No darkroom? Plenty of sunshine instead?
Posted on June 29 2020
The basic material for all of those alternative processes are one or the other or both of the following:
- Stuff to place on the paper to make contact prints (leaves, flowers, feathers, lace, keys, buttons, bubble wrap)
- Large format negatives, printed negative or images on transparency film, drawings on transparency film or glass
- Darkroom Paper
- An old frame or a loose piece of glass or even just some transparency film + masking tape
- A tray (can be a cat tray or anything you will not store food in again)
Optional: Fixer and a jug you will not re-use. Plastic gloves if using fix
Carefully take a sheet of darkroom paper out of the bag (careful to refold the black bag so that as little light as possible hit the paper remaining in the bag. Place you paper on a support, place your items or negatives on top, place glass or other form of security on it. Expose to sunlight (30min to 2 hours depending on sunlight) Remove items. Take pictures of the image with your phone. Either dip the exposed paper straight into water or fix it first and then in water.
A bit like Lumen with added bells and whistles.
- Darkroom Paper
- Bin bag, newspaper to protect you work surface
- 3 trays (can be a cat tray or anything you will not store food in again)
- Fixer, paper dev and a jug you will not re-use. Plastic gloves if using fiix and dev
- Everything you can throw at it: oil, Vaseline, salt, vinegar, lemon juice. The principle of chemigrams is that you throw stuff on paper, make a mess and hope for the best. You can however have some degree of control and mix it with lumen printing principle.
Things to bear in mind: It is messy. The paper dev is a chemical that should not be touched with bare hands. You can actually do a ‘soft’ chemigram version with no dev or fix, or a fix only version which can be handy if planning to do this with smaller children. You will not be able to reuse the mixed dev or fix You will need to carefully wash your trays afterwards as they will be full of gunk It is very fun
Take some paper and put stuff on it in any order. Then again in varying order dip it in fix, dev and water.
Thick paper (watercolour, any natural fibre paper) that can take getting wet)
Pigmented plant matter (petals, beetroot, turmeric)
Muslin cloth or an old piece of woven, not knitted, cotton to strain your 'dye'.
Make your ‘dye’ by either pounding your plant matter into a paste, or ‘juicing’ it, or even making a strong infusion with it. If needed dilute with water, white alcohol or even oil.
Dip your paper in the ‘dye’ or pain it on. As soon as it is dry, place your items, negatives etc on it and secure it. Anthotype take a long time (UK Spring Sunshine: about two days…) so find somewhere it will not be too disturbed. You can place it indoor by a window. Two days later, remove your stuff and 'presto', you have a print!