Linearization workflow for multi-negative processes

Anyone doing multi-negative processes using PiezoDN workflow? LIke gum over Pt./Pd. or CMYK gum or carbon prints? I have a workflow question.

I want to make a linearization curve for a gum layer over a Pd. print. This Pd. print was made using a PiezoDN linearization curve. Now I want to add a gum layer. And this gum layer will only target from L=0 through ~33.

I am thinking about printing a 129 step chart using my linearized Pd. curve. After this print is dry apply my gum layer and print and process accordingly. Measure the resultant 129 steps (the gum over Pd. print) and create a linearization curve. Test this new curve with the same workflow as described.

Now I have two curves: one for the base Pd. print and one for the gum over Pd. Like any alt. process controlling and repeating my darkroom workflow is a given. If I want to target only the shadows then prior to printing the second negative, i.e. the gum over Pd. negative, I would make the necessary adjustments in PS targeting the shadows.

Does this workflow sound correct? What am I missing?


That is an interesting approach.
I mostly do gum over cyanotype, which is probably less exacting than what you were planning to do. Because of all the variables, including day of the week and which shoes I have on, think I would be inclined to use the provided gum .quad to print the second negative and then adjust my pigment, gum/dichromate ratio, exposure time and development time to target just the shadows.

If you are already an experienced gum printer I bet you will get lovely results. If gum printing is new to you then I suggest you enjoy the process of learning something new, using something other than an expensive platinum/palladium print.

Thanks for the suggestions. I agree, anytime I walk into the dim room anything can happen! Can you point me to the gum .quad? I have not seen it. How are you using it?

Hi Walker,

I found the gum.quad in the 4880-7880-9880-PiezoDN folder. I assume this starting .quad will not work for a Pro ink config in a 7880?


Hi Michael. I’m glad you didn’t just sit around and wait for me to find the .quad! Sorry I didn’t get right back to you.

As to how I am using it, depends on what I am trying to do. If I just want to add a layer of gum over cyanotype, then I just use the cyanotype negative and adjust the pigment, gum/dichromate ratio, exposure time and development time to suit my needs. If I am doing a tri color gum, I will likely print out a cyanotype negative (using the .quad for cyanotype) for the cyan layer and then use the .quad for gum negatives for the magenta and yellow layers.

Considering that 100 or so years ago folks like Stieglitz were generally limited to just one negative for both the platinum and the subsequent gum layer you might see if that approach works as well.

I should confess that at times I have made separate negatives for highlights and shadows for something that I had trouble printing in cyanotype or gum. But since I hate spending money on additional sheets of Pictorico I usually try to just change the other (dim-room) variables.

Finally, Christina Anderson’s books “Gum Printing, a Step by Step Manual” and “Gum Printing and other Amazing Contact Printing Processes” each have a section on different options of printing gum over platinum/palladium.

Hope things turn out well!


Hi Jeannie,

I am also enjoying the new Focal Series on alt processes. So far I have the gum, cyanotype, carbon, and gravure, :-)! I also have the latest edition of Christopher James Alt Photo Processes book.

I will confess that I am not as skill a gum printer as you sound like you are. I don’t know the process well enough to feel confident, yet, in changing the variables you mentioned.