Re: results from gum printing with the PDN system

From: [email protected]
Date: 06/13/05-01:55:44 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Hi Chris,
Lokks like you are happy with your approach here and exited about the
results. I will not be able to make it to APIS to see the prints. Would
it be possible to look at your results on line( or off line email with
scans). What pigments did you use for your tests? IMO color fidelity is
the function of pigments used, not so much as tuning each individual
separation. I am really curious about your results.

Marek Matusz

> Hi all,
> I finally finished my first side by side test of the PDN system.
> I saw PDN's value immensely with palladium and cyano and such, but went
> into
> gum with the attitude of "if it ain't broke why does it need fixing?" as
> far
> as my personal work flow. I was willing to be surprised. I also was
> skeptical that the PDN system would work with gum as gum doesn't operate
> in
> the same fashion as silver or palladium necessarily.
> Caveats, etc: One 16x20 gum print side by side is only one example. I
> have
> run out of sized paper and can't do any more until after my move out of
> South Carolina this week and my period of mourning for such, but I just
> to test it before I packed up. Also, I am not Mark Nelson's shill,
> although
> I have come to know him over the last half year through my constant
> whining
> and questions because he did the mistake of giving me his home phone
> number
> at a workshop.
> First: my old way is black ink only negs with a curve I got from someone
> used equally on all 3 RGB separations, on Photo Warehouse film (about 80
> cents a sheet), on Epson 2200. I use spray development, too. A fairly
> loosey goosey method.
> The PDN system requires color negs, thus I had to switch to Pictorico
> film.
> Photo Warehouse smudged with the ink load. Right off the bat my tricolor
> negs tripled in price :( That meant the results had to be good enough to
> warrant the extra cost or else I would continue with my old way which
> worked
> fine.
> The PDN system requires "paying your dues". For instance, yesterday since
> I
> had made a glitch in my curve data entry system, I had to go back and
> reenter data on every curve I ever did. 10 hours of work. That was not
> the
> PDN system's fault, but mine, but Mark sure heard me bitch about that one
> as
> I was trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Again, payoff has to be
> worth it to warrant the time cost of developing your own custom curves for
> a
> process that has flexibility built into its nature.
> I did my side by side prints. When the PDN example came out of the water
> I
> was not as impressed as I expected because it didn't look like what I
> expected. I had printed that image quite a few times before and it didn't
> look like my other prints. I went to my computer and that was when the
> lightbulb turned on.
> The original image on my computer looks just like the PDN image. My old
> gum
> workflow does not quite look like the original image. What I realized
> from
> this is that when Mark says what you see on your computer screen is what
> you
> get, he ain't a kiddin', so you better have it right on screen.
> For example, the image was a bit washed out. It was also a bit high
> contrast. So was my original computer image. The trees were blue biased,
> but when I looked at my computer screen they were blue biased there, too.
> There was what I thought was a mistake in the PDN image which upon
> magnifying the computer image, I found was an actual funnel spider web in
> the image itself which now showed up because it was correctly balanced
> color
> and contrast wise. There were little bits of green grass among the pine
> needles that showed up in the PDN system, and on the computer screen,
> which
> I didn't even know were there until I looked again at a blow up of the
> image. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, I was actually shocked.
> This is my assessment: if your gum process is working fine and
> creatively,
> so be it, don't bother. But those of you struggling to get your tricolor
> image to be tricolor or look like what is on your screen, it is the way to
> go. Now that I've seen these results, I unfortunately can't justify
> returning to my old way. My gum prints just went up $10 each to pay for
> the
> Pictorico.
> That is not to say you can't make perfectly good gum prints any old method
> you choose, paper negs, toilet paper, typing paper, McDonald's paper bags,
> and make use of gum's infinitely variable nature. But my guess is that
> the
> people having trouble achieving accurate tricolor have not used the
> correct
> combination of curve, exposure, and pigment load for each individual
> layer,
> all calibrated to their own personal computer/scanner/printer setup.
> Speaking of which, I will not share curves because chances are they won't
> work for anyone else, anyway unless they come to my house, use my system,
> and print in my bathtub.
> Chris
> PS as of the end of this week my will no longer be.
> It
> is, as always, for anyone who cares. See some of you
> at
Received on Mon Jun 13 13:56:18 2005

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