Back to Gum Printing.

I’ve been promising myself for a while that I would get back to doing some gum printing. For one reason or another it hasn’t happened, though I have written articles on the subject on a number of occasions, -but for those I have used existing prints, done quite a bit ago.

In October, I was in conversation with a friend; Maxwell Doig, who is a very good painter. I was at his house and he had an old gum print of mine framed on the wall in his studio. It was so old I had totally forgotten doing it, but it was nice to see it from the viewpoint of a newcomer. We got into conversation about the process and Max encouraged me to do more with it. I had intended to get right onto it, but only got as far as pre shrinking the paper until yesterday when I made gum prints all day. It was a real treat to get back into it again and having so much uninterrupted time meant that I could fully concentrate on it. Gum printing is quite a slow, labour intensive process, but it is very rewarding. It requires the image to be printed more than once to give depth to the tones, and the images shown here have all had four separate coatings and exposures.

The greatest difficulty in the process is devising some way of getting your negative back in registration with the image for the second, third, or fourth exposure. Even though I had pre shrunk the paper by soaking it in alternate hot and cold trays of water, it still altered size enough to ruin a number of prints.

If you fancy having a go at it, there are many videos on Youtube, but they don’t give you much information about the finer points. I will put a PDF copy of a recent article in Dropbox here, for those who wish to read more on it.

This entry was posted in Alt Processes, Alternative processes, Darkroom, Large format, Large negatives, Uncategorized, gum printing, landscape and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

5 Comments

  1. Posted 07/01/2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I really like that last image, it is very tender and carefully treated.

  2. Posted 11/01/2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    The gumprint of the dog and girl is stunning

  3. Thomas Binsfeld
    Posted 05/03/2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    The technique fits to the image of the trees shown very good. I like it very much.
    I am interested in alternative processes but only have experience in lith-printing.
    Often my own images are too sharp, too much like a photo, but I do not know how to alter this.
    I have seen some cyanotypes and like those too.
    The reason I do not comment often is, because english is not my mother tongue.
    I am usually only reading, but this time I pushed the comment button :-)
    Regards,
    Thomas

  4. Chris
    Posted 13/03/2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Love these pictures. Will have to give it a go once my darkroom is built. Thanks for posting these.

  5. Posted 20/03/2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I am a photographer working in Oakland, CA and just came across your blog and website in my research on paper negatives. Thank you for providing this wonderful resource!

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