Yesterday I got to take my first look at a color carbon print by Tod Gangler; a perk of being in Rochester.
It's a Nickolas Muray portrait of Frida Kahlo.
At the same time, Joe in the viewing room also brought out 2 original carbro prints from the era (by Muray?) and the difference was remarkable.
In the old carbros the tone is somewhat flat, and the colors are dull and lifeless. The print by Gangler is lifelike and gorgeous, with deep rich color, full shadows and sparkling highlights. In the old ones her skin looked "alabaster", whereas the new ones showed that she was tan and had flush cheeks; beautiful skin.
I've never been more attracted to a woman with a unibrow...!
It was shot on 8x10" Kodachrome and the carbon reflected this, dead sharp. On the other hand, 1 of 2 carbros was enlarged and quite unsharp because of it. I realize the old 'bros could've been down and dirty proofs in their day, so I certainly don't fault the carbro process. Charles, can you comment on how Gerard Aniere's prints compare?
The modern print is simply awesome! It's clear that Tod has mastered the process and that modern pigments, workflow and sensitizer can create a beautiful, permanent and accurate photograph; a record of life on Earth!
I'd be interested to know about Tod's interaction with George Eastman House; I understand he came here to see/get access to the original Kodachrome, or in some capacity..? Gaining a fuller understanding of how the print was made would be enlightening to say the least.