The last Sunday in April is a fun day in photography and experimentation celebrating Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. (It’s new to me, too, but now it’s on the calendar!)
My first pinhole image was a “shot in the dark” completely guessed exposure of “a few minutes.” I used expired photo paper I got in a darkroom kit sale last summer. The paper was in a darkroom paper safe storage container but even I opened it in daylight at the garage sale to see what was in it. (For shame!) The darkroom kit had been stored in a barn or an old musty basement. All this to say – it’s not an exact science and this DIY fun can make a mess of your best intentions to calculate precise exposures!
Great way to just go shoot and not stress the details.
If you’ve followed my Instagram posts these blue prints should look familiar. I started making cyanotypes using this old-fashioned alternative process photography printmaking technique last summer. It brings the magic of watching a darkroom print develop to the fresh air and sunshine of being outdoors and making art!
To make a print, the cyanotype chemicals are brushed onto a surface, watercolor paper in this case, and let air dry in the dark. To expose prints, a negative image or object is placed over the paper. After the chemistry has been exposed a while and reaches a shade of green-gray, the paper is washed in water. Where the paper is exposed to sunlight UV the chemistry oxidizes and remains on the paper, where the UV is weaker or blocked the chemistry is washed away.
Chemistry remaining turns from green-gray to blue when washed in plain old water. After a rinse, the print is treated with household hydrogen peroxide and turns the deep blue seen in this image.
It’s a fantastically simple, easy and enjoyable alternative process and analog printmaking technique.
Work in progress: Pampas grasses making sun print cyanotype photograms
Alternately titled “When bad camera settings happen to good cakes”
It wasn’t a pretty sight, such a tasty dessert under such unpleasant gymnasium lighting. One of the perks of playing around with ideas exploring concepts as an assistant allows me moments to peruse photographic studies of ambient lighting, off-camera illumination, and the posting of my comparisons thereof.