[alt-photo] chromoskedasic

Christina Anderson zphoto at montana.net
Mon Jan 10 15:53:54 GMT 2011

Dear All,
Holidays are over; back to work, probably a good thing.

Calling all chromo practitioners (this includes those who have used Judy Seigel's PF Silver Mirror Printing Formulae):

The article on chromo that I wrote for PhotoTechnique magazine's May/June issue has started an interesting conversation with practitioners across the globe that I would NEVER have guessed. 

For one, Dominic Man-kit Lam is very much alive and well in Hong Kong and contacted me. I figured he was dead by now!

Birgit Blyth also contacted me. She is one of the early practitioners, the one who taught workshops in it and taught it to Laura Blacklow who wrote about it in her book. She has a website with some beautiful chromo work.

Jolly is still alive as well, although ailing a bit, sad to say.

And of course, Alan Bean who has continually chromoed and wrote one of the original articles in View Camera is in on this conversation.

I am most interested in who considers him/herself a long-term chromoist: I know Lam, Alan Bean, Birgit, who else? Who else has made it one of their main processes of choice? I am working on its history, on a rewrite of my Chromo chapter in the Exp Workbook.

Jon Lybrook??

Doug Collins' new blog on chemigrams, etc. is great, BTW. http://nonfigurativephoto.blogspot.com/

And Edward Mapplethorpe's work that is compatible with Collins' blog is excellent, too--check him out online here:
>> http://gallery.me.com/mapplethorpe/100312

But I am speaking specifically of the chromo process that employs thiocyanate and hydroxide, not just the other related processes such as making BW paper POP, chemigrams, sabattier, lumenprints, painting with light, the Teske process, which all employ light exposure to the paper and normal darkroom chemistry and sometimes resists, but not the Activator/Stabilizer chemistry that Lam's original process employed. 

It's splitting hairs, I know, but in the listservs there was brouhaha that Lam shouldn't have claimed originality for the process when, in fact, Pierre Cordier's chimigrammes predated Lam greatly (1956). Cordier's process is certainly original-- he was the originator of the chemigram. However, I cannot see where Cordier used either of these chemicals (activator/stabilizer) but just normal darkroom chemistry (fixer, developer stop etc.) but someone may correct me, maybe even Cordier himself.

I have tried to order Cordier's, what appears to be, beautiful monograph but my virus program says the website is a phishing one for some reason and I am afraid to give it my credit card info. I have not been able to order it on Amazon, either...anyone have any source for it?

Lam's process (which is Jolly's and Bean's as well, employing the two chems) actually does not **require** room light (even though they all use it). The colors can be solely derived through the chemistry as they are the result of changing silver particle size via chemical management. Thus I am still pretty sure he is the originator of the thio/hydroxide part of the equation. Jolly, Bean, and Blyth all started from Lam's article I know.

So aside from getting the history straight, my REALLY main reason for writing is that Lam brought up an interesting proposition--to start an International Chromoskedasic Alliance, perhaps meeting in Hong Kong in 2012. This is a total pipe dream in this economic disaster of a time, but I thought I would at least send feelers out on the alt list for anyone interested in such a thing? 


Christina Z. Anderson

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