Tag Archives: sun print

more waxed paper negatives

over the past few months i have been using paper negatives instead of film, and making photograms
when i make cyanotypes.  in other words, instead of using a film negative and making a contact print
or just putting objects on the paper to record their shape and or shadow, i have used paper, and charcoal
and made rubbings.  the first photographic negatives were paper negatives, and they were usually waxed
before they were printed as a positive / salt print.  while i have the materials to make salt prints
( paper sized in salt water, smeared with silver nitrate and exposed to UV and BLUE light to make a photograph )
i am making cyanotypes.  an IRON not SILVER  photographic process that uses 2 chemical compounds
which when mixed together are sensitive to light.  then the paper is washed in regular old tap water,
iron rinses out and the print is deep blue in color.  most of the time i bleach the  blue, so the image isn’t so  … blue
and i paint or use crayons to color the images by hand.
rather than making rubbings of things i have close by  …  parts of doorframes, tables, cameras, floor tiles &c
i chose to take an image or two that was taken with a digital camera.  i reversed it to turn it to a negative, and had it printed onto xerox paper.
i waxed the paper and used it as a negative  …

these are a few of the prints i came up with ,,,


waxed, painted bleached








the point

bleached cyanotype, waxed negative








bleached, waxed negative








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cyanotype paper coated

mixed new chemistry ( 200cc ) this morning and prepared paper to coat this afternoon.  i learned form a very wise person at the RISD store that my favorite cyanotype paper and paper negative paper is “butcher paper”  its white and kind of “waxy”  smooth and WORKS GREAT !

i trimmed a bunch of it down to just over 4×5 and coated it with both chemicals mixed , maybe 30cc total.

they dried and tomorrow they will be used …

Posted in alternative process photography, liquid emulsion, photographs, technique and style Also tagged , , , |

tiles and lumen prints

i have been making lumen prints for a while now they are created by putting things onto a piece of photo paper and leaving it in the sun.  the sun makes a photogram or prints a negative or both.
i have made these lumen prints with cameras as well, leaving the camera open for an extended period of time, sometimes 3/4 an hour, sometimes 6 or 7 hours.   sometimes i even use cameras i made by hand, the largest camera i have made was 12×16″, i have sold a few too.

recently i started to coat plates with photo emulsion again.  i did this years ago as a student, but i made darkroom or in camera exposures to be
developed out using developer, and traditional darkroom chemistry.

two of them looked like this:


from glass plate

lumen plate








lumen plate

exposed in a cyclone #5









a few days ago i decided to use some water color paper/ velum i have coated with a few layers of photo emulsion.  like with the plates
the emulsion was old, expired and given to me by a friend  ( thanks winger ! )   i put a clipping from the

flowering forsythia bush on the paper
and left it in the sun for an hour, or hour and a half.  i scanned what i could of the image and inverted it in photoshop and the image looked like this:




1-1.5 hour exposure








i replicated it a few times and made some tiles:



photoshop duplicated








most of the images you find here are available on imagekind printed on paper, or canvas.


Posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, Misc., photographs, technique and style Also tagged , , , , |

cyanotypes and sun prints

i have been kind of busy the past few weeks and haven’t had a chance to update my blog.  since my last post i have added about 60 or 80 images to my selling page on Imagekind.com ( my gallery is jnanian.imagekind.com ) .  i’ve been selling work there for a few months now, and i am donating 100% of the proceeds to disaster relief efforts in japan.  i was spending too much time infront of my computer screen …  one thing lead to another and i have been seeing a chiropractor for a few weeks.  she has fixed  me up good, so you don’t need to worry.

while i have been “recovering”  i have been spending a lot of time making sun prints.  i have been using bottled liquid emulsion, as well as cyanotype materials.  the liquid emulsion prints have been like “lumin prints” but i don’t fix them, and i don’t leave them in the sun for hours, maybe an hour tops …  the cyanotypes take about 15-20mins …  i wash them blue, and soon after i bleach them back.  they sometimes have a yellowish hue, sometimes a blueish and a greenish hue.  THEN  …  i work on these images with crayons, and water color paints.














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paper, coffee glass and the sun

it is a long story but i will try to make it short  …

we returned from the mountains a few days ago, and i went into the darkroom soon after we got home.  i coated some paper with photo emulsion,
nothing i made myself, i haven’t done that since i was a university student,  it was emulsion from a bottle.  i coated 6 sheets of drawing paper some with emulsion that a scientist gave me, and some with some emulsion i had been saving, half used stored on a shelf for about 15 years.  i rummaged through my paper safe for a piece of glass and i coated it with some of the 15 year old emulsion as well.

i filled a 5 quart container with hot water from the tap, and got a plastic beaker and filled that too.  into the beaker the bottle went, and into the hot water the beaker went.  i got the paper ready and looked at the glass.  the glass was coated about 15 years ago, but i never did anything with it, so it just aged in the darkness of the paper safe waiting to be used.  the scientist’s emulsion was liquid by now, or part liquid, so i poured some out on the paper, and dragged a glass rod over it, one way and then back again.   the paper dried on the line.  i did this 2 more times and then did the same thing with the 15year old bottle.  while the papers hung to dry, i poured some of the emulsion into a wide jar that used to have cheese.  it was runny cheese so i thought it would be perfect to put runny emulsion in, so i did.
i got the hake brush and coated the plate with the emulsion.  two or three times until there was nothing left in the jar, and then i used the blow dryer and heated the glass.  it was dark outside so i could leave without worry the light outside would fog my paper or glass.

a few days before i made some photograms.  i used some outdated ( it really never is outdated ) azo paper, and materials i fashioned into small things and put it on the paper, and then a light.  i put the papers in coffee developer, and watched the paper go from white to dark in about 4 minutes.  they washed and dried overnight.

a day or two later i looked for something to print one of the photograms on, and i rummaged through the paper safe and found a piece of paper i had coated with emulsion maybe 15 years before, i had forgotten about it.  the emulsion gets better with age so i printed the image onto it and it looked great.  i took the newly made and dried paper and put it into the paper safe, i figured i wouldn’t forget it was there.  and i took the glass and put it into an envelope and a box.  i looked for a camera it would work with, but since the glass was about 4×6 it wasn’t going to be easy, i don’t have 4×6 cameras, only 4×5 …  so i used a camera i made last fall.  it is a 4×5 camera with a glass lens and hand made paper holders.  i set the camera up, and focused.  i took the glass out in the daylight and loaded it into the paper holder and left the camera open for 4 hours.

i took the glass out and  brought it to the scanner to see what the camera had recorded.  these sorts of images are singular.  they can’t be fixed or developed, or they will vanish or turn black, and they can’t be printed because the intense light will turn them grey and dark, so

i scan them.


















Posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion, Misc., photographs, technique and style Also tagged , , , , |

chemical free photographs

what is a chemical free photograph ?

usually when i make a photograph i expose paper to a small amount of light.  i either project a negative from an enlarger onto the paper
or i put the negative on top of the paper itself and expose it to a small amount of light, or i put materials on the paper and use a small amount of light
to expose the paper.  the paper is then put through a developer, where the image appears onto the paper and then a fixer to remove all the unexposed
silver so it will be “light safe” .

last fall i wondered what would happen if i just made a long long exposure with paper, in a camera or in contact with a negative.  would an image appear on the paper?  would it be able to be saved somehow so it could be viewed ?  or would it just fade away?  there were people i know of on apug.org and other places who
put plants and “living” materials onto paper and expose it this way.  the plants ‘sweat” and “cook” on the paper and a photograph is made showing the outline
and translucency of the plants.  the stuff that oozed out of the plants reacts with the photo paper and the image can be fixed in fixer and toned and can last as long
as any photograph.  i was hoping to do something similar, but without plants, and without making a photogram.

i loaded an old sears box camera up with paper and left the shutter open for an hour or so, and an image was on the paper.
i put a 4×5 negative on a sheet of paper and put that in a contact frame and left that outside in the sun, and in an hour an image appeared.
soon after i began to make my own cameras out of foam core and i bought simple lens cells.  the largest camera i made was 12×16
and i made 11×14 prints with it.  i taped paper inside after the camera was focused and left it for upto 4 hours.

i did run into trouble though.  i tried to fix the images and make them light safe, but they faded to white.  my exposures were too short so the fixer bleached the image off of the paper.  instead of using rapid fixer, i bought hypo ( sodium thiosulphate ) and with the help of a friend learned of a milder way to fix the images,  a way used for printing out paper.  unfortunately my images were still too underexposed and they bleached.
i did manage to scan many of the images i made so they were saved somehow.    the next ones i made will be exposed for two or three times my initial exposures
and hopefully will last longer.









Posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, Misc., photographs, technique and style, using vintage equipment Also tagged , , |