U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

Distilled, de-ionized, and the milky stuff.

I've been using so much van dyke lately that I have gotten used to the milky bloom upon adding the silver nitrate to the tartaric acid and ferric ammonium citrate mixture . 

The discussion makes sense in light of something I came across ten years ago in a biochemistry lab I was working with (versus in). I was employed by UCSD's school of medicine which is home to a number of research labs. All the labs had deionized water which we used primarily for rinsing off glassware. Occasionally someone would talk about rinsing glassware with double distilled water from a different line. One of the labs would periodically have delivered distilled water in the huge 10 gallon water jugs with a red cap (or some other color). Seeing them in the hallway I remarked to a coworker how they reminded me of the Arrowhead drinking water bottles (for the water coolers, site of many office offhand jokes and sexual harassment suits) was directed to read the warning label regarding severe gastrointestinal mayhem that would ensue if that water was ingested.

I have never seen this label on grocery store distilled water. I theorize that somewhat distilled grocery store water may be a protective measure to prevent accidental consumer medical problems. 

As for the van dyke brown sludge, I let it settle out and pull off the clear light green liquid to make the van dykes. The prints turn out great (every tenth one or so when the planets align). 

-francis schanberger

On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 11:32 PM, Diana Bloomfield <dhbloomfield@bellsouth.net> wrote:
I'm in complete agreement with you, Judy.  That's certainly how I view "alternative" prints.  So I'm really very curious to know why chromogenic prints are considered "alternative."  That's two "alternative process" exhibits that I've now seen (or heard about) in the last 6 months that included chromogenic prints.  There must be some way to make them that's different from the way I've always known them to be done. ?  I can't wait for Margery's reply to Bob.


On Nov 17, 2008, at 10:09 PM, Judy Seigel wrote:

On Mon, 17 Nov 2008, Diana Bloomfield wrote:
..... an image made in cyanotype or platinum sure isn't going to look the same if digitally printed-- so the final print-making choice does also make a difference to how that image is ultimately presented and viewed.

To quote the lady coining phrases all over the US landscape these past several months:  YOU BETCHA !  But that's the least of it. Whoever can't see the difference between a gum print, for instance, and a "C-print," or even an unmodified digital print, is either wearing dark glasses, or hasn't ever seen the media except in repro (or both).

Aside from the "look" of, for instance a gum print, which tends to a tactility, texture, or call it dimensionality, not seen in a print that's essentially buried under a layer of gelatin, is the way it's constructed: A "C-print" is set in concrete, with at best a few modifications in development, from the moment of clicking the shutter. A gum print, is built up in layers, interactively, or make that INTERACTIVELY -- you see the first coat and create/construct the next coat accordingly and so on, able to wipe out all or part of a layer, and add pieces or entire layers.

(I use a gum print as example because the possibilities are so wide and extreme, tho additions & alterations of other media and various modifications in VDB, cyano, et al, are familiar and fruitful.)

To repeat, a C-print is more or less finished at the click of the shutter; the gum (and other processes made in stages by hand) can be created, altered, changed, invented, amplified, modified and reacted to indefinitely.  Which is not to say the result is better "art" than a C-print -- that depends on the gods and the artist, but to allege that there is no difference is... let's say, to misunderstand the nature of both operations.

In sum, there's much more flexibility and variation possible in the FACTURE of "alternative" processes... Whether the CONCEPT, or the "eye" which chooses or composes the scene or the series is thereby eclipsed, may or may not be a point worth arguing. My own guess would be, um : circumstances alter cases.  Which is to say, "It depends."


francis schanberger