U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gum tonal range (was Miracle size for gum)

Re: Gum tonal range (was Miracle size for gum)

Hi Etienne,

2009/10/13 etienne garbaux <photographeur@nerdshack.com>:
> Loris wrote:
>> I wasn't talking about the sensitometric response of the emulsion, but
>> about the practical consequence. (What you can't put on paper doesn't count,
>> does it?) Gum and carbon aren't much different in that aspect my experience
>> is they behave pretty similarly; highlights are always higher constrast and
>> tonally less smooth.
> Again, this has not been my experience with carbon, nor do I see any
> evidence of it in the carbon prints made by Sandy King and some others.  I
> don't know whose carbon prints you are looking at, but I am used to carbon
> prints with wonderfully smooth and subtle highlight tones -- certainly the
> equal of the very best that silver gelatin can produce.

I have three carbon prints by Sandy and one from Michal Macku hanging
on my walls (and have seen some by others), albeit all being beautiful
and masterful, in no way they technically rival s/g (or pt/pd) prints
in the highlights. What carbon is all about is the perfect shadow
tones rendition (plus relief) in my view. It can print beautiful
highlights, as long as you're not an absolute perfectionist therefore
you don't get disturbed by the slightest amnt. of fog (barely
noticeable) or you're a carbon über-meister. I have done some tests
few months ago myself and waiting for the colder season in order to
restart. Now, if we can't agree on this then we're probably talking
about two pretty different processes, somehow both named carbon...

> ...
> I don't understand what you're trying to say about sensitometric response --
> the sensitometry/densitometry of a printing process measures nothing but
> what is put on paper -- "what you can't put on paper" (whatever that is)
> isn't measured.

Indeed, but from what you said I got the (eventually wrong) idea that
you were referring to the hardening degree by action of light only,
but not the actual/resulting print.