Sunday, March 27, 2011

01. Anthotype

Anthotype: an image created using photosensitive material from plants.  This could include but is not limited to flowers, fruits, and vegetables.  The anthotype process was invented by Sir John Herschel in 1842.

Sir John Herschel: (1792-1871) was a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and inventor/photographer.  Herschel not only invented the anthotype process but also the cyanotype process.  He coined the terms "photography," "positive," and "negative."  Hyposulphite of soda or "hypo" was discovered as a substance that could "fix" photographic images.

1.First we chose what fruits and vegetables we wanted to test.  There was a wide variety to choose from but we narrowed it down to spinach, beats, tomatoes, raspberries, and dried cherries.  Each person had a reason for choosing their own material.  I chose beats because I felt that their color is very potent and therefore would fade in the sun over time.  Peter chose spinach because of its high iron content.  Tomato paste is also concentrated and does not contain a high percentage of water like fresh tomatoes do. Frozen raspberries have a strong color.  Lastly, dried cherries obviously are dried and are a different texture than our other choices.  They were our experimental choice.
2. We then blended each of the materials in the food processor adding 1/4 cup of alcohol to a constant 1 cup of fruit/veggie substance.
3. Every substance was strained leaving seeds and chunks of material out of our juice.
4. We then coated our paper (water color) with 2 coats of the juice, drying the paper completely between each coat.
5. Peter's homemade step wedges were taped on to 3 of our 4 sheets of test paper.
**There will be 3 different exposures on 3 different sheets.  The exposures are: 1 week, 2 week, 1 month.
6. Once all exposures are made each print will be examined for best tonal range along the step wedge.
7. The exposure that produced the best image will then be used to create an image with cut out paper (photogram) or negative.

Overall, my experience with the experiment went well.  Our group worked well together getting things accomplished.  We did run into a few issues with our juice mixtures.  For example, some seeds got through the straining process in the raspberry mixture.  The tomato paste mixture was too thick to be brushed on to the paper after our first attempt.  Therefore we had to add more alcohol into that mixture and strain it through a coffee filter to get the right consistency.



 ^anthotype images I found not only successful but also visually interesting after doing a quick Google image search.

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