Sunday, 18 October 2009

Introduction to Alternative Photographic Printing Techniques Workshops



I have been approached by a number of people who have shown interest in half day workshops that would provide an introduction to Alternative Photographic Printing Techniques. I currently teach a similar course/workshop to universities and colleges.

The half day workshop will provide those people who have an interest in Alternative Photographic Printing Techniques an introduction to a range of processes including Cyanotype, Kalitype, Platinum/Palladium, Polymer Photogravure and Wet Plate Collodion. Demonstrations of a number of processes will be provided on the day and each participant will leave with print examples of two of the printing processes. The half day workshop also provides an opportunity to meet other people interested in alternative techniques as well as peruse more than 400 books on photography.

Topics covered on the workshop include:

Alternative Photographic Printing Techniques in the 21st Century
Common Equipment needed for Alternative Photographic printing techniques
Methods of creating contact printing negatives
Health and safety of Alternative Photographic Printing Techniques.
Introduction to Cyanotype, Kalitype, Platinum/Palladium, Photogravure and Wet Plate Collodion techniques.
Demonstrations of Cyanotype and Platinum/Palladium printing processes.
Question and Answer Session

Further Details :

Date : 8th November 2009 ( Then first Sunday of every month thereafter)
Location : Held at my home in Cottenham, 6 miles North of Cambridge
Workshop Size – Maximum 4 people
Time : 10:30 to 2:30
Includes : Workshop Handbook and a light lunch is provided on the day

For further information and booking please email me on altphotoworkshops@hotmail.co.uk

For further information on my one day workshops please visit www.platinumprinting.co.uk

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Back from Boston!

Just spent a week in Boston, I went over there to interview 21st Editions editor and founder Steven Albahari for an upcoming article I am writing called ‘The Intimate Photobook’


They produce the most exquisite ‘original print’ publications I have ever had the privilege to view. When I first saw one of their books almost 6 years ago, entitled ‘Sally Mann’ at Photo London I was awe struck by the quality of the platinum prints that were included in the book, so much so that I was motivated to learn alternative printing techniques. 21st Editions print using a variety of alternative printing techniques including platinum and cyanotype, these are paired with seminal writings by such acclaimed writers as John Wood . These are beautifully printed in letterpress and bound using the most extravagant and luxurious materials including silk, copper, velum, Moroccan goatskin and even Japanese wood. They have worked with some of the most renowned photographers including, Michael Kenna, Joel-Peter Witkin, Shelia Metzner, Eikeo Hoseo and upcoming photographers including Jefferson Hayman and John Metoer. Prices range from $1500 to $20,000.The article is proposed for publication in early 2010.


Sally Mann, 10 bound platinum prints, 1 freestanding print


Jefferson Hayman, The New City,18 platinum bound and 2 freestanding prints with writings by MacLean Gander.


Whilst in Boston I had the opportunity to take time out to visit the Cape Cod area. I have long had a love with this part of the world as it was frequently painted by one of my favourite painters Edward Hopper.




I had time to pay a visit to his house in Truro and took a few photographers, one of which I hope to print in platinum as a homage to the great artist.



While walking back along the beach from his house, which was surprisingly empty of any tourists or even locals, I serendipitously met and got talking to an artist from New York who instantly reminded me of my other all time favourite painters, that being Georgia O’Keeffe, who was married to great photographer and book publisher Alfred Stieglitz. I had to record this moment and she kindly let me take a portrait of her. She had a really cheeky smile which reminded me of that rare picture Ansel Adams took of O’Keffe in 1937.


After Truro I visited Provincetown and went to a gallery that SuzanneR on APUG mentioned I go see called ‘All about Photography’ at ArtStand


What a show!! for any photographers interested in alternative photographic processes or indeed photography this is a must see, I got to see my first wet plates, daguerreotypes, tin types as well as many other beautiful prints by some very talented photographers including Jerri Spangoli, France Scully Osterman, Sally Gall, Eugene Richards to name a few.


To finish this whistle-stop visit I was fortunate enough to have a consultation with Alison Collins at the Iris Gallery in Boston on Charles Street, she represents artists including Brigitte Carnochan, Beth Dow . We had a productive meeting and as a result she will now be representing me in the Boston area with my large and small cyanotype prints aswell as my upcoming platinum portfolio of work entitled ‘Curiosity’, which documents the fascinating and intriguing encounters I have had with people, places,objects over the last five years. Below is a scan of one platinum print from this new work.


Following the consultation I went to view the new exhibition at the Robert Klein gallery called ‘Still Seen’ and was shown around by the always helpful director of the gallery Eunice who I often see at the galleries booth at Photo Paris. The gallery itself is set in a really pleasant part of Boston on Newbury Street which I found to be very chic although understated. The exhibition itself is worth going to, I came across an artist called Tomio Seike who I had never heard of although his work is well collected and at a premium price, really exquisite platinum and silver prints, I will keep an eye out for him in future.



Whenever I am in a city that has Kenro Izu’s prints, which is not as often as I like, I just have to view them and Eunice kindly showed me some, they are always breathtaking. For me these are the finest platinum prints I have seen, printed from 11x14 and 20x16 inch in camera negatives. I was also shown the Cyanotype over platinum prints which too are a sight to behold.


Just as I was leaving my eye caught this print taken by Judy Dater called ‘Imogen and Twinka’ which I am sure many people know but I had never seen, it made me smile :)



What a great visit, the people of Boston and Cape Cod were such nice people, it was pleasure visiting this part of the US and cannot recommend it highly enough.





Thursday, 12 March 2009

Large Cyanotype prints

I was inspired to write about the challenges that I am having with coating large prints by a fellow blogger Brain Palowski who details the various methods one uses to coat an alternative print such as Cyanotype and Platinum, in addition he describes some techniques employed by well known alt photo printers. (see http://lightimpressions.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-coating-methods.html)

I too am interested in coating methods at the moment as i am attempting to coat some 20"x24" prints in Cyanotype 2 with a glass rod. I have had to commission such a large rod to be made, B&S will make any size rod you want for $44, which is good value IMO. I am able to get two passes down on smaller prints that are 20x16" but to get the denisty i am after i think it will require 4 passes, so i plan to have to 2 syringes, once i have done the two passes and the sensitiser runs out apply another line of sensitiser and attempt another two passes.

Kenro Izu i know uses a brush to coat his large platinum prints see video below, however i just have never been able to coat consistently with a brush which is disappointing but i am sure it just takes practice as is the case with most alt photo techniques. I have used a rod for about 5 years now and don't want to put it down!

video

Another alternative is to use the brush and and rod as is shown by platinum printer Arkady Lvov, see video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gprrYmUCgzw

This is the best of both worlds and is a technique worth investigating.The rod enables you to get a good first coat down and then by using the brush you can even the coat out. I have tried this method and it works but again practice is key!

I will post some pictures of my progress with large Cyanotypes in the next week. I will try to blog a lot more over the coming months :)