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

Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

----- Original Message ----- From: "Judy Seigel" <jseigel@panix.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Cc: <alt-photo-process-error@sask.usask.ca>
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 8:56 PM
Subject: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

1. Pretty sure I asked this a while back, but nobody answered so I repeat:

A friend, masterminding a class mixing vandyke brown emulsion, finds that when the silver nitrate is dissolved in the "distilled water" the solution turns somewhat milky. I recalled having had the same experience years ago, ultimately discovering that the "distilled water" was actually tap water, bottled as and labelled "distilled." This was established by the chemistry professor who has since retired, and nobody on the premises can or will do whatever the test was today.

Friend said she'd been told there's a solution that tests for "distilled" i(I have a note "Solenoid black from NZ" -- could that be it?) Any info or advice would be gratefully received.

2. I saw the Soho Photo gallery "Alternative Photography" show on Friday, and recommend it (for those who can get to 15 White Street in Tribeca by Nov. 20, tho check for gallery hours [Wed PM + Thursday thru Saturday, but not cast in concrete, so double check by phone].) Chris Anderson has TWO of her "parking lot" tricolor gums in the honors list -- and tho some of the variety AFAIK flunked spelling (it's orotone, not auratone, n'est-ce pas?), the variety of subject and form was a pleasure... also, upstairs, work from the Polaroid collection, and more.

But that's not my question, which is as follows: One of the works was labelled "chromogenic print." Now it's true that my memory has been eaten by moles and moths, and I myself never made such a print, but my thought was, that's just a fancy way of saying "color photo", like calling an inkjet print a "glicee." So I looked up "chromogenic print" in the two books I could find (two out of maybe 7 is a good rate around here). The best definition was in Luis Nadeau's "Encyclopedia," which explained that most "contemporary color photographic materials belong to this category" ... also called "dye coupler prints," and "(improperly) C-prints."

Maybe that IS "alternative" today... but still, isn't that just a regular (color) photograph?

3. What is glycin? I know it isn't glycerine, more's the pity, but it's not in Nadeau... There are of course some photo chemistry books around here, now deeply buried in the Morton Street Mississippi Delta. So, I thought, it can't hurt to ask.

thanks in advance,

There is a short article on Glycin at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycin
Note that there is another substance, Glycine (with the e at the end), which is an amino acid, there is a relation between the two but photographic Glycin is not the same stuff.

Type C refers to an old Kodak description for chromogenic prints made from negatives. Chromogenic means that the dyes are produced in the emulsion. This needs a little clarification because I believe Kodachrome is considered a chromogenic film even though the "couplers" are in the reversal developers rather than in the emulsion layers as in modern color films.
A print using a material operating on a similar principle is a chromogenic print while dye transfer, three color carbon or carbro, three color gum or oil, are not chromogenic. I think this term is like "silver-gelatin" perhaps meant to clarify the exact process used to make a print but possibly confusing to naive buyers. Not quite as bad as Giclee, which is IMO a deliberate attempt at confusion. BTW, since Giclee really means an inkjet print its probably incorrect to use it for laser prints or color Xerox. Frankly, I think the term should be banned from gallery use and the terms inkjet print be used (or laser print, etc., whatever the thing happens to be). I once asked a gallery owner about Giclee and he got very unhappy effectively asking me and an accompanying friend to leave. I think he didn't know himself what it was but understood it might be just a bit fraudulent.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA