Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 9, 2011



The Albumen print was the first process that was used commerically to produce photographic prints.  Also referred to as the Albumen Silver process, it was invented by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard in 1850.  The process utilized the protein Albumen found within egg-whites to fix the photographic chemicals to the paper.  A second form of processing utilized around the same time was the Gelatin Silver print.  This process was discovered in 1871 by R.L. Maddox, and was popular due to its ability to retain its exposure capacity for years after they had been manufactured.  This was in stark contrast to the popular collodial wet plate process which required exposure immediately after coating.  Finally, we will discuss the Arrowroot print process.  Arrowroot is a plant approximately two feet in height that is indigenous to South Eastern United States and the West Indies.  Arrowroot was used  once used as the main component in producing “carbonless copy paper”.  

Above: Charles Négre 1859, Albumen Print (from wet-collodion glass negative)

Henri Bechard 1875 Albumen Print




We shook the egg, true… it kinda turned in to a meringue.  This is a rather long video, but if you have never done this before you may want to check it out, it is very descriptive and easy to follow.


This is using a collodian negative.  Albumen print, such great detail it sooo cool! Mine did not come out exactly like that, few smudges and less detail :/


This process was a little more involved than the others.  We did this experiment over a few different days.

Preparation of the paper:

For our Exploration we really focused on looking in to Albuman, it seemed to turn out the best of the 3 processes we used, (Albuman, Arrowroot, Gelatin).

-Again, we used 100% Rag paper.

Albuman–>> We used 12 eggs appx. or 500ml of egg white, no yoke!!! Then adding 3ml Vinegar, & 7.5 g NaCl.  You need to shake this mixture very hard in order to get the egg completely mixed up, almost a foam.

** We let the Albuman set up for a few days, it was an important part of the process in order to get all the bubbles to sit on the top and get it cooled down.***

->To start this application we began with slowly pouring the egg in to a shallow glass pan, (larger than our papers so we can completely soak our papers. WARNING:  Make sure when you do this not to splash or really get any air in the egg, this will only lead to bubbles and a bad image.

->To prepare our paper we bent up all of the edges, (kind of to form a little boat type thing).  This made it easier to have an edge to hold as we wet only the surface of the paper.

->We tried out papers with one layer and two layers.  The two layers seemed to produce a much more glossy image, but I have heard that if you do too many it may not work as well, it’s always about finding the happy medium.

->After each layer we hung them on a “close-line” type thing until dry, for the ones that needed a second coat we then applied it.

****For this experiment we kind of screwed up we did not understand how exactly we were supposed to apply the alcohol.  We applied it after the first coat.  We then realized that we screwed up and therefore did not apply it after the second coat.****

->To make it a solar sensitive paper we put on 2 coats of silver (one pipette each time). Again, an even coating is very important to the turn out of your photo.

->Exposure times for this were appx. 10 minutes.  We want to see a dark color, the images wash out a bit and turn to a warm color brown. (As Seen Below)

->Again We used Hypo baths, going through a process of 4 baths each for appx 3 minutes each with the last bath lasting about 50 minutes to rinse off all of the excess silver to reduce accidental exposure and reaction. (As Seen Below)

-> The images ended up turning out a little darker and a little less depth.  As mentioned in the beginning, we worked with 3 types during this experiment.  I think that the Albumen, seemed to produce the best image very good depth. The Albuman did have a great quality to it in that it was glossy, it was very nice to be able to see an image that looked a little closer to modern day photography… and I actually created it!!


**** Just one last note: The longer you expose you image the better your prints will probably come out.  There is a point at which you can over expose, but I obviously did not do that, I could have used a little more time******

May 8, 2011



Cyanotype printing, or “blueprints”, was a process that became popular with engineers and architects in the 20th Century.  Cyanotype printing was invented by scientist/astronomer Sir John Herschel in 1842 for the reproduction of his personal notes and diagrams.  In 1843 Anna Atkins became the first photographer to utilize cyanotype prints within the realm of photography.  She published “British Algae, Cyanotype Impressions”  which contained 424 cyanotypes, or what were then known as “shadowtypes”.   (Alternative  “The cyanotype process has remained virtually unchanged since its invention but a few variations have been developed, one of which is the New Cyanotype II by Mike Ware.” (


This is a pretty neat one because you can see the extreme hightlights that happen in this process.  I think this is a cool process because you get such nice color, light or dark.

Robin Hill: Multiplying the Variations  by David Olivant  September 7 to October 5, 2006 “”


Such good contrast & values.. also good photo in general!  You can see that this type of photogenic process creates a mood or feeling to the image, I personally find it very nice and calming.



1.) Video: The Process

2.) Video: Showing the Developing Process



-> In order to get ready we created the solutions below:

Tea Solution

Reverse Browning Solution

Redevelopment Solution

-> We also had to prepare 2 Bleach Ammonia Solutions, one weak and one strong as listed below.

1) Strong= 250ml Ammonia 11qt. H2O

2)Weak= Ammonia solution at 5% Ammonia

-> The paper used was 100% Rag cut to the appropriate size, (slightly larger than our image)

-> The active Solution we used is as follows:

-ferric ammonia citrate 100ml

-potassium ferricyanide 100ml

->You will do two coats, drying after each with a hairdryer until bone dry.  The application is very similar to all of the others in this blog, you use a 12 ml pipette to deliver the solution in a beaded line across the top then smooth it across evenly with a sponge brush.

-> As you can find below, you will need an exposure time of appx. 12 minutes, you are waiting until the image gets dark and then starts to turn light again in the darkest areas.. then you know it is perfect!

The Experiment:

Toning Solution:  (Remember between each step have a water bath to wash the image off in between so not to contaminate the other baths).

A. Tea Solution A good strong mixture of tea and water, (can be instant tea or coffee). You leave the image in the solution until it is a color of your liking.

 This toning solution creates a “navy” effect on the images.  I liked this the most, it seemed to make the image look like something I would hang in my house, very good depth and good colors!

B. Reverse Browning Solution is Step 1: Tea for about 4 minutes (Rinse)Step 2: Move the image to the Bleach Ammonia (Strong_Concentration).  I left it in the mixture for about 3 minutes, but it really seemed to wash out the image completely.  I was really not a fan of this mixture.

This toning solution should create a very brown effect, seeming similar to the Gelatin, but slightly more washed out. (I thought it was so washed out I could not appreciate it, but I may have left it in too long.)

C. Redevelopment Solution(This solution should give the image a blue/ yellow look). Step 1: Drop the image in the Bleach Ammonia (Weak_Concentration), I left it for appx. 4 minutes (Rinse)  Step 2: Drop in to a tea bath for as long as you desire, the longer the bath the darker or more brown the image.

D. We also left one plain, just washed after exposure for about 15 minutes in a bath.  I think this one was the most attractive in the end.  It had such a rich blue color!


Above: After appx. 3 minutes of exposure

Above: Almost Ready to come in!

Above: Ready for the first Rinse




****For my exploration of the toning I used 2 exposed images and cut it in halves.****

Final Prints:

->Above: Tea & Water Toning
->Above: Tea with Bleach Ammonia Solution (Strong) Toning
->Above: Redevelopment Bleach Ammonia (weak), with Tea
->Above: Plain Cyanotype 15 min wash
***I created a few more just because I like the original process without the toning much better.  I wanted to see how it looked on some other photos.****
Cyanotype After Simple Exposure & Rinse
Cyanotype After Simple Exposure & Rinse
May 8, 2011

Van Dyke Brown


Van Dyke Brown is an early photographic process stemming from silver nitrate agentotypes invented by astronomer Sir John Herschel in 1842.  The Van Dyke Brown prcoess draws it name specifically from its similarity in pigment to Flemish painter Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s brown oil paintings.  Van Dyke Brown processes can be identified by particles that appear more opaque and crystalline and are usually one to fifty micro-meters in size.  –Artist Pigments, A handbook of their history and characteristics, Oxford University Press 1997

Below:  An example of a before and after of how the Van Dyke  Process can change and image.


Before: Fuji Finepix E900 -Camera Raw with Auto Setting


After: Van Dyke Process


Vedos: Alturnative Printing Processes– Jalo Porkkala ” Thunderstorm Rising”


This process is sometimes considered as an iron process, but that does not exclude the silver that is also a vital piece of it’s existence.  These prints are pretty cool when they are finished and have a yellow-ish, or warm color to them; it looks like a sepia print.  They come out very matte, but if done correctly have good depth to them.



Creating a Van Dyke Brown Photo was a very easy process.  In my experience, we used a pre-made solution created from our instructor.  The solution is better if you let it sit a few days.

The Solution:

We used a very similar solution to this found on (WIKI5/3/11).

  • Part A:
    • 33 ml Distilled water
    • 9 grams ammonium ferric citrate green OR substitute
    • 18 grams ammonium ferric citrate brown
  • Part B:
    • 33 ml distilled water
    • 1.5 grams Tartaric Acid
  • Part C:
    • 33 ml Distilled water
    • 3.8 grams Silver Nitrate

-> As is the same with most of these processes, a large negative, ( image that has been inverted), with a high contrast for best results.  [As you can see from my experience, the images did not have a high enough contrast and turned out a little bit muddy.]

-> I used 100% Rag paper, some suggest Watercolor, but anything thick really with good absorption will work.

-> The negative should be a little smaller than the paper with the application so that the sides can be trimmed and hopefully  the application will be continuous through out the entire image.


-> The paper needs to be taped on all 4 sides to some sort of non-bendable hard surface, (I chose a plastic cutting board).

-> I started this process by taking a wet sponge brushes and dipping it in the solution.  Then applied only one coat to the papers and let it dry its self just enough so that it was not glossy anymore.  I was going for “bone dry” so then took a hair dryer on low and continued until the paper was no longer moist.

-> There seems to be a little bubbling on the paper, but really try to steer away from getting puddles, you really only want a light & even coverage over the entire paper. [You can see a similar reaction that happened when I made this mistake in the cyanotype experiment].

-> Exposure: The images were taken outside for approximately  10-15 minutes, depending on the darkness of the images.

-> You want a dark chocolaty color before you bring the image inside. (Below)

-> After the sun exposure you will go through 4 “rinse baths” and 1 final wash with circulating, (continually running), water.  The baths were very similar to those that we used in previous experiments just a little less potent Hypo baths.  The first bath hypo for 4 minutes, second bath hypo, and then 2 water baths, each for 1 minute each.

(Above: Bath one)

(Above: Bath 3)

->Finally you will put the image in the running water bath (50 minutes), to rinse off the last of the iron/ silver.  (The reason you need to let it sit so long is because if you do not your image has a higher potential to change due to sun exposure and still being light sensitive.)

-> The images will darken as they dry****

-> WARNING: The chemistry on the paper is relatively sticky so make sure that if you are storing them or stacking them at any point, (before they dry), that you put wax paper in between.


****If you look closely at the image you can tell that the top two have much more definition and a wider tonal value.  This, I believe, was due to a longer exposure and better application.  In this process the application of the solution to the paper is very important.*****

April 17, 2011

Camera Obscura

The Development of the Camera Obscura

“The camera obscura (Latin; “camera” is a “vaulted chamber/room” + “obscura” means “dark”= “darkened chamber/room”) is an optical device that projects an images of its surroundings on a screen.” []

A camera obscura is a box, or in earlier times, a room, that has a small hole in the front.  The light transfers through the hole and is inverted and projected on to a flat surface opposing the side with the hole in it.  This idea was fully explored and used in a functional way, (to create a photograph), in 1816.  The Frenchmen, Joseph Nicephore Niepce was the one responsible for its development known as, “the inventor of photography” (wikipedia).

 Above: An example of an old time camera obscura, large-scale.

Niepce create, what some might say to be the first photograph with a camera obscura.  Just as we have been experimenting with silver nitrate, Niepce started with silver nitrate and the moved on to bitumen.  We ended up discussing two unique aspects of his process, the solvent and the main surface of which he recorded his image.  Niepce used lavender oil to dissolve the excess bitumen, (very similar to our hypo process with the undeveloped silver nitrate).  Secondly, as we have been using Strathmore Cold press water color paper, he developed his image on a pewter plate.  The lavender oil reacted with the pewter and washed the unexposed bitumen off of the plate.


My development of the camera obscura was quite simple.  I have not yet tested it out, in regards to creating a physical photograph, but we have simulated this by using wax paper, and/or in my case tracing paper.

If you are creating your own, you will need the following materials:

-one cardboard box (size to be determined by the focal length of your lens)

-a utility knife

-masking tape

-a lens (your choice)

-a 8″ x 11 1/2″ piece of white tracing paper

-> First step-> Our group received lenses, (small cheap 1″d. lens, this does not need to be a high quality lens, but the higher quality the better your picture will turn out.)  Every type of lens has a different focal length.  *****TO DETERMINE THIS LENGTH YOU CAN USE ANY STRONG LIGHT SOURCE, WITH THE LIGHT ON ONE SIDE (BEHIND YOU) TAKE THE LENS AND FIND THE DISTANCE AT WHICH YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE THE LIGHT BEHIND YOU.  YOU WILL NOTICE WHEN IT IS FOCUSED******  For my lens it was appx. 5″.

-> Second step-> I used a box that I recently received my cellphone in, dimentions of 4″h 6″w x 8″l appx.

-> Third step-> On the side that was 8″ I cut it down to 5″ and leave that side open completely.  On the opposite side of the box, centered, I traced the outline of the end of the lens.

-> Fourth step-> Cut out the circle you have drawn on the front of the box. (make sure it is smaller than your lens by a tad, just so excess light does not seep in).

-> Fifth step-> Tape the lens to the end of the box, perfectly covering the circular hole made. Make sure to avoid placing tape on the lens, just the sides if you can avoid it.

-> Sixth step- Lay your trace over the completely open side.  If you are able, take the camera obscura to a place that has a bright light, cover your head with a blanket or something of that sort so when you look you can see the contrast of the image you are projecting on the trace from what surrounds you.  If that is correct and clear tape on the trace and your are good to go!!!  (If it is not, you might have to go back and re-measure your focal distance.)

Above: Standing in a darker area, facing a bright window, this is the way to be able to easily see the picture.

Above: The image projected on tracing paper.

Above: Lens side

****Key-note: many that I have seen have a mirror used to reflect the light back up.  I started with that, but for some reason could not figure it out, any tips you bloggers may have would be greatly appreciated.******

Hope you enjoy building your camera obscura! 


Here is a link that seemed rather interesting:

->Just as I mentioned earlier, camera obscuras were not always as small as the box we just created.  People used to view projections from a camera obscura as entertainment.  This video is very simple and straight forward describing a step by step process of creating your own room size camera obscura.  The final image is pretty interesting if you have a straight white wall.<-


Above:  “Inside-Out, Upside-Down and All Around” Part 4

JOYA artist Cristina Saez

Sunrise on the day of summer solstice, created via three ‘pin-holes’ in her camera obscura.  This I found rather interesting, she put each holw taking in the light at different angles, that is how she got an image with such depth.

Above:  Camera Obscura Image of the Empire State Building In Bedroom

Abelardo Morell (American, born Cuba 1948)

This is a 1994 Gelatin Silver Print (as will be discussed in the up coming blogs!)

April 17, 2011

Salted Paper Experiment; Photogenic Drawings!

This process, for me, is the newest and greatest thing that I have discovered!

This process was developed by William Henry Fox Talbot around 1839 and used until Albumen came along, (which we will be experimenting with later in our course).  The negative process was created to produce such images between the years of 1835 and 1839.  A salted paper print can be created using a “calotype negative” or the calotype process, as was discovered and further explored by Talbot.  As was shown from our experimental process below, this technique has the potential to create very white highlights with strong contrast. (In our experiment we used plants and shapes, rather than actual photo negatives, which are supposed to create much sharper images).

Salted Paper Print

by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877)

National Media Museum/ Science & Society


Below:  You can see the strong sharpness that is possible with such a process.  This photo was made with Fennel, so in cases such as this you may need to use a glass plate to keep the objects flat.

Image: [Wild Fennel], 1841-1842 salted paper print Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art,  Gilman Collection, Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew W. Saul Gift, 2005

[Wild Fennel] 1841-1842

Salted Paper Print

Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection

Purchase, Mr. & Mrs. Andrew W. Saul Gift 2005


Below:  Here is an image that shows how a calotype negative can be used to produce an image. (Meaning what should be lighter is light and what should be darker is dark, rather than the processes above.) The image on the left is the negative and the image on the right is what it produces when put over sensitive paper and exposed to light.

BBC News Online

From the British Library’s Photographic Collection, 19th c.

Salted Print Printed From Negative: by Talbot: Oak Tree in Winter



This is a process that depends on every aspect of the process working together in order to turn out correctly.  Through our previous experiments we reached the conclusion that the best solution, (or best that we had the ability to perform with in a short amount of time), was the following:


[All of the experiments below used

-Strathmore Cold Press: Watercolor Paper

– 2% NaCl (table salt)

– 12% AgNO3 (silver nitrate) (2 coats)]


We worked with what seemed to be two aspects of how the salted paper process works.  In one trial we tested how color film worked with or against light exposure.

->[This process needs to be done in a low light room with little sunlight (just enough to see so that the paper does not start exposing.)]

->[Before application we taped the papers to a flat board in order to avoid bubbling of the paper due to the wetness of the solutions.]
step1->Cut Strathmore square appx 6″ x6″

step2->Applied one coat of salt (NaCl) evenly with 12ml pipette and applied with foam brush.

step3->Dried with hair-dryer on low

step4->Applied one coat of silver (AgNO3) evenly with 12ml pipette and applied with foam brush.

step5->Dried with hair-dryer on low

->(repeat steps 4 & 5 to apply the second coat of silver needed)
While we were working on the applications we were also cutting out 6″ x 6″ squares of cellophane, one red, one yellow & one blue.  We cut out a star shape from the center of each piece in order to have our “negative space” where we could see how the sun would react without the influence of the paper.

step6->Take the paper with cellophane over it outside, this solution allows the reaction to happen rather quickly, keep it out for about 1 minute appx.  Some will turn quicker than others, you are looking for the area exposed to turn to almost a black color, (ours were rather dark purple). Then bring bath inside to the dark area.

step7->You will need 4 buckets.  Drop the images in a water bath, (all baths just enough water/ hypo to submerge them fully), then 2 separate baths of a solution called hypo at 10%, and then a fourth bucket containing the last bath of water.  Each image bath should stay in the bath for an approximate 3 minutes, ( you can put more than one image in the bath at a time, as long as they can all be fully submerged and moved around).  Through out these 4 baths you will also need some sort of tool to move them around and try to get off all of the undeveloped silver.

step8-> You will leave the images in a continually running bath of water for appx. 1 hour to remove any residue left. [ If you do not include this step you have a much better chance of the image further exposing.]

This was our experiment to determine how the colors reflected or let light through.  The individuals with a stronger background in photography seemed to understand this aspect more, but I feel i learned a lot simply from the reactions we saw in our experiment.

Below are the images we were left with after we completed this process:


Above: Showing a bit of the application process- after application of second silver nitrate coating.

Below: Showing the star shapes taped over the salted paper.  This image was taken with in the first 5 seconds in the sunlight.


Above:  After exposure of about 1 minute we brought them back in and prepared them for the hypo bath by stripping them of the tape and cellophane.

In our conclusion of this process we found that the image (on the bottom left) created using the blue cellophane.  As you can see more light was able to pass through the blue color.  We could see very little difference between red and yellow, but I would have to say that the red seemed a little darker, less reflective of the sunlight rays.


With this second half of the experiment we explored objects and their effects and the reaction upon the paper.  Here we did something more like Talbot with using a real object, most likely pressed with a glass plate to reduce the movements and shifting of the objects and then exposed them to the sun. (We did make a mistake and one of the object blew off, if you look closely you can see on one of the papers a faint lightening of one area that had potpourri on it 🙂

This was my favorite part of the experiment because we actually got a chance to see how the different proportions and strength of the solutions effected the outcome.

Below are the image created using potpourri and a wood cut image of a flower:

Above: the wood cutting and potpourri used in our experiment to lay on the photosensitive paper.

Above: In the process of exposure, this too was very quickly that we saw results, for this I would say we left it out a little over a minute to get a more crisp image.

Above:  We were recording the images and their dark color before we put them in to the hypo bath.  Don’t worry if you think they are darker than your liking, they will lighten immensely once they are put in the baths.

Above: Closer image of the exposed image before the bath solutions.

Above: Our final prints!




We all enjoyed this one so much that we divided up the results to keep.  I also decided to make a second batch of them for myself!  Below is a little bit of what I created again, a more linear composition.


***Although, just as a warning, we were told to keep these final images out of direct sunlight exposure due to the fact that even after the water and hypo baths they may still be slightly light sensitive.***


Here are a few Videos that I found that struck my attention, may you all will find them interesting too!

I noticed that in the title of this video said “cyanotype” when I was searching for more information on our salted paper process; cyan meaning a greenish blue originating for greek word kyanos or dark blue.  I was wondering what this was so I watched the video, and was thinking that maybe its just the same process, but using a substance that changes what would typically be a black, (or in our case the dark purple), and instead makes it blue?  How is this possible, it is very cool!  One this I did notice was that his solutions “A” & “B” are a yellow color, wierd?  He does use watercolor paper though, obviously we made the right choice, that is a good paper to get a good reaction!

****If any of you have any explanation of how exactly this works, please leave a comment!!****



This guy is awesome! Check it out!!!!!  This man owns a company called Homemade On Pelican Bay, he is actually making money off of these process from 19th c. photography!  He also is using the cyanotype process that was seen above.  You can see as they scan over that he is exploring all the the ways to create images such as negatives, and simple object overlays.

March 28, 2011

Photogenic Drawing

We all have digital cameras now, who ever bothers to think about how they work, or who got us to this point?

The FIRST picture ever take, who got the credit?

William Henry Fox Talbot invented the calotype process in 1826 (appx).

A canotype is the process of using Silver Nitrate to create an image.  The silver decomposes in sunlight leaving the area that shows the contrast or image on the page.  This decomposition only occurs if there is the correct balance of salt and silver… this process is called creating “salted paper”.

Our group has recently done a few tests on our own to really get a feel for what it is like and how many variables go in to creating a working calotype.  Read more below ****

Above: The First Photograph [France, 1826] Talbot



“The term calotype comes from the Greek καλός for ‘beautiful’, andτύπος for ‘impression’.”wikipedia, may 2011, <;.

Interesting Photographs created through this process:


Talbot.”Veronica in Bloom” ca. 1840




Links to check out:

(a little bit more history, listen well he talks fast)

(no sound, but very cool)

(longer process in depth, but slightly different than the one laid out below)


Our Experience:

Our group wanted to learn a little bit about how these calotypes worked.  We tried our own using variables of the following…

-percent salt used  -percent silver nitrate used  -type of paper


Paper Type Key:

A) 100% Rag

B) 400 Series Strathmore water color cold press

C) Carton Bristol board – regular surface texture

D) Strathmore Gemini 140lb- rough

Salt = NaCl

Silver Nitrate = AgNO3

And it begins……

[Below are our original percentages used (and coats anticipated) as well as the results ie: “A.” stands for 100% Rag as seen above]

Experiment 1) 2% Salt NaCl & 5% Silver Nitrate AgNO3 / half of this sample had 2 coats

A. The second coat of silver turned darkest brown (the first coat was not even distribution)

B. No change

C. The second coat of silver turn a greenish brown, very pale

D. Very little change


Experiment 2) 10% Salt NaCl & 5% Silver Nitrate AgNO3

A. No change/ slight yellowing

B. No change/ slight yellowing

C. (also had a lighter purple ting)

D. This one had the highest level of contrast, (almost purple tinge)


Experiment 3) 2% Salt NaCl & 12% Silver Nitrate AgNO3/ half of this sample had 2 coats

A. The second coat of silver turned darker brown w.o. Exposure

B. The second coat of silver turned light brown (light light brown before exposure)

C. The second coat of silver turned dark brown, (before exposure there was a green ting to the paper with silver application)

D. The second coat of silver turned light brown (not much of a change)


Experiment 4) 10% Salt NaCl & 12% Silver Nitrate AgNO3

(all of these had some contrast)

A. Little Change

B. Little to NO change

C. Little Change

D. Little Change



Process began:

-All shades in the room were drawn & indoor lights turned off (we were still able to see what we were doing, this was appropriate because the solutions we were using were not that light-sensitive)

-We had a 9”x6” plastic board for support

-Taped a border on all sides of the 2” x 9” strips

-Delivered liquids all with “pipettes” 12 ml

-Technique was delivered in “beads” or strips of solution dispersed along the top.

-2 lines of beads were used on each strip and spread vertically on the paper trying for an even coat (each paper received about 10 ml of solution

-After each coat we dried w. a hair dryer until dry

-Silver Nitrate was applied by taking a pipette and squeezing the liquid on to a foam sponge, this was the cleaner way of application, so not to contaminate.

-On all the salt was the first application_dried_silver application_dried_”exposed in a light box for 5min. w. out negative blocking some sun from some of the areas, (we chose keys and coins)

-The silver nitrate application was applied horizontally

-After the exposure, we removed the tape and the pieces of paper from the plastic board

-We submerged the paper in salt water for 5 minutes

-Then again submerged the paper in a bucket of water (running all the time to clean the water an remove any excess)

-The last two steps were done to set the print so that if exposed to light after this it will not change or continue to expose

-Lastly we dried the papers w. a hair dryer on low for the last time

And our prints were complete!… And the winner is…….


Experiment 1) 2% Salt NaCl & 5% Silver Nitrate AgNO3 / half of this sample had 2 coats

-We found it was the most reactive. Some images to prove our findings…

Above: Stage 1: after 2 coats (left side) and one on the right

Above: Stage 2: Dried and ready for the exposure.

Above: Stage 3: Just stepped out of the light box after 5 minutes, you can see the drastic exposure change!!! So Exciting!!!!!

**** Keynote: We found that the less salt and higher silver, the better reaction****

**** C & D on all tests were, in most cases, wrinkled due to the amount of liquid absorption. Also there seemed to be yellowing of these two papers. ****

March 16, 2011


Introduction & History:

The creation of an Anthotype is a process that has been around for centuries.  John Fredrick Hershel played a very important part in the development of this process (1842).  Hershel did lots of research finding the “Anthotype process” when trying to develop a color print.  This process was only used for a little while because of its lack of convenience , taking days/ weeks to produce one single image.

Light sensitivity in plant matter… how does this work if it is in a different form?


Our Experiment:

This week we worked creating our own anthotype!  We began with a hypothesis…

“The addition of other elements (water, alcohol, paprika) to blackberry juice will alter the photosensitivity and resulting contrast of the Anthotypes.”

We had the options of choosing from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and plants (spices).  Our experiment or exploration group chose frozen blackberries and type of paper as our constant.

We first use a mortar and pestle to ground the berries (1 1/2 c. appx) in to mush, then strained them to separate the “pulp” from the juice and divided in to 4 bowls for the explorations. [This was our process of developing the “light-sensitive” paper.  We were anticipating that the light -sensitive fruit may have an effect still while applied to paper.]  We also incorporated a test of paprika (with water as a carrying agent), paprika (2tbs) & water (1/4 c.) with blackberry,  water (1/4 c.) and blackberry, alcohol (1/4 c.) and blackberry.

The mixtures were carefully applied in 3 coats of each mixture using a foam brush.  The first coat vertical, then horizontal, then vertical again, all while drying in between coats using a hair dryer on low.

-Below: Showing the Anthotypes our group is recording on.-
-March 9, 2011 — Starting Date-

-Single: Blackberry.-
-Streaky as can be seen from the image, some residue on page from straining process.-

-Single: Paprika (& water).-

-Very streaky after application, looks “tangerine” color.-


-Single: Blackberry & Water.-

-Water application created a speckled look.-










-Single: Blackberry & Alcohol.-

-Completely soaked the paper, almost created a transparent look, some areas dried darker (more concentrated).









-Combination: Paprika mixture with Blackberry mixture.-

-Very grainy, mixture of pulp & grit from paprika, very uneven coloring.-









-Group Process Photo.-

Throughout this process we used masking tape around all four edges of our paper subjects to not only establish the look of the paper originally, but also provide a straight distinct line between our “light-sensitive matter” and the constant.

-(One mistake we found half way through the experiment was that it may have been better to use a coffee filter, (already wet), rather than just pushing the matter through the strainer.)-

Our results were already showing a few individual characteristics.  The paper used with the straight blackberry seemed to have a few pieces  that had gotten through the strainer, the lines were a little bit more defined and textured.  Also, the paper with the blackberry and alcohol mixture was quickly soaking all the way through the paper and almost gave the paper a drenched or opaque look to it.  And lastly, the paprika was grainy, the paprika did not mix in well with the water and seemed just to tint the water rather than be obsorbed.  **For future reference you may want to run any spice through a filter to be sure your results are the best you can get.

After making sure all had dried, we individually covered them with a “stencil”, or a piece of paper that has some negative or cut out.  This is the part of which limits the amount of sun that the fruit juice can be exposed to.  This is our “negative”.

From there we hung them up in a moderatly bring area, (a front window), and are letting this sit for appx. 2 months.  We will be observing and reporting any change every few weeks or so. Stay tuned!


–Below are a few examples of Anthotypes found on the internet, Enjoy!–












Above: Found on: Deviant Art: by Yourmung-

“Using achiote for tone. 3 days of exposition leaves in contact with the paper.”

*****Unique, you can see the strokes of application in this one,  showing yet again how it might have been too difficult to not only reproduce, but reproduce replicas or even similar pieces.


Above: Individual’s Experience with Anthotype: Strawberry

*****I think this one is quite cool!  It helps piece together what we are learning and apply it to real “photography” in my mind, very nice!


Interesting Link to check out:

1.)  Basic information exploring Anthotypes: The Anthotype Process, Martin Helmut Reis

2.) VIDEOS: [more information on alturnative photography]

March 14, 2011

Photographic Processes

This blog begins a new exploration of 19th century photographic processes.  Throughout the next three months our class will be exploring the materials, processes, technology and ideas that lead us to today’s modern-day photography.

Van Dyke: Elizabeth Park

Van Dyke: Elizabeth Park

Voigtlander pinhole, Van Dyke brown print.