I need a new printing frame. The one I use now is a vintage (lord knows how old but the box it came in looks OLD...) Kodak frame. It is 5x7 and includes some easel blades so you can use it with 4x5 or any other size negatives. Great for a first frame. I use it with my cyanotypes and it is great.
But it of course will not do forever. Looking at the price of frames, I am thinking of just building my own. They are pretty simple over all. Plus I have a frame I can work from.
Thing is, I plan on moving to gum dichromate at some point. Cyanotypes were merely the best and easiest way for me to get started in alternative methods. Although I doubt I will ever abandon it. I find it appealing in many ways. But ever onwards and upwards.
So looking at gum prints it becomes very obvious that I need some sort of registration system. Especially if I want to do color or multiple exposures (which I do). Alignment is key to the process. Plus I could use it for other things later on if I needed to.
So how do I go about making a good printing frame with a registration system built in? Ideally I'd like a frame that would be versatile. I'd like to be able to use 8x10 and 4x5 negs. I'd also like to be able to use the available sizes of paper readily. Be it 8x10 POP paper or something self coated. Meaning I could use some advice on the "ideal" size regarding the various papers out there. I have no idea what sizes things like Arches are available in, and I'd love to be able to minimize waste. So any input there would be great.
So come on....pour out your knowledge folks....
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Robert, the simplest registration system I know of is a couple of pins taped on plate glass, and then put another plate on top for exposure. It is very simple to make, go to any art store buy the two pins and a hole puch and you are in business. This can be made as elaborate or simple as you want it. For Gum, I am not an expert by any stretch, but I have done negative registration and I would guess just aligning the previous image with the negative over a light table is best, then just tape it. I hope Clay or Kerik see this, they do Gum over pt and they would be the best source for this kind of set up. You might want to e mail them, they are very kind and free with their advice and knowledge and so far they have been inavaluable to me for solving this kind of problems.
P.S. BTW Clay told me you have to shrink the paper before you do the first pass or the images will not registrate, so put the paper in hot water for at least 20 min and let dry before you do your first gum pass.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jorge @ Feb 6 2003, 09:27 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>For Gum, I am not an expert by any stretch, but I have done negative registration and I would guess just aligning the previous image with the negative over a light table is best, then just tape it. I hope Clay or Kerik see this, they do Gum over pt and they would be the best source for this kind of set up. You might want to e mail them, they are very kind and free with their advice and knowledge and so far they have been inavaluable to me for solving this kind of problems.
For straight, multi-coat gum, just registering to the previous image can be problematic because after the first layer or 2, the image can still be pretty weak, depending on how you're building your image. I've had good success just by using a very sharp pencil and making an 'L' on the paper at each corner of the negative. I then register by carefully placing the neg within these 4 corners and taping it to the paper for each coat.
For gum over platinum or gum over any other substantial image like Cyanotype, you can register subsequent coats visually by laying the neg on the paper and placing both on a light box with a sheet of rubylith or goldenrod over it to prevent the sensitizer from becoming fogged. You will know when your registered because everything will become grayed-out looking. I also lay down a sheet of glass over the neg/paper sandwich (but so that I have access to the edges of the neg so I can move it around). The glass helps to see where you're at with the alignment.
This is much easier to do than it is to explain. I hope that makes sense...
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Also, as Jorge mentioned, pre-shrinking the paper is necessary for most papers. Also, sizing the paper is a real key to successful, clean-looking gum or gum over prints.
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What Kerik said. Some other informaton: Get some low-adhesion scotch tape (Magic tape or something like that) to fasten the negative to the paper without damaging it.
I've seen Kerik use a piece of glass method over the negative to align the negative on the print. That would be the preferable tool, however I've been too lazy to get a skinny piece of glass cut for my 7x17 negs, so I have been using the fold-lock negative sleeve to cover the negative during the alignment process, and it works okay.
Another hint from Kerik: use the penicilled-in "L's" to judge when the paper is dry after you coat it. It will shrink as it dries, and when the edges of the negative perfectly fit the penicilled in marks, you're ready to roll.
And if it slips before you print and you fail to catch it, just tell everyone you're Howard "Gum" Bond, and its your method of doing an unsharp mask.