Gum, anyone?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by BruceK, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. BruceK

    BruceK Junior Member

    I know we are not a very large sample of the shooting populace here, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Now that my book is finished, I'm aiming to do more photography, and since I shoot a lot of landscapes, I'm keenly interested in making gum bichromate prints. Have any of you worked in this medium?

    I love the idea that you brush the emulsion onto a sheet of paper and then when it's been exposed and processed, those brush marks are still evident, and carry the image. In the old days the main way to do this was via direct contact prints from in-camera negatives. I have plenty of those in 4x5 and 5x7.

    However, these days with the aid of my computer setup, I can scan a color image from an older transparency/chrome, or take a current digital image, and then produce enlarged negatives on my big Epson inkjet to use in contact printing. May also experiment with using multiple exposures on the same sheet (if I can get registration to work well enough) to get full color, or at least several-color posterized prints. Lots of possibilities, all of them with that sort of ethereal, radiant personality of the gouache.

    So if you have played with this alternate process, please lemme know!

    For any not familiar with gum, have a peek here:
    Martin G likes this.
  2. marantzfan

    marantzfan Administrator Staff Member

  3. Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Site Owner Staff Member

    Isn't that just the coolest thing.

    And only you, @BruceK , would find and share it. Nicely done
  4. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    I've got a query in to my son, Bruce (FWIW). I am fairly sure he wouldn't have dabbled in it, but someone in his network down in VA may well have.
  5. Pioneer Vato

    Pioneer Vato Moderator Staff Member

    Gun Bichromate is an alternative process I have not done before but I have done plenty of Van Dyke brown and cyanotypes. I even took a platinum palladium workshop back in 1984 with Dick Arentz a rather prominent photographer and master of the process.

    I have used my Epson printer to create large digital negatives using Pictorico film. I would be interested in your gum prints so please, share away!
  6. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye Senior Member

    I haven't tried this process, but I would certainly be interested in doing so. I like the notion of creating what amounts to what we used to call "internegs" digitally on a photo printer. Hmmm.... I got me one o' them things.
  7. BruceK

    BruceK Junior Member

    Yes, this is the great advantage of trying it now. I throughly researched the process back in the early 80s, at a time when one would have had to make continuous-tone internegs through wet processing. And color separations via filtration, probably with lots of bracketed exposures to get exactly the right densities. Now with the Pictorio it seems so much simpler.

    Although PV, please confirm this for me. Is using Pictorio the equiv of making a very fine-screen halftone, with only black ink dots deposited on the film? Or does it make use of the gray cartridges, therefore bringing it closer to the personality of a true continuous-tone negative? I have an Epson 3880, btw.
  8. Pioneer Vato

    Pioneer Vato Moderator Staff Member

    I also have the 3880 and produces excellent digital negatives as it does with paper. I have had my 3880 for about 8 years now and has done quite well for me. Also, do you use Chart Throb for digital negatives?
  9. BruceK

    BruceK Junior Member

    Have been so caught up in researching and writing my book since 2003, I've done nothing expect run prints through my 3880. I even have third party ImagePrint software that I had for my 4800 back in the day, and as I recall I updated at at some point, but have been so distracted I've just used default Epson profiles for printing. I'm sure by now it is once again out of date and I'd have to pay some exorbitant upgrade cost. All of this behind-the-times-ness is about to change, now that I have the rest of my life back. So no, have never even heard of Chart Throb, and have yet to make a digital negative. When the time comes — some months hence, probably — I may want to jump on the phone with you for some advice.
    fiddlefye likes this.
  10. BruceK

    BruceK Junior Member

    Just downloaded chartthrob.jsx and loaded it into Scripts, thanks for the suggestion.
    fiddlefye likes this.
  11. Pioneer Vato

    Pioneer Vato Moderator Staff Member

    Here are some examples of the Van Dyke Brown process printed from enlarged digital negatives made on Pictorico film and printed using my Epson 3880. The VDB prints were made with Arches paper and contact printed using a UV light box I built from an example that Dick Arentz had and used at the Platinum-Palladium workshop I participated in back in 1984.

    Grill.jpg Butte.jpg Fishcreek.jpg
    fiddlefye, Redboy, Celt and 5 others like this.

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