The Gum-Bichromate Process


    THIS process of photographic printing is about fifty years old, but it is only during the last ten years or so that it has been adopted for practical purposes. When first introduced it was deliberately rejected, because it was not equal to the then known processes in reproducing the detail of the negative; latterly it has been taken up and very much appreciated by some of those who desire to be able to alter or “control” their photographic printing, and so obtain results that, while they can lay no claim to mechanical accuracy, more nearly please the æsthetic taste of the worker. At the present time there are more methods of photographic printing than there were a generation ago that are excellently adapted for the purposes of photography pure and simple; therefore the gum-bichromate process is still more than it was then a process for the specialist in the direction named. The author of this volume is well known as a successful worker of the method. He gives his own formulæ, and states clearly the practical details that he prefers to follow, but he also describes the methods of others. He is a warm advocate of “multiple printing”; that is, after coating the paper, exposing, developing with warm water aided with a brush or by other mechanical means, coating, exposing, and developing a second or even a third or more times, so gradually building up the picture with the maximum opportunity of “control.” It will be obvious that every possibility of improvement in the hands of the skilful is a probability of error in the hands of the artistically ignorant, and that the process does not claim attention from a photographic point of view at all, but as enabling an artist to express his ideas with less trouble and perhaps with more accurate drawing than if he worked wholly by hand. The volume includes several reproductions of the author's works, some of them showing the print in its various stages of evolution.

    The Gum-Bichromate Process.

    By J. Cruwys Richards. Pp. 119. (London: Iliffe and Sons, Ltd., n.d.) Price 2s. 6d. net.

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    The Gum-Bichromate Process . Nature 72, 455 (1905) doi:10.1038/072455c0

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