Gum Printer's bane
by, 12-13-2010 at 02:15 PM (1032 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.