Sunday, March 27, 2011

02. Photogenic Drawing

photogenic drawing: an image created from a photogenic process which consisted of coating paper with a salt solution and then brushing on a solution of silver nitrate.  The paper was then exposed to light with small objects such as leaves or lace on top of the paper.  The final result was a negative image of that object.  Photogenic drawings we invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839.

William Henry Fox Talbot: (1800-1877) was an inventor and photographer.   Talbot started by creating the photogenic drawing process and then eventually invented the calotype in 1841.

1. First we chose what paper we would use.  My group decided to test out 4 different paper types: watercolor, bristol, canvas, and 100% cotton rag.
2. We coated all of the paper with the 2% salt solution and dried them completely.
3. The papers were then coated with both the 5% and 12% silver nitrate solution.  All four textures of paper with 5% and then all four textures coated with 12%.  Two layers of solution were applied on to all sheets, drying completely in between.
4. All 8 sheets of paper were then exposed to light.  The 12% solution covered papers were exposed with step tablets.  Te 5% solution covered papers with keys.
5. The papers were all exposed to the light for 5-7 minutes.
6. The images were then stabilized in a salt water solution used as a "fixer."

Our best results were produced on Strathmore cold press watercolor paper with the 12% silver nitrate solution.  The worst results came from using the 100% cotton rag paper.  The experiment went well for us as a group.  Once again good team work helped us get the best results of the different experiments we did.  Most of the papers were coated evenly with solution which created an even tone on the paper.

 ^Watercolor paper with 12% silver nitrate solution


^The Oriel Window, Fox Talbot, 1839

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.