Re: Roller for gum (was: Re: humidity in your darkroom........

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/21/04-04:38:18 AM Z
Message-id: <>

I don't have Chris's response of last evening or any of the rest of that
thread, and they haven't shown up on the live mirror yet, so I can't
quote directly from them, but this earlier post says exactly the same
thing, so I'll just attach this here.

I deleted it all because at the time I thought it better to say no more
on the topic, since we've been going in circles for the last two
iterations. But since my point was so completely lost in the yelling and
cheering, I think another comment or two might be in order:

First of all, I was not insinuating that Chris was "fudging" her
citations at all. I just wanted to know where I could see the thing so I
could read it for myself.

I was trained in a tradition where it was drilled into me always to go
to the original source for anything, never to rely on secondary sources
for information, and I've done that for so long that it's just automatic
for me. If person C says that A says x, I never take C's word for it
but I go to A and read it for myself. And this goes not only for
anything I read but for broadcast information as well, and not only
about academic matters but about any topic under the sun, however
general. This is especially important when news people report on
research, because they almost always have it totally wrong, but at any
rate, it's what I do; I go to the source. This was not a personal attack
on Christina, as it seems to have been taken. This was simply about
being able to find the source for an attribution. And "trust me" just
isn't going to work for me; I don't trust anyone, even Christina, to
tell me what someone else said. I have to see it myself.

The difficulty, as best I can make it out, seems to be in what is
considered equivalent information. To take the Blacklow example, I
asked for a reference for this attribution:

>Blacklow says don't print in high humidity because the dichromate
> soaks up moisture from the air and become less sensitive

and I got this quote in response:

> Blacklow p. 127.
> As far as humidity and temp, both increase dark reaction acording to many
> authors--the insolubilizing of gum at a quicker rate, without exposure to
> sun.

To me, those two issues are quite different, certainly not closely
enough related that one can adequately serve as a citation for the
other. I can see, and respect, however, that Chris must think they are
essentially the same thing, or she wouldn't keep insisting that she has
satisfied the request for citation by providing the quote. We'll just
have to agree to disagree on this, because there doesn't seem to be any
way to resolve it.

But I agree totally with Judy that if we continue to pass on secondary
sources in this cut and paste manner, the state of knowledge with regard
to gum printing will never advance beyond its current muddled state.



Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
> Katharine,
> p. 39 of his manual, and the summer thing was said in his original paper on
> his website. Verbatim: "The best printing conditions are dry, low humidity
> and about 20 degress celsius. Even with air conditioners and dehumidifiers
> running during the hot, humid, summer here in London, Ontario, gum prints
> have a muddy look to them. I do not print during this time." Perhaps he
> recanted, as his website has changed since the time I found this paper (of
> which I have a copy). Maybe he's so wildly successful that now he prints in
> the summer, and found that his "humidity" problem has miraculously gone
> away. Someone should write him and ask.
> Blacklow p. 127.
> As far as humidity and temp, both increase dark reaction acording to many
> authors--the insolubilizing of gum at a quicker rate, without exposure to
> sun.
> One thing I always do is check my sources before posting to the alt list, as
> I figure one way or another my head'll hit the proverbial chopping block.
> Hey, maybe I don't explain things well from time to time, but as far as
> research goes, as a used car salesman might say, "trust me." That's my hog
> heaven.
> Chris
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Katharine Thayer" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 4:19 AM
> Subject: Re: Roller for gum (was: Re: humidity in your darkroom........
> > Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > A couple authors in books said they didn't print in the summer because
> their
> > > prints were "muddy" which I presume to mean either lower contrast, or
> > > perhaps a higher incidence of staining possible, even, because of the
> > > increased receptivity of the paper to more moisture (Livick being one).
> >
> > I was going to comment on this but decided first to go back and read it
> > in the original source. I've looked through Livick's "book," both the
> > published pamphlet and the manual he used for his online class (which he
> > sent me a copy of) and can't seem to find where Livick said this in
> > either one. Do you have a page number?
> >
> > It seems unlikely to me that Livick would say that he doesn't print in
> > the summer, since he's a full time gum printer and prints in a
> > climate-controlled lab. At any rate, I couldn't find any in Livick
> > either in reference to not printing in the summer or to dampness
> > causing lower contrast or staining. But I've probably just missed it
> > somehow, so if you could give the page that would be helpful.
> >
> > >Blacklow says don't print in high humidity because the dichromate
> > > soaks up moisture from the air and become less sensitive--either that is
> her
> > > conjecture or she got it from someone else.
> >
> > Again, I can't find this in Blacklow. I didn't study the whole book but
> > I did go over the gum chaper quite thoroughly, and can't seem to see it.
> >
> > I did find the citations about the dark reaction from Crawford and
> > Livick, but I see the dark reaction as a different issue than
> > humidity. Livick deliberately keeps the humidity fairly low in his lab
> > (but perhaps not as low as the air in Montana) so it seems unlikely that
> > it's humidity that's causing the dark reaction that he's describing
> > here:
> >
> > > Livick also says in his book to dry emulsion for 1/2 hour to 45 min, no
> > > longer, or emulsion will start to set in the paper and highlights will
> be
> > > muddy.
> >
> > Since I print in fairly high RH (85 to 100%) most of the year, but cool,
> > (here, both unusual cold, like below 20 F, and unusual heat, like over
> > 85 F, are drier than the usual cool damp weather, because they both come
> > on an east wind rather than from the ocean) and have no problem with
> > staining, either pigment or dichromate, or other artifacts such as
> > attenuated DMax, I'm inclined to believe that where people have seen
> > these effects with heat/humidity, "it's not the humidity, it's the
> > heat."
> > Katharine
> >
Received on Wed Jan 21 12:34:29 2004

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