[alt-photo] Re: Gum over platinum article?

Christina Anderson zphoto at montana.net
Wed Aug 10 15:37:05 GMT 2011

Dear All,
I'm conflicted over this discussion and I'll tell you why.

First of all, Denny, there are free articles all over the web. I have a gum article on Malin's website alternativephotography.com (the best alt resource ever, that and unblinkingeye), Sam Wang has a gum article on Unblinkingeye, Sarah Van Keuren just made her alt manual available for free on alternativephotography.com as well. So easy to get free stuff.

Two, I wrote a chromoskedasic article for Photo Technique magazine, and as far as I am concerned I'd love them to make it free and available on the web. But they haven't done so that I am aware of, even though I have asked. **I** won't pdf my own article and send it out because I am afraid of copyright violation! But that is because Photo Technique still can make money off of it. Once an author gets paid for an article, he/she doesn't get any further remuneration, and it is no sweat off the author's back if his/her article is read and passed around because it is essentially more press. If you're going to be in a magazine, you're sharing with the world so why not one more? But that is my opinion, not necessarily shared by the copyright police.

Three, ILL easily scans magazine articles and has them available on a website for a period of time and then it comes down, during which time anyone can easily "print to pdf" and save it on their computer.

Fourth, I had a teacher ask me if he could copy a couple chapters out of my book and use them in his experimental class and I said no way. If someone is going to teach out of my manuals they can buy the darn book. Can I stop that from happening? NO. And mind you, it's not like you get rich on book sales--somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-8 per book if one is lucky by the time everyone takes their cut (and btw, my books are $34 + shipping, not the prices they show up on Amazon for). And this doesn't cover travel to special collections, editing fees, etc. So it is not a question of money grubbing but of fairness. 

So there are my conflicting emotions, no black and white here...

Fifth, thanks, Keith, for recommending my Alt Processed Condensed book, but a disclaimer here: I have just finished (gasp) submitting my tenure case, all 500+ pages of it ( a wild last 6 years), and essentially bought out a one-course release this semester to lessen my teaching load so I could revise my two books and then work on the gum book. First the Experimental, then the Alt, then the gum book. I am going to bite the bullet and intersperse hundreds of images throughout the texts and majorly rewrite. In order to do so, over the last two years I had to learn InDesign, no small feat. I feel the gum chapter in the Alt book is mediocre now, honestly, but it was the best I did at the time. SO, I personally would wait, unless you have money to burn. 

It is a scary time to self-publish, though, given the economic climate.

OK, now to keep it on topic, I agree with Keith. What is so complex about a layer of gum over platinum? I teach gum and then an assignment where they have to do a combotype of either gum over pd or gum over cyano or whatever they come up with (over ink jet, for instance) and they "just do it." All of these processes only take one thing to get good at them: doing them. But if you have never done gum before, then that is different, and it just takes learning the gum process, and with the web freebees you can certainly get where you want to go very easily. 

I'm not a person who believes there are "secrets" in these things, and expertise usually is the result of doing a thousand prints, as I have always said. What did some guy determine, in Outliers, that it took 10,000 hours to be an expert? Well, to get there, that first hour is going to be pretty scary but by hour 50 you'll be good to go :) 

Christina Z. Anderson

On Aug 10, 2011, at 8:29 AM, Denny wrote:

> Thanks Keith.  I'm not a newcomer to alt, but gum will be a new adventure.
> I'll check out the references you mentioned.  
> Thanks again,
> Denny
> -----Original Message-----
> From: alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org
> [mailto:alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org] On Behalf Of
> Keith Gerling
> Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:23 AM
> To: The alternative photographic processes mailing list
> Subject: [alt-photo] Re: Gum over platinum article?
> All this pearl-clutching over intellectual property is really rather
> pointless since Stuart received a one time fee for this article (and a
> rather small one), and View Camera has already given the OK to distribute.
> Denny, the magazine will be in the mail this afternoon.  If you are a
> newcomer to alt-process, I would advise you to hunt down Judy Seigel's "Post
> Factory Journal" or Christina Z. Anderson's "Alternative Processes
> Condensed" for what I would consider an easier and more success-prone
> approach.  I seem to recall that Stuart Melvin lived in Santa Fe, so perhaps
> his concern with humidity and temperature is as a result of that, but his
> technique is entirely too fussy for me!  However, the resulting work
> displayed here is really quite lovely to view.
> Keith
> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 8:27 AM, Don Bryant <donsbryant at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Don, thanks for your reply here...always better to err on the side of 
>> copy"right".
>> Paul is indirectly referencing the recent copyright debate and law 
>> suit of Jay Maisel vs. Andy Baio, and the dubious concept of copy 
>> "left" being posited by some. So I'm not so sure that openly copying 
>> and distributing an article in the name of fair use even for non profit is
> legal.
>> But my main concern was not to infringe upon Stuart's intellectual 
>> property.
>> As for inter-library loan of an article published in a niche specialty 
>> magazine being available, that surely is a possibility though many 
>> library systems are charging for ILL services or curtailing them 
>> altogether because of reduced budgets. This is the case in my own 
>> local public library system (charging a fee for each request.) And not 
>> everything is available for loan, so good luck with that.
>> We could spend forever discussing copyright issues. Let's not, nothing 
>> productive will come of it, instead make your own decision and act 
>> accordingly. I would rather see a vigorous discussion about gum 
>> printing and gum-overs sans the drama of a meaning less debate about 
>> copy "right" vs copy "left".
>> Don
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