Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes

by Christina Z. Anderson

“Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes” by Christina Z. Anderson

Currently not available new. Try Amazon for second hand copies:

Why buy it here?
When you choose the option to buy directly from the author, the book is shipped by the author ensuring most of the money goes to the author. When buying from Amazon the author will get a small percentage – but also a good option!
The book usually arrives in 2-4 weeks.

From the author of “Experimental Photography Workbook” comes yet another manual packed full of information. This book was in previous editions called “Alternative Processes Condensed” and now has an extensive gum section.

Customer rating:

10 of 10   Rated Rated 9,89 – based on 234 votes

8 bit step wedgeFree download

Download the 8 bit step wedge free here to go with the digital negative system in the book. Photoshop format.

Book features

  • Culmination of ten years of research in resources from 1839–2013.
  • Replacement text for the former Alternative Processes, Condensed.
  • Helpful chapter on Setting Up the Dimroom with a handy Paper Chart for alternative processes.
  • Digital Negatives chapter provides a comprehensive yet simple method for all processes.
  • SECTION I, a book in itself, covers the dichromated colloid processes of gum and casein.
  • Pigment Chart for gum and casein.
  • Troubleshooting Chart for gum and casein as well as troubleshooting sections for all processes.
  • Creative Ideas chapter for inspiration.
  • Historical timeline of both gum and casein.
  • SECTION II covers cyanotype, argyrotype, kallitype, Vandyke brown, platinum/palladium, POP palladium/ziatype, salted paper, and combination printing.
  • Bodies of work often grouped in grid structure for a visual exploration of the cohesive idea.
  • Side-by-side comparison images, the same image done in different processes or ways.
  • Image captions contain much wisdom from over one hundred photographers.
  • Extensive bibliography for further research.

Table of contents

  • Chapter 1 Setting Up the Dimroom
  • Chapter 2 Digital Negatives.

Section I: Dichromated Colloid Processes

  • Chapter 3 Introduction to Gum Printing
  • Chapter 4 Paper, Gum, and Dichromate Preparation
  • Chapter 5 Pigments for Gum and Casein
  • Chapter 6 Making the Gum Print
  • Chapter 7 Creative Ideas for Gum
  • Chapter 8 Troubleshooting Gum
  • Chapter 9 The History of Gum
  • Chapter 10 Casein
  • Chapter 11 The History of Casein

Section II: Other Amazing Processes

  • Chapter 12 Cyanotype
  • Chapter 13 Argyrotype
  • Chapter 14 Kallitype
  • Chapter 15 Vandyke Brown
  • Chapter 16 Platinum and Palladium
  • Chapter 17 POP Palladium or Ziatype
  • Chapter 18 Salted Paper
  • Chapter 19 Combination Printing

Introduction from Christina Z. Anderson:

Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes is the culmination of ten years of research in resources from the beginning of photography to present day. It is the replacement text for the very rudimentary manual Alternative Processes, Condensed. When it became time to revise the APC it became clear that I wanted a more professionally written, comprehensive book that foregrounded gum printing. It was time to retire the APC and give this brand new book the more fitting title Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes.

What does this book have to offer when there are many excellent alternative process texts already on the market? Section I has seven chapters on gum, the most thorough yet succinct treatment of this intriguing process since the last gum monograph written twenty years ago, which did not include a comprehensive digital negatives chapter as this book does. This chapter is co-written with Ron Reeder, with a step by step digital negative method simple enough for all to understand but complex enough for even the most demanding processes. Following the seven chapters on gum are two casein chapters also comprehensive, an easier feat to accomplish since the literature on casein is sparse. History buffs will be pleased with the extensive historical research on gum and casein. I am particularly pleased with the Pigment Chart that makes choosing pigments for tricolor gum and casein very simple, and the Troubleshooting Chart which makes pinpointing problems a bit easier.

Section II covers the most popular contact printing processes in as succinct a manner as possible: cyanotype, argyrotype, kallitype, vandyke brown, platinum, palladium, POP palladium/ziatype, salted paper, and combination printing. The chapters are short enough to be student-friendly yet still comprehensive. The combination printing chapter is particularly exciting now that it is illustrated with some amazing works by combination printing masters.

The real backbone of the text is 578 images in 457 groupings; bodies of work often grouped in grid structure for a visual exploration of the cohesive idea; instructional images such as step wedge images, process how-to images, and frequent side-by-sides of the same image done in different processes. The 109 photographers, half of whom are my former students, range from beginning to seasoned pro and even a few of my personal mentors who “wrote the history of alt.” Without these contributions the text would be merely an empty shell. Don’t miss the captions underneath the images—they include half again as many words as the text itself with lots of gems of wisdom! May the reader be blessed by all the generous photographers who donated their work and their knowledge to help make this book an inspiration to all.
— Christina Z. Anderson 2013

About Christina

Christina Z. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Photography at Montana State University, Bozeman, where she specializes in alternative and experimental process photography. Her work which centers on the social and spiritual landscape has been exhibited internationally in over 75 shows in 22 states as well as Puerto Rico, China, Belgium, England, and New Zealand; also in The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, 2nd Edition, Photographic Possibilities, 3rd Edition, PhotoTechnique Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, and Silvershotz. She has authored several books, two of which have sold worldwide—The Experimental Photography Workbook and Alternative Processes, Condensed. Her latest publication is Gum Printing and Other AMAZING Contact Printing Processes. Her web address is

Feedback on Alternative Processes Condensed – the previous edition:

“The book arrived in a timely fashion and the purchasing process was perfectly transparent (10/10). The book, “Alternative Processes Condensed” by Christina Z. Anderson more than filled my expectations. One minor criticism however; I would have liked to have seen more European product suppliers included but that’s minor (10/10). Well done!”

David Hatton.

“I have found it very helpful with tips and tricks that was just what I needed to get a few things right. I also appreciate the fact that Christina Anderson says what needs to be said without rambling on just to fill space.”

Jörgen Green.

“The book arived lightning fast from Montana to the Low Countries and is a great read. Excellent information, very accurate and written in a humorous and easy to read style.”

Kees Brandenburg.

“An excellent book.”

Brian C. Winters.

“Exactly what I was looking for.”

Sharon Abrial.

“I am very impressed with the contents and will be purchasing other printed material via this site.”

Petronella Fielding.

Feedback on Christina’s delivery:

“Received the book without a problem – thanks for the great service. The book looks wonderful. I have not used it yet, but it looks well organized and full of important details that will make the alternative process easy.”

Jackie Stoken.

“On time and well packaged.”

Roman Sokoler.

“The book arrived quickly and in excellent condition.”

Tanya Braunstein.
Christina Z. Anderson's books
Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes

Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes

by Christina Z. Anderson

10 of 10   Rated 9,89 - based on 234 votes

Currently not available new, but try second hand copies from Amazon: A Manual of Gum Dichromate and Other Contact Printing Processes. Packed full of information.

The Experimental Darkroom by Christina Z. Anderson

The Experimental Darkroom - Contemporary Uses of Traditional Black & White Photographic Materials

by Christina Z. Anderson

Second hand copies of the previous book "Experimental Photography Workbook" can be bought from Amazon: Learn about a variety of alternative photographic processes. A technical book highly recommended both for beginners and pros.

9 thoughts on “Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes”

  1. i try gum printing now since a month and am somehow stuck …as i cant really reproduce my pictrures… i would love to have the book but as i´m located in europe its really expensive due to the shipping costs is tehre an e book option woule be perfect is tehre any way to get one or can you recomand another book for gum printing thanks a lot

  2. I have tried to retain fine detail in gum arabic prints by underexposing the print. this normally causes the entire image to dissolve. I arrested development by dehydrating the print with a solvent and a very dangerous process it was. Nevertheless i was able to see individual hairs in a single print of a womans head. I know that acetic acid causes gum arabic to harden up. Adding acetic acid to the wash water after image development may be a way to harden the gum tissue without resorting to flammable solvents or using antifreeze to dehydrate the image. Hardening with acetic acid should preserve the image and allow multiple prints on a image without any of the image tissue washing off.

    Best Regards

    Jim Fisher

  3. An incredible book—in scope, in size, and (sigh) in cost. Anything and everything you might want to know about non-silver-gelatin printing in one voluma. Meticulously researched and full of tips and variations-on-a-theme. I’m just getting into contact printing using digital negatives (a real improvement over the enlarger), and this book is opening doors I never knew existed. Overall, high recommended. No, it’s a must-buy.

    If I had to make one picky comment, I would have liked to learn more about UV vs tungsten lighting. Printing from the sun is bit too handicrafty, and sunlight contains both visible and UV spectrum. How would these processes work with a purer UV light (tanning bed) vs a whiter light (ordinary light bulb). Most papers seems to fall off in sensitivity below 400 nm, but the look implies that a UV (or UV-laded) light source is recommended. I am comfused. I will experiment.

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