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

Re: Truth Beauty book

Speaking of Bill Jay, this just in:



Christina Z. Anderson
----- Original Message ----- From: "Henry Rattle" <henry.rattle@ntlworld.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 10:13 AM
Subject: 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
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.

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?)