choose colors that work together in ways that suit our purpose, rather than represent the actual colors if they don't.

Not that I think Charles should go out of his way to change the colors in the original image, if he'd prefer to print it more realistically. My point here is more a general point that comes out of the context of other things I've been thinking about recently: isn't it great that in gum printing we have the option to express an image in whatever colors we want to use (more like a painter than a photographer) without having any obligation to, or being forced by technology to, represent the scene in the colors of the original scene.

I agree; if there's no texture in the negatives you've got, there's no point in printing them again to try to print texture in. I don't think I quite understood that, at first.

My 2cents,

On Sep 17, 2007, at 9:39 AM, ryberg wrote:

Many thanks to those who said such nice things about my prints.
Even greater thanks to those who offered advice. It is all carefully noted and will be used, if not on these images, on some others.
For those who asked, I'm using the three colors which came in an inexpensive set from Daniel Smith--Hansa Yelow Medium, Perylene Red and French Ultramarine. The screaming yellow in Little Sister is intentional--her stockings were screaming yellow. I failed to get her dress a much brighter green to match the real one. Korean children and many adults wear BRIGHT colors. There is no story behind the image--just a tired little girl at a long public celebration of Budda's birthday. The overly warm look in Adjuma may well be too warm but, again, it is a warm image with the dried vegitation behind. Her purple sweater is not quite purple enough. I'm still working on that image, so I can cool it down and see how it looks.
As to the several suggestions that I print over the image--I just can't do it. My small muscle control and my poor eye-hand coordination make hand registration impossible. I use registration pins and plan all my negatives from the start so I can punch them at one time. The negatives I have show no texture in the hat, so I could reprint forever and not get any. I did try (disaster) a new negative to add some texture to the hat. A closer inspection of the Photoshop image indicates that the texture in the hat, while present, is pretty pale. What I am doing now is adjusting the photoshop image to add the texture to the hat and sleeve, reprinting the negs and now the image. I'll post it when it is done. I don't work as fast as many of you.
Charles Portland Oregon