Portfolio of the Week: Hans de Bruijn

Dear Readers,
Every week we feature an outstanding photographer, but Hans is also a particular one somehow else-he is entirely dedicated to gum bichromate printing. Hans is from Gouda, Netherlands. He's also been in the professional photo business for a while in his youth years, as he finished the Fotovakschool in The Hague in the 60's. Then, after a long carreer in the IT industry, the ancient photo techniques raised his interests in collecting vintage cameras and literature, and gum bichromate printing. After a course in gum printing, he was totally hooked on it. Being a perfectionist by nature, he really strives to bring the gum bichromate printing as close as possible to the original photo. Therefore, he sometimes has to bring up more than six layers of pigment to achieve his goal as close as possible. The artistic look of the photo is of secondary importance. But hey, how can we define what is artistic and what's not? Gum printing is definitely an art in itself. Anyone who has ever tried it will agree. These are just a few of the many beauties of gum printing-there are no rigid rules, there is a lot of freedom in choosing the color palette of your choice, the paper texture etc. And, as Hans states: “The making of gum bichromate prints, aside from working with beautiful materials, is so time consuming that it forces a person to de-hurry. And the result will always give satisfaction.”
In recent years (sadly for us), many of Hans' gum prints are derived from digital photos. But which is also a good proof of how gum printing can be also a nice linkage between traditional and contemporary photo techniques. But Hans was very kind to provide us with gum prints derived from film only. Hans is now happily enjoying his retirement by avidly making gum prints. He also gives gum printing workshops from time to time. You can find Hans' work and other info on his website and on Flickr. Enjoy his photos posted here, but I also openly invite you to visit his websites too!
Silver regards

All photos copyright: Hans de Bruijn

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