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, this is a new (2022) edition of the book.
Rated Rated 9,89 – based on 234 votes
Free download from a previous edition:
Download the 8-bit step wedge free here to go with the digital negative system in the book. Photoshop format.
- First edition 2013; revised edition 2022
- 8.25˝ x 10.75˝
- 230 pages
- 300 photographs by 89 artists
About the book from Christina:
Due to a needed update to Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes and the current expense of shipping overseas (more than the cost of the book!) I have fully revised the first edition and the second edition is available both in print and now digital format for those who don’t want to pay huge shipping costs. The book will be distributed here through Magcloud, direct to you (discounts available from time to time and often on bulk orders, contact Christina Z. Anderson directly on firstname.lastname@example.org).
The book is better organized with updated information from the last decade added to all chapters, and now includes a chapter on the chrysotype process which is an exciting process to teach/alternate with the now more expensive platinum/palladium. In an attempt to keep the price low on the print version with print-on-demand publication the book is shortened 100 pages. Nevertheless these 89 artists remain in its pages. I am proud to continue to have them in this revised edition.
The book is textbook-style, good for a semester-long alt class where processes vary year to year. It is not an in-depth one-process book highlighting artists like those in the Routledge Contemporary Practices in Alternative Process Photography series. Process descriptions are short and sweet with the idea that the class alt experience will be broad and then a student can concentrate on a process of choice and graduate to more in-depth books in the Routledge series. Think “appetizers” versus “main course.”
The book begins with a helpful chapter on Setting Up the Dimroom with new paper information since many of the papers available in 2013 are no longer available. A chapter on Digital Negatives (now using the Epson P900) provides a method of digital negative making for processes in the book (for more in-depth treatment see Reeder’s and Anderson’s Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP, Demystifying QTR for Photographers and Printmakers).
The book is divided into two sections. Section I covers the dichromated colloid processes of gum (for more in-depth treatment see Anderson’s Gum Printing, A Step-by-Step Manual Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice) and casein. Included in Section I is a Pigment Chart that thoroughly discusses appropriate pigments by color name, number, and brand. All historical research on both gum and casein is included for those who feel that the dawning of photography was a fascinating time in history, full of
wonder and discovery, egos and arguments.
Section II covers the most popular, student-friendly, contact printing processes in a succinct manner—cyanotype (for more in-depth treatment see Anderson’s Cyanotype: The Blueprint in Contemporary Practice and Golaz’ Cyanotype Toning: Using Botanicals to Tone Blueprints Naturally), argyrotype, kallitype, Vandyke brown (coming soon! Nelson’s Kallitype, Vandyke Brown, and Argyrotype: A Step-by-Step Manual of Iron-Silver Processes Highlighting Contemporary Artists), chrysotype (for more in-depth treatment see McPhee’s Chrysotype: A Contemporary Guide to Photographic Printing in Gold), platinum/palladium (the NA2 version; for more in-depth treatment on
Printing-out-Palladium see Malde’s and Ware’s Platinotype: Making Photographs in Platinum and Palladium with the Contemporary Printing-out Process) ziatype, salted paper (for more in-depth treatment see Anderson’s Salted Paper Printing, A Step-by-Step Manual Highlighting Contemporary Artists), and combination printing.
Those who have used the first edition in their classrooms will appreciate the second edition. Having used “Amazing Gum” as my alt textbook for a decade, I have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t with a beginning alt printer readership. Now with on-demand printing, updates are easier to do if necessary and the new digital format will save time, money, and trees!
Table of contents
- Chapter 1: Setting Up the Dimroom
- Chapter 2: Digital Negatives
- Section I: Dichromated Colloid Processes
- Chapter 3: The History of Gum
- Chapter 4: Paper, Gum, and Dichromate Preparation
- Chapter 5: Pigment Preparation
- Chapter 6: Making the Gum Print
- Chapter 7: Creative Ideas for Gum
- Chapter 8: Troubleshooting Gum
- Chapter 9: Casein
- Section II: Other Amazing Processes
- Chapter 10: Cyanotype
- Chapter 11: Argyrotype
- Chapter 12: Kallitype
- Chapter 13: Vandyke Brown
- Chapter 14: Chrysotype
- Chapter 15: Platinum and Palladium
- Chapter 16: Ziatype
- Chapter 17: Salted Paper
- Chapter 18: Combination Printing
About Christina Z. Anderson
Christina Z. Anderson’s work focuses on the contemporary vanitas printed in a variety of 19th century photographic processes. Anderson’s work has shown nationally and internationally in over 120 shows and 60 publications. Anderson has authored books which have sold in over 40 countries—The Experimental Photography Workbook, Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes, Gum Printing, A Step by Step Manual Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice, Salted Paper Printing, A Step-by-Step Manual Highlighting Contemporary Artists, and Cyanotype: The Blueprint in Contemporary Practice; also Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP, Demystifying QTR for Photographers and Printmakers co-authored with Ron Reeder, and Handcrafted: The Art and Practice of the Handmade Print co-authored with Wang, Jianming, and King. The Experimental Darkroom, her newest book, will be released fall 2022. Anderson is Series Editor for Focal Press/Routledge’s Contemporary Practices in Alternative Process Photography series and Professor of Photography at Montana State University. To see her work, visit christinaZanderson.com.
Feedback on Alternative Processes Condensed – the previous edition of 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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“An excellent book.”
“Exactly what I was looking for.”
“I am very impressed with the contents and will be purchasing other printed material via this site.”
9 thoughts on “Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes”
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
Can you kindly suggest me a blog on gum printing?
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.
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.
This was a good book. Excellent as reference as well.