Photography as a gateway drug

It has been a long time that I have been noticing stuff. I’ve daydreamed, watching light and shadows dance on the ceiling, and sometimes recorded these images on film or paper with a camera and without a camera. I’ve used photochemistry without a camera and I’ve been the thing that makes the image on paper, and I’ve slowly come full circle around and have started to make photogravures, or my version of a photogravure.

Instead of the final image being made of a metallic substance like silver or iron that has been converted to an image with light, I’ve decided to use the image and light to create an image with ink or pigment on paper using a press.

I’ve given up on the idea that a photographic image is based in reality because it never was to begin with, and I am using the camera and lens or camera less technique to make prints.

My first attempts were actually a few years ago with a friend in Connecticut, and I was hooked after that. We made polymer plate photogravures using light sensitive plastic plates that are rinsed instead of submerged in an etching bath like etching plates are traditionally made.

I made the mistake of buying an economy etching press from Jerry’s Artarama, and while it might work wonderfully in some applications I had trouble with it so now I am looking at something that is a little more robust where it might not be as difficult to operate.

I figure for years my work has seemed more like it was made through a different process, and I might as well use a different process to make my work.

polymer gravure that got stuck in the press.
Tailor’s shop

Author: jnanian

I am a Freelance Photographer in Rhode Island. I make photographs using a variety of methods with and without a camera, and I teach photography online and in person. I make photo emulsions from scratch, I coat my own photo paper and make cyanotypes too. I am a huge fan of Caffenol ( I helped write the Caffenol Cookbook ) and instead of instant coffee, I roast my own Sumatra Robusta beans. I sell them so you can make your own long lasting, film and print developer called Sumatranol. I also sell silver recovery products.