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Alternative Lifestyles

Wow, my last post was in August right after the opening of my show.
You may think I am quite the slacker, but that is not the case. I just
moved out of heavy internet promotion mode back into school/making art
mode. I gotta admit, I like this better.

A couple weeks after the show opening, the fall semester started at
Sierra College. I am only taking one class and it happens to be the best
class ever! The class I have been waiting for all these years. The
first of its kind at Sierra:

Photo 92 –  Alternative Processes!

And the angels sang!

Before I go any further, maybe a brief explantion of what alternative processes
are would be helpful. Basically we are making prints outside of the
darkroom by coating watercolor/printmaking paper with various chemical
solutions and then laying a negative on top and exposing the print in
the sun or a UV box. FUN!

These are contact prints, so the final image is only as large as the negative you use, so you really need to have a large format
camera. (I’m giving you links – learn as much as you like!) And so we
would have negatives to work with, we started the class by building our
own 4×5 cameras!


And while that was fun to build, I didn’t have a lot of success
shooting it. Hard to focus, no shutter, and I was using lith film which
is like ISO 8. Fortunately we have now moved on to making digital
negatives and I am getting better results with my prints.

Processes we have done so far are:



On the left is a cyanotype photogram. On the right a 4×5 negative. Not a great example, move along please.



The left print was made with an emultion of blackberries and the
right print was made with pansy petals. Exposure time was 1 week for

Gum Bichromate:


Man, I have had no luck with my gum prints. This was my first print
and an experiment using acrylic paint instead of watercolors. Now that I
have some better negatives to use, I will try again in the coming

Lumen Prints



are pretty fun and easy to do, just photograms on regular darkroom
photo paper. The top two images are on B&W paper, while the bottom
two are on color paper.

Salt Prints


Salt prints! Be still my heart…

After all the grief gum printing has given me, it was nice to finally
have some sucesses with a new process. Using digital negative created
specifically for the salt process, I am getting beautiful results!

Today we started working with Liquid Emulsion. As you might have
guessed, I am loving this class! The semester is going to end too soon.

If you want additional information about any of these processes and more, the Alternative Photography website is a treasure trove of information. Also, I have been posting my scanned prints to flickr. You can check out the set here.

In other news, I had one of my submission accepted in the annual juried show “Twelve: Square” at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center. Show dates December 5, 2012 to January 5, 2013. See you then!

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