U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Tricolor gum, order of layers

Re: Tricolor gum, order of layers

Hi Loris,
Aaah, I get it now. You erased and reprinted the cyan layer. Thanks, and sorry for being so dense.

Hmm, that's very interesting about the pointillism; by "composite grayscale" you mean greyscale printed with color inks, I assume. That's how I've always printed my paper negatives, and I haven't ever got that effect, except for the one time I mentioned when I used pencil to make changes on the paper negative. I wonder what the difference is, whether it's oiled or not, or maybe the kind of paper? The paper that's always worked best for me has been Epson Photo Quality Inkjet Paper, (now called Presentation Paper Matte -- same stock number, different name), oiled. I used to use mineral oil, til Keith suggested baby oil and I switched over. Well, it doesn't matter, I'm just curious ; I like to try to understand things that aren't immediately obvious to me.

You're most welcome, glad to offer what help I can, although ultimately it's gum that teaches its requirements and principles to those who are willing to learn from it; all I can do is point in a general direction.

On Sep 30, 2008, at 1:42 PM, Loris Medici wrote:

Hi Katharine.

It's in the print, it's not a scanning artifact. In my case I think it's
due to using composite grayscale paper negatives; because before using
paper negs, I had printed using colorized transparency negatives and I
haven't had a such pointillistic effect. Instead, the tones I got were

I fully erased the misregistered cyan layer (using brutal force) and
printed it again. (That's why it took more than 2-3 hours to share the
final result - I force dry with a hair dryer, therefore I can work

Thanks much - for the direct and indirect (website) help you provided,


Loris, the next one will be a lot easier.

Two comments: (1) I was interested in the pointillistic effect, the
breaking up of color into bits. (I'm assuming that's in the print and
not a scanner artifact). Not sure if that's a function of your
paper negatives (although I've used paper negatives a great deal in
tricolor and never seen that, but I've always oiled them, so maybe
that's the difference) or whether it's due to your cleaning effort,
but it's a very interesting effect, like some vintage autochromes. I
think it's fascinating, and unique (and I'll be really disappointed
if it turns out it's just a scanner artifact). The only time I ever
got an effect like this was once when I did some pencil work on the
paper separations, the color broke up like that.

I wasn't sure I understood what you meant about erasing the cyan
layer... it sounds like you were saying you erased the whole cyan
layer, but obviously you didn't, as there's significant value added
between the two-layer and three-layer print.

(2) I read somewhere that with color printing, the eye and brain have
a wide tolerance for perceiving a color representation as "right."
The main thing is getting the values right; if the tonal
relationships are right, then you can hang any kind of color on that
structure and it doesn't matter, the image will work. This is not
to suggest that there's anything the matter with your color palette,
at all, but just that my first impression was, "it works," and then I
got to looking closer at the pointillism and the imperfections that
you mentioned. They don't detract anything, in fact add interest,
because the image works as a whole, because you've got a good tonal
structure there. Sure, room for improvement if you say so, but
definitely "can be considered as good" and besides, isn't there
always room for improvement, for all of us. Thanks for sharing, that
was quite interesting.