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Gum over platinum

Gum over platinum is a historical chemical photographic process, which was commonly used in art photography. It is a very complex process, in which a specially-treated platinum print photograph is coated with washes of gum arabic, then re-exposed to the same photographic negative. The finished process results in a sepia toned print, and is said to impart added luminosity and depth. It is sometimes called 'pigment over platinum'.

To sensitize the gum arabic it must first be placed in contact with ammonium or potassium dischromate. Gum arabic is not photo sensitive by itself. To clear the chromic acid, the print is washed in 1% Potassium Metabisulfite after proper development in water. Interested individuals should read up on the process before attempting, as the chromic acids are very dangerous to work with.

The mechanics of the gum portion isn't entirely known, what occurs is the exposed gum is hardened and becomes water insoluble. Upon washing, the unexposed portions wash away leaving the white paper exposed.

The technique is more of an ammedium to platinum printing, and should not be considered a "process in itself".

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gum_over_platinum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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