September 8, 2016

oldsoulslove asked: I was looking through your archive for tips on Gum printing. I was wondering how you prevent against paper shrinkage with so many layers of gum and cyanotype. I did notice in one post that you said you do not used any backing. Also, do you size your paper and how so? Thanks in advance!

Check out my post on pre-shrinking and sizing.

oldsoulslove asked: Your work is beautiful BTW

Thank you!

RGB curve for B&W prints

July 8, 2016

a-cheers-blog asked: Hi Tony, Thank you for your sharing your experiences with us, you have mastered this craft. I have a couple of question about monochrome printing. Can we use the RGB curve that you have introduced in other posts for black & white printing too?? or we need to make a new curve specifically for B&W? how many layers usually you end up with in B&W. And also what brand you suggest for black pigments? Thank you

Thank you for your comments about my work.  Yes, you can use the RGB curve for B&W printing too–especially if you’re going to use multiple layers.  I do not use a curve specifically for B&W printing.  I have used the Winsor Newton “Lamp Black” for my black pigment.  Hope this helps.  Tony

On adhering onto aluminum (part 1)

February 19, 2016

safakoncu asked: Hello again, I apologize to ask again and again but what I wonder was is there a backing to your print (during process) and do you remove it when printing is done. Some people glue their paper to aluminum sheet, in your sample photographs I see some blue material at the back of print. I wondered what was it and how to remove when printing process is over. Thanks again for your patience. (sorry my native language is not English and I might not expressed what I ask in correct way previously).

No worries, I believe I understand your question now. I’m not sure what blue material you’re seeing in my sample photographs, but I do not glue my paper to an aluminum sheet or any support material.  I use the Rives BFK sheet alone with the negatives when I print.  Hope this helps.  Tony

Rives BFK

February 19, 2016

safakoncu asked: Hello again, I meant the paper you use is sticks to a blue medium like plastic sheet, how to stick our paper to that medium and how to remove when print is completed. I did cyanotypes and will try gum bichromate, everything ready just waiting for good weather to come (I do not have UV lightbox yet) Thanks again for answering and sharing your knowledge with us.

I use Rives BFK watercolor paper for my prints.  I place my Pictorico negative on top of the coated paper and put inside a vacuum table underneath my exposure unit to make my exposures.


February 19, 2016

safakoncu asked: Hello, thanks for sharing all these valuable information with us. I just want to know how do you fix your paper on the blue film you use (looks like x-ray film to me) and how do you remove after print is done. Thanks again…

I make my negatives using Pictorico Ultra Premium OHP Transparency Film printed on an Epson 1400 printer.  I use cyanotype for the first layer which develops in water; followed by an emulsion of gum arabic, pigment and ammonium dichromate for the subsequent layers.  Hope this helps.  Tony

Editing work

October 8, 2015

zoomspark asked: Tony, I absolutely love your gum work! I became very interested immediately when I saw a few of your images in Christopher James’ book. I strive to achieve the tones you have in the figurative work represented in the chapter. The image of the shower curtain and the girl in the bathroom are simply beautiful. I am very interested in the process you go through when editing your negatives? Again, I am a huge fan and appreciate any feed back (: thank you!!

Thanks for the compliments on my work. When editing my work, I find it helps to let some time pass to get some distance from the moment of shooting in order to see the pictures with a fresh eye. I’ll look at the work often to make preliminary cuts and show the pictures to people I trust who also know my work in order to get another perspective.

Ammonium vs Potassium Dichromate

October 1, 2015

breadkenty asked: … Also how do you feel about the difference between Ammonium Dichromate vs Potassium Dichromate? After working with the Potassium for a while, I’ve noticed that it gets really messy and muddy when you go any more than 4 layers. I noticed that even with Mr.Gonzalez’s first round of tricolor layers, the image seemed to lack detail and tone, but with the potassium formula you maximize the full tones, contrast, and color by the first round (Cyanotype, M, Y, and C layers). What are your thoughts?

I’ve been using the Ammonium Dichromate for over 10 years–that’s what I’ve used for all my tests and I’m pleased with the way the prints come out in color, tone and density .  I experimented with the Potassium Dichromate once and had terrible results.  So, I decided to stick with what I know.