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Gum Printer's bane

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by , 12-13-2010 at 03:15 PM (1367 Views)
No, it's not humidity. No, it's not finding the proper balance of pigment to gum. No, it's not the balance of pigment/gum to Ammonium Dichromate. All that stuff's easy. Relatively. The true bane is registering your negative(s), especially when trying to print a relatively darker layer over a relatively light layer. I was just working on an image where the under layer was Burnt Sienna, which in the real world translates into peachy-colored, fairly light pigment. Couple this with having a relatively high-contrast image and then choosing Sepia as a second layer over top the Burnt Sienna, and I'll be damned if I could find the under-layer image to align to. What made it even harder was the fact that I was doing a diptych - two negatives side-by-side. I tried eye-balling it, which wasn't working well, then I tried putting it on my light table, which made it worse, so I went back to eyeballing it and found my original pencil-marks I had used to guide the corners of the original print. Or at least I thought I did...

Somehow, in a fit of miraculousness, I managed to get one of the two almost perfectly aligned. The other, however, ended up being at least a good several millimeters out of whack, so I have this ghost under-layer to the Sepia. In this case, thank god it was a very light, complimentary color underneath, or it would have been a glaring disaster. I think the next time I try this image, I'll mask very tightly to the negative border so it won't be so hard to find where to put the film.


  1. geneacom's Avatar
    Is it not possible to use register pins like in the lithographic business?
  2. TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
    Yes it is, but you would need to attach some kind of margin to your negative, or punch holes in it. I also don't like the idea of making holes in my paper, as I like to use the entire sheet, including the edges, as part of my image.
  3. geneacom's Avatar
    OK, I understand ...



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