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Direct Positive Gums

A view of Random Road

A view of Random Road

The normally black asphalt turns white in this process!

A view from the kitchen

A view from the kitchen

The paper is darker due to it still being wet -- the dmax is slightly decreased upon drying. A chain accidentally brushed the emulsion after development, which unfortunately left a mark.

A view from the beach

A view from the beach

This is a view from a beach area on a small lake. The object in the middle is a dock used for swimming. The white "beach chairs" only show up here as silhouettes, and the tree line across the lake is similarly absent. This picture required nearly 4 hours of development before a discernible image could be seen!

These photographs were made somewhat similarly to the standard Gum Bichromate process, differing in two ways:

1.  The gum solution utiized white gauche on black paper instead of darker pigments on white watercolor paper

2.  The gum papers were exposed in-camera, rather than contact printed with a negative.


The emulsion was prepared as follows:

15mL of gum arabic solution (provided from The Photographer's Formulary)

15mL of saturated potassium dichromate solution

1g of white gauche


The papers require a double coating for the image to have a reasonable range of

tones.  After applying the first coat to the paper, allow the paper to sit and "gum up"

for approximately 10 minutes before applying the second coating.  Triple coating

was not tested.


Exposures ranged from about 2.5 - 4 hours in sunlight.  The papers were developed

in a tray of water under incandescent lighting. 


The papers seem to keep for a maximum of about two days.  The longer the between

coating and development, the longer development seems to take -- the last one of

this set took nearly four hours! 


In the end, I feel like this has the potential to produce interesting photographs, but the prohibitively long development time is a major issue.  I believe there are two ways to remedy this:


1. Use ammonium dichromate in place of potassium dichromate.  Ammonium dichromate has a higher solubility in water than potassium dichromate; a saturated solution could lead to shorter exposure times.


2.  Build a custom camera with a larger aperature (potentially utilizing a large magnifying glass in place of the standard camera lens).


A comparison with a digital image (the car drove away after development)
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