Saturday, 30 October 2010

Latest Cyanotype Prints

 I was in London on Thursday having my latest cyanotypes reviewed by my London representation (Stephanie Hoppen) and am pleased to say the gallery owner really liked them. They should be framed up and ready to be exhibited in the next few months. They measure 34x27inches (90x70cm) Those who follow my blog will know its been quite a challenge to create prints this size using alternative processes however all the hard work and late nights is worth while when I look at the final prints. They will be printed in edition of 8, each print is unique in terms of tone and colour as with all hand made alt photo prints.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Commission with Artist Richard Rigg

I have recently been working with contemporary artist Richard Rigg on a Cyanotype print commission. The project took a number of months to complete and pushed me into new areas of Cyanotype printing which was stimulating as well as interesting.

Richard wanted to create a print that was formed entirely from an objects shadow. Quite different to a photogram where the object is placed in direct contact with a sensitised piece of paper. Photographers known for creating photograms include Ann Atkins (shown below) and Man Ray.

We had to find a way of suspending the object and taking a recording of its shadow. As we found out UV creates shadows that are quite different from those created by normal light, so much experimentation was needed. The object was a knot made of coloured string, a diagram of it is shown below.

 In Richards own words 'The knot used was an amphichiral knot with 15 crossings, this type of knot has the interesting property of being able to be transformed into its own mirror image so they are essentially the same as there apparent opposites, I was also interested in using an early, formative photographic process in which to frame the work.'

 The final print is shown below and was exhibited  recently at Workplace gallery. We were both pleased with how it turned out. The colour was a really intense blue similar to Yves Klien blue (I have Mike Ware’s Cyanotype II formula to thank for that!.)

To see more of Richards work visit :

Monday, 18 October 2010

Further Research on Multi-layered Platinum Printing

 I was able to get  to the V&A museum last week, I was intending on taking some density readings from one particular platinum print by Irving Penn entitled 'Harlequin Dress.' Unfortunately the conservators would not let the meter touch the print. I thought this might happen so plan B was to visually compare the multilayer test print that I had created which I have dmax readings for, and the Penn print. The good thing about this particular Penn print is that it has absolute black values to compare against.

The four of us (the assistant curator of photography at the V&A, a conservator, my friend and me) visually compared the black values of the Penn print and the multilayer test print. To our eyes the dmax of the Penn print was at the lower left hand corner of the harlequin dress. We all agreed that the dmax of the Penn print corresponded well to the values that were achieved with the third layer of the multilayer test print, which dmax values are in excess of 1.7( see previous post regarding test results). The curator thought the Penn print might actually have a slightly higher dmax value. (The images below are really to illustrative how we were comparing, obviously the human eye is going to be significantly better at judging density than a photo can reproduce)

What can we conclude from this, well I believe what we have established based on visual evidence is that Penn was achieving a dmax for this particular print that no single hit could obtain, moreover it was likely to have been as a result of multi-layering of platinum/palladium salts. I would have liked to have taken actual readings as this would have been more conclusive however this was not possible. There next few tests I want to do are to establish exactly what is going on when you multilayer platinum/palladium salts, print a detailed step wedge with multi-layering and experiment with some of the Papers Penn used.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Last Day @ Christies Contemporary Art Fair

I was in London yesturday and visited the 'Mulitpled' Contemporary Editions Fair held at Christies in South Kensington. You can just about see my framed prints inside the building from the street (Old Brompton Road).

  If you get the chance head down there today as its the last day. There are some great galleries there with some fine prints on show. Further details can be found at

Monday, 11 October 2010

Workshop results

I thought I would share this print that came out of a workshop I taught a week ago. It was taken by Henry Rogers and pictures his wife (original image shot on film with Lecia M3). This was the first platinum print he created on the day and what a great print it turned out to be. As a result of extensive testing and research over the last six months the studio has made numerous advances in the overall technique of platinum printing and these improvements are starting to show through in the prints that our workshop participants are creating.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

New Platinum Prints to be Exhibited

A selection of my new platinum prints will be exhibited by Edel Assanti at the Contemporary Editions Fair ‘Multiplied’. I have recently been taken on by Edel Assanti who are based in London’s Victoria and  will be represetning my platinum work, Stephanie Hoppen in South Kensington who i have been wiith for 4 years will continue to represent my Cyanotype prints. The work on show is a new series of prints exploring the theme of curiosity which I have been developing over the last five years. If you get a chance head down there and take a look, its held at Christie’s in South Kensington from Friday 15th October to 18th October, other galleries of note who are showing include the White Cube, Whitechapel Gallery and one of my favourite publishing houses the Paragon Press.

Images from Curiosity Series, this selection all taken in Paris.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Additional Muliti-layer Test Results

  I wanted to create a more visual as well as empirical test to show the difference in maximum density by adding additional layers of platinum/palladium sensitiser. Up to three development cycles were used. The results are shown below :