Pigment prints

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by eggshell, May 26, 2007.

  1. eggshell

    eggshell Member

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    Hello,

    I've not seen a real pigment print. Is it supposed to look grainy? Pictures and writings in a few publications seemed to suggest so. However, images in a grand book I have, Josef Sudek Pigment Prints, do not show they are grainy (actually, I like it much better). Am I confused over the different processes? Oil Pigment, Pigment, Rawlins Oil???

    The actual photographs shown in the book looks like they're printed on a transparent sheet, and later transferred to a paper base (cool). If I'm seeing it correctly, may I ask how is this done?

    Lastly, what kind of ink is used?

    Thanks again.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ink is not used. Pigment dispersions in a medium is used. Bromoil and carbro might be considered examples.

    PE
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Sudek's pigment prints are carbro prints. Carbro is very similar to carbon and is capable of sharpness equal to or superior to silver gelatin printing. Carbro and carbon do not have grain. Any grain in a carbon or carbro print would come from the negative in the printing process.

    Sandy
     
  4. eggshell

    eggshell Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up, Sandy & PE. Appreciate it.
     
  5. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

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    I would say any print is a pigment print in which the photographic image is formed by pigments rather than from noble metal salts and the like): gum/casein/egg prints, oil/bromoil, carbon transfer/carbro/Fresson are all examples of such processes.

    About gum/casein prints: they often look grainy/sketchy/blurred/with limited contrast, but they by no means have to. You may get all the details you want with such direct pigment groups, all colours you want, and all the tonal scale/contrast.
     
  6. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    Some illustrations in gum to accompany Lucas's points re gum's ability to express detail and smoothness of tone:

    http://www.pacifier.com/~kthayer/html/mythdetail.html
    http://www.pacifier.com/~kthayer/html/mythcoarse.html
     
  7. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

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    Very interesting examples on your website, Katharine.

    I might add that what you write about swollen paper fibres (first link, first paragraph) may hold true when gum prints are compared to prints on comercial brom silver paper, but your own example seems to show that gum is not necessarily more unsharp than, say, a platinum print. I once was able to inspect some printsof Robert Demachy in the original; they were small and delicate, and as sharp as you (or the printer) could wish them to be.
     
  8. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    Point well taken. Regards,
    kt
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Just for the record and with all due respect to Sandy, a master carbon printer, it is possible to get grainy carbon prints. I have gotten some nasty grainy carbon prints -- I suspect clumped sumi ink. When I do them correctly, I get grainless carbon prints! LOL!

    Vaughn