Yes, Chris and Katie and two fine young people. Gordon was a master carbon printer. I'll never forget the color carbon print at the end of his hallway. It is a 16x22 color carbon of Escalante Canyon. I have the work print and many of Gordon's carbon materials including his Nuarc 261Ks. Gordon was a master printer and it was a great loss when he and his wife were killed in Escalante.
Gordon was quite fond of pin registered multi layered carbon prints and his monochrome prints are stunning.
I met with the kids after their parents death and helped them sort things out. Two fine young people.
Vaughn, I'm disappointed that the Yosemite carbon workshop is not going to happen. I would have come to the park with the 14x17 so you could see it.
Austin, I forgot that the link had what I feel was Gordon's finest carbon print. I held the print "three leaves" in my hands and it brought me to tears. Amazing print!
Last edited by Jim Fitzgerald; 04-10-2011 at 05:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I haven't met katie, but Chris was very nice to me. Yes that is the one i think of whenever his name pops in to my head, what an amazing image and print. I think Gordon deserves more recognition, he was an amazing printer. Three leaves was my background on my computer for a long time. I haven't seen the actual print, but even on a computer screen it looks amazing. I believe I would tear up as well! Not sure if your close to chris, but when i picked up Gordon's enlarger and other stuff, he mentioned a large amount of binders full of Gordon's notes on carbon printing. He didn't give them to me, but it would be interesting to see what his notes had said. Also, among the many things i got, one thing is a small black box with a red button on the side, a light sensor on the top and a small screen on the front. Do you happen to know what this is, or how it is used? If it's useful to either you or vaughn for carbon printing, let me know, i can send it your way...
I've been thinking and trying to understand why the relief might depend on the contrast index of the negative. Intuitively, it shouldn't. I mean, the relief depends on the amount of gelatin in the shadows. That is, on the shadow density. That is, on the contrast of the print. And I think it shouldn't matter whether the contrast of the print was attained by lowering the dichromate concentration, or by using a contrasty negative. As long as you get the same print contrast, you'll get the same shadow density and the same amount of gelatin in the shadows, ergo the same relief, regardless of the method you used to achieve that contrast, right?
But then I think I've found the answer. I think what really affects the relief is the concentration of pigment in the glop. If you use a low pigment concentration you'll need a thick layer of gelatin in the shadows to get deep blacks. A high pigment concentration will give you deep blacks with a thinner layer of gelatin.
So, I think that if you want a prominent relief you need to use a lower pigment concentration. Lower pigment concentration means intrinsically lower print contrast, so now you have to increase the contrast somehow, either by using a contrasty negative or by lowering the concentration of dichromate. But since there's a practical limit to how low you can go on dichromate, starting with a contrasty negative seems like the best option.
So, my guess is that a very contrasty negative is not mandatory for getting a strong relief, but it helps by allowing you to use less pigment and still get good contrast without resorting to impractically low dichromate concentrations.
Am I right?
Vaughn, how much pigment do you use for one liter of glop?
Last edited by Vlad Soare; 04-13-2011 at 08:30 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Bingo, as they say here in America!
Back when I was re-inventing the carbon printing wheel, I saw a little bit of relief in a wet print and went about trying to figure out how to get enough relief so that it would remain when the print dried. At the time I did not know about the affect of dichromate concentration and had standardized on an 8% stock solution, diluted 1:2 -- as per the instructions in the magazine article I was using to learn with.
So I figured out a way to get the relief by lowering the pigment concentration to a minimum amount -- and by increasing the contrast of my negatives to match the pigment load and dichromate concentration.
Teaching workshops with the participants negatives being all over the contrast map, I have embraced dichromate concentration as a form of control. But I have found that there is a practical lower limit when matched to a low pigment concentration. For the way I make tissue, it seems that going much below a stock solution 2% (diluted 1:2) makes it difficult to get a lot of relief (I am being purposefully vague on the exact amount as I have not nailed down the exact amount). So I still encourage the participants of my workshops to bring high contrast negatives -- much higher than silver gelatin printing can handle.
Comparing pigment concentrations is not very worthwhile unless one is using the same pigment. The actual concentration of the stock pigment, its color, and its light blocking ability all affect the amount one uses. I am using about 4 to 5 grams of watercolor paint (in tubes) per 750ml batch of glop...and even the brand of paint makes a big difference -- I am using Grahams Watercolors.
Last edited by Vaughn; 04-13-2011 at 10:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
I'm in agreement with what you wrote, Vlad. I have followed Vaughn's Advice and have gotten some images with great relief. I also agree that the pigment one uses makes a big difference on how low you can go and still get good blacks and relief. Pouring a thick tissue is a must and then finding the perfect balance of pigment load and dichromate dilution takes some time. I have made some images with nice relief and tonal range using 8 grams/1000 ml. and 1 1/2% dichromate with negatives that have a density range of under 1.00! My best images are with negatives developed in Pyro and have a DR of 1.8 to 2.2
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I'm using lampblack powder. I started with 12g per liter and didn't get much relief (well, it's there if you look for it, but it's nothing spectacular). I'll try to halve that and see how it works.
So far I've tried some negatives of "normal" contrast (for silver halide paper) and needed to go as low as 0.75% dichromate to get decent contrast, so I guess the pigment concentration was low enough already. Next time I'll try some negatives made for vandyke so I can get away with less pigment.
Last edited by Vlad Soare; 04-13-2011 at 04:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Vlad it really is a balance and what is going on in the image. I have some images that I think will not print very well some times. I've gotten good relief with 16gram tissue and the dichromate right. What is also important is the proper exposure to get deep into the tissue. Again I say it is a balance of all the factors which makes it fun. After a while it all starts to come together and printing gets real fun.