The gum bichromate process remains one of my great photographic loves. It has a long and wonderful history stretching back to 1839 with names like Mungo Ponton and Alphonse Poitevin, whose patent of 1855 is often cited as being its basis. It was much in favour in the 1880s and 1890s because of its painterly quality that was much sought by the Pictorialists, such as Robert Demachy. Demachy who refered to this process as the artistic term “Photo-Aquatint” and published a book of that title with Alfred Maskell in 1901 and still readily available today as an electronic scan (or one-off print for only a few pounds).

For my own images I only use the best materials I can, from the watercolour paper (I preference is Saunders Waterford) to the pigments (powder pigments for L Cornellison & Son, or tubes of prepared paints Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour ).

Each print is prepared completely by me from scratch and by hand - this makes each print both individual and utterly unique.

Gum Bichromate Portraits

Gum Bichromate Figurative

Gum Bichromate Highlights on Black

Gum Bichromate Hi ‘n’ Lo Key