Alternative and Historic Methods and Materials
Photogravure offers many alternatives to the literal reproduction of a photographic image. You can rework or alter the chosen negative before creating the positive and can then rework the positive before exposing the gelatin resist. The marks you make can potentially add layers of texture and drama to the image. Light scratch marks on the shiny side of the negative can leave little pale lines in the positive image, while scratches through the emulsion result in rough black lines-and vice versa when altering the positive. Drawing materials such as dyes and pens can be used on the surface of the positive, increasing the density and darkening the resulting gravure image. Once again, the densities and contrast range must remain within the limitations required by the photogravure process. You can also chemically bleach areas of the positive to lighten tones or remove information. All of these techniques are extremely difficult to do on film if you hope to keep the hand work invisible, so it is best to use them in a deliberate graphic way. Minor image or flaw corrections (retouching) may be better done by directly reworking the etched plate.