• Grant Handgis author/Poet/Photographer

"The Quiet Pond"

I have posted a few of my "artwork" images recently, as the deeper urges to print hand coated photographic prints again has become irresistible after I laid hands on a gum print at a newly found photographer friend's darkroom. There simply was no turning back. Historically I have always printed in silver, pre-coated silver gelatin prints via projection enlargement, as well as hand coated Salted Silver prints. That had to do with affordability at the time. That was then, and this is now, thus after the silver nitrate has been used up for the density range testing, I will be switching mediums and thereafter be printing in Platinum/Palladium directly, instead of printing in silver then toning in Pt/Pd, which has always been referred to as the "poor man's platinum". Once a silver print has been toned in Pt/Pd, the more nobler metals replace the silver crystals, thereby turning the print into a real Pt/Pd print. Even the best expert wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The gum print below was the last gum print I made from the eighties. It was the accumulation of all that I had learned over the course of the five or more years spent studying black and white chemistry and learning the formulas that controlled it all. Gum printing offers the largest range of personal expression and printing potentials than any other photographic process. The ability to shape and control the final image offers almost unlimited control over the final outcome, from printing order of colors to number of color layers used, to the actual color choices employed, amount used each layer, viscosity of gum mixture, time floating, on and on. I can tell you that no two prints are exactly the same no matter how hard one attempts to constrain variations. In essence, each print is unique.

At this point in my life, I have no interest in making a killing from my artwork, nor looking to become a photographic superstar. What I am after is crafting hand coated images such that they constitute viewers see as Art. Any image I offer the public is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, disclosing everything on the print, and how many will be made. All gum prints will be unique, and platinum/palladium prints will be in editions of 5 for any image. Selling open edition photographs and referring to them as "collectable art" irritates the hell out of me. For me, that is no different than selling photographic posters. But that's me.

Gum Dichromate Print: 1987 ~ 5"x7" Unique ~ "The Quiet Pond"

Digital photograph of original work ~

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g. Michael Handgis Photography


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