U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Truth Beauty book

Re: Truth Beauty book

The Demachy story is recounted in Bill Jay's book (the one that has a rather
one-track selection from Demachy's oeuvre) as (in 1894):

"I was buying some hydroquinone at a dealer's, and complaining at the same
time of my inability to secure the proper quality of blacks with
gelatino-bromide paper. An unknown customer interrupted me and asked 'Why
don't you try Poitevin's gum process,... it is easy enough...' I bought the
required materials there and then, and next morning began gum bichromate
printing..." ...after only 'a week or so of experimental coating and
developing, I got a few fair results which were exhibited at the London
Photographic Salon'

The story is referenced to Practical Photographer, Library series, No.7
(1904) p.2

Best wishes


On 14/5/09 23:19, "Judy Seigel" <jseigel@panix.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 13 May 2009, Jack Brubaker wrote:
>> Chris wrote
>>> What I cannot understand, though (forgive my opinion here), is that
>>> generation's fascination with the Michallet paper that had strong vertical
>>> lines.
>> Chris, when I look at the Demachy prints I see someone trying to make
>> photos look like chalk drawings. He chooses the red chalk color and
>> uses the tiniest brushes lifting out highlights to emulate academic
>> drawing standards of the 19th century. One of the prints in the St.
>> Louis show a couple of years ago of fishermen pushing their boat up
>> onto the beach had remarkable details in the hands. Knuckles that we
>> would understand without further delineation in a photo he had
>> carefully highlighted no matter how dense the shadow it hovered in.
>> I love the prints but think it is a very interesting look into the era
>> that he felt compelled to such extremes. In that context his use of
>> common drawing paper texture seems a natural.
>> Jack
> Exactly... besides which, they didn't have the factory materials we have
> now. The story of the invention of gum printing is that Demachy was in his
> photo supply shop (ca 1896), complaining that with the current material he
> couldn't get a good black, when a fellow customer described someone's new
> gum process: "you mix paint with gum arabic, add potassium dichromate,
> coat it on paper, expose under a negative & wash in water." Demachy
> allegedly made a few tests, then got his gum prints in the next salon.
> (The story was reprinted in a couple of early anthologies. I've got it
> somewhere, but maybe someone knows the reference right off?)
> J.