WAYS:Light: Photo: Gum: pg1

Color photography is not as new as one might assume. From the perspective of a Romantic extension, rather than a replacement of painting (more Talbot than Daguerre), we see visible light arrested on a material surface in such a way that "without great stretch of the imagination might be supposed to be the work of some Lilliputian artist." (William Henry Fox Talbot, 1835) It took only a bit more of a stretch to imagine these artists wielding colored pigment at the end of their little brushes. 


I’m not speaking of coloring of black and white photography after the fact. I am more interested in the ability to print a photographic image in any color, literally fusing photosensitive chemistry with painting media – this is what Gum Dichromate photography allows us.


Like so much 19th century invention the claim to having invented Gum printing is contested. Alphonse Louis Poitevin theorized the adding colored dye in his 1855 patent of the collotype process but it was John Pouncy who obtained the patent for pigment prints on April 10, 1858 . The gum dichromate process combines gum Arabic sensitized by the addition of a potassium or aluminum dichromate solution mixed with ordinary pigments used in watercolor.