Personal Development Review’s and Action Planning

28 April 2016  Laser Print Transfers

Through research I discovered there are many ways to transfer photographs but I preferred the method of laser print transfers. I found this process to be technically easy, however, getting the photograph not to reveal any imperfection is pretty difficult.  When rubbing away the paper that the photo was printed on, tint particles of miss-applied glue, particularly around the edges, came away at the slightest rub.

I also found difficulty with uneven surfaces but managed to remedy this by placing them in a vice between cardboard to help the adhesion. I also struggled with matching the correct image to the correct material to properly demonstrate the tones in the original image. Sometimes dark materials could darken the image, so it was less defined.

I have learned that images can be transferred to numerous material’s, forms’ and object’s which expands a creative aspect of image production. I.e. applications to other household/lifestyle materials.

 

 

26 April 2016  Tea Toning Re-visited

It was brought to my attention that other that tea toning, other organic pigment dies could possibly working in toning black and white photographs. So I decided due to its concentration intensity that beetroot juice may work and provide the additional aesthetic of a red/purple tone. I re soaked my previous tea toned image in tea, resulting in a much darker sepia tone.

I also soaked a photo in beetroot juice, this was semi successful as during the drying process the beetroot juice ran off the print, taking away all the colour. I dried the photograph in a cool breeze, which did leave some desired pink/purple tones, however it did not prove as successful as the tea toning method. Some beetroot pigment was also visible on the photo, if I was to use this material again I would possible strain the juice trough a fine sieve or a pair of tights to avoid any pigmentation.

 

20 April 2016  Becquerel Daguerreotype Process (Transparency)

A transparency has been used for this method due to the camera not being available. This involved altering the chosen image in photoshop to gray scale and adjusting the contrast, then printing onto acetate transparency. Due to the assumption of under exposure, I decided to increase the exposure time to 8 minutes and this was in bright sunshine reading 16ev on a light meter. A partial development after 5 hours under rubylith produced a faint image, slightly more defined than the previous but still not vivid in appearance. So after fixing, the image did form and has remained but is still quite faint. One impressive feature of this plate is that when held at the correct angle, it does flip from negative to full positive to reveal a visible image. I have decided, although maybe not perfect, I will proceed to gilding this plate to see if this improves the final image and just to complete the process.

I have become much more familiar with the whole process and I am becoming confident that I can achieve an image as I am getting closer to producing a perfected daguerreotype. With maybe a couple more attempts, a viable archive image should be achievable.

 

17 April 2016  Chlorophyll Process

 

 

12 April 2016  Becquerel Daguerreotype Process (In Camera)

After fuming for the proposed two minutes, I noticed that the plate had turned the required steel blue, or at least to my assumptions, so under safelight I placed the plate in a homemade slide holder. This was for use in the Cambo Explorer 4″x 5″ camera borrowed from university to attempt an in-camera exposure. This was set up facing my house and I used a suggested exposure time of 7 minutes, due to the relatively bright conditions. This was partially successful, with an image visible on the plate, mainly when tipped on an angle but ghostly in appearance. After successful development under the rubylith I decided to fix the image, which at first darkened the plate but then seemed to wash the image away. This now adds another element to consider of fixing times but it is my belief that I followed the correct solution concentration for the wash so this may not be the cause of the issue.

  • Plate fuming time
  • Exposure time
  • Development time
  • Fix time and solution concentration

Experimenting with this process and working with the large format camera has improved my knowledge of camera fundamental’s. Upon being introduced to the large format camera, I felt fairly threatened by the thought of being able to eventually get to grips with using it. However, upon throwing myself in at the deep end and having more confidence in my ability. I had a short pre shoot with the camera before using it for daguerreotypes and found my images to be satisfactory, so successfully obtaining an image during the Becquerel process has confirmed the cemented information of its functions.

In all, the process was partially successful it is just what you would normally called under developed or under exposed, so further experimenting with the exposure/development time will be necessary.

 

11 April 2016  Becquerel Daguerreotype Process (Transparency)

My first attempt at the becquerel daguerreotype process proved minimally successful in achieving an image on the silver plate. This left areas of investigation to discover what went wrong. The main areas include;

  • Plate fuming time
  • Exposure time
  • Development time

To remain scientific in my investigation I decided to only alter one the parameters. Due to my in-experience with the Iodine fuming process, I decided to concentrate on this. Due to investigation I realised the temratature that I was fuming at was possibly too low, therefore requiring an increase in the fuming time.  As I had only fumed for one minute this time, next time I decided to fume for two minutes, whilst also pre-heating the containment vessel and the plate to the required 21°C.

After my first attempt I have learned that the process will need a lot more time and refinement to achieve success. This first failure has helped me to realise the difficulty of undertaking to daguerreotype process and appreciate that this method required an amount of input, possibly beyond that which I may be able to dedicate due to other process being conducted for the same brief. This has not deterred me, I intend to continue  towards achieving a desirable result but may have reduced my expectations.

 

05 April 2016  Anthotypes

Due to the season and lack of bright sunlight I found this process difficult to achieve. My first attempt was semi successful. I was able to make the paper purple with the colour of the petals used, however the objects used (leaves from garden plants) left no image on the paper after exposure to the sun for approximately five days. I believe that if I carry out this process again but use an image on a transparency, then it may be more successful.

I learned that bright sunshine is needed for this process to work and long periods of time for development. Although unsuccessful, with a revisit and a slight alteration to technique, a desired image should be achievable. Now the weather conditions are beginning to improve I believe this will also help.

 

 

03 April 2016  Making a Photograph Collage From Multiple Images

This method involved learning the use of proprietary software for crating photo mosaics from an archive of images. I found this a great way to showcase the full extent of my current collection of work with one photograph. It has improved my technical abilities and also highlighted how tonal values in a photograph can be arranged in a way that convinces the eye it’s another image, usually from a distance but upon closer inspection an array of complex of smaller images is revealed. I have learned from this that resolution and viewing distance are key to the way that humans see.

 

01 April 2016  Tea Toning Cyanotypes and Black and White Photographs

Whilst experimenting in the darkroom I decided to produce a tea toned photograph and cyanotype by using ordinary teabags and water. On my first attempt I used tea that was well brewed but was left to go cold before I submerged the cyanotype. At first I thought this wasn’t going to work as the print did not appear to be changing colour. However, upon removing the print from the tea and leaving it to dry it began to turn brown. I learned that drying process and the temperature of tea has an effect on the outcome, this has revealed to me that experimentation requires several attempts with varying factors to achieve the desired result.

I re-brewed some more tea bags in boiling water and let it cool to room temperature before submerging the print. I followed the same process for the second cyanotype, however, again I was not overly pleased with the results. Although I used my weakest cyanotype for this process, the image appeared washed out and dirty. I followed the same process for the back and white prints, after submerging them in water for fifteen minutes to loosen the silver particles. This was discovered after further research highlighting to me that experimentation can be combined with researched methods to make it more effective.

I was more pleased with the outcome on the photo paper as it looked cleaner and glossier with a slight sepia tone. However, after evaluation upon drying I would have liked a darker sepia tone which could have been achieved by another application of toning which I will hope to revisit.

 

 

28 March 2016  Large Format

After my first attempt at learning to use the large format camera and developing the slide film I found it very daunting as it is a way of producing images that I am unfamiliar with. However, I intent to challenge this fear and aim to use this camera and experiment with film processing as much as possible. So far I have completed one successful shoot and produced film. However, upon being left alone with the camera I found that operating it without guidance proved more difficult that I had thought. So, I have spent some time learning how to use it efficiently and I am currently researching the Becquerel Process to complete for this brief. I hope to successfully create my own daguerreotype with careful analysis and research.

 

22 March 2016  Cyanotype Process

After learning how to produce cyanotypes and creating my own by using a kit bought from Silverprint, I realised that the process was a lot simpler than I had first thought. Although, the chemicals were already pre-mixed just requiring water to activate so my experience could have been a little more complicated if I was to gather all the materials and work from scratch. I found that exposing the cyanotypes for longer periods of time (say 10 mins rather than 5) the image appeared to wash away when removing any remaining particles. I learned that exposure times will vary as I exposed the prints to direct sunlight on a bright and sunny day, realising that exposure times may be very temperamental on a cloudy day. There was an option to expose the prints to UV light, which is still an alternative technique that I need to experiment with.

 

10 March 2016  Salt  Water Process

By learning the ways in which sea salt water evaporates to form crystalline patterns over a period of time has expanded my creative outlook and allowed for exploration and experimentation with natural elements. I particularly found the uniqueness of each image pleasing due to the way that the process developed with the addition of using other objects, such as pebbles, leaves, hands, and food colouring in a random way.

 

05 March 2016  Seville, Spain

Following the recent educational visit to Seville in Spain I find that I have been questioning myself on my ability and motivation. Although I struggle travelling with people, I found that during this trip I overcome some social disabilities that I have come to recognise within myself.

However next time I go travelling, I will ensure that I carry out my own in depth research on the destination and set myself some tasks and challenges before I go. I will do this so I know for myself more about the city and where I would like to visit so I can fully explore rather than follow the crowd.

I found that it took me a little while to relax with my camera once I had arrived in the city. I found that the first day was the one where I took the least photographs, I can only out this down to being unfamiliar with my surrounding and being extra aware of looking after my camera and equipment.

A tripod would have been useful on the trip but I was advised not to take one as it wouldn’t be needed. On review I would have preferred to take a tripod as I would have had a better advantage of applying more techniques, i.e. panoramic, star trails, astrophotography or hyperfocal distance. I did make use of walls and bins etc. but this did not really compensate as much as having a tripod would.

On evaluation of my images I pleased with the majority of my images, I find that they have good composition and exposure. However, I believe that I didn’t take enough portrait style photos of the local people. This would have been beneficial to me as this is an area that I need to challenge myself on. I also did not have access to a prime lens, I took my standard 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses as these were the only ones that I had. However, on discussion with my peers I found that using a prime lens would have a huge advantage on my photography. So on my return I have purchased a 1.8, 50mm prime lens and I see a big difference in the sharpness and depth of field.

I can ensure that this trip has equipped me with the necessary knowledge and experience of travel photography, the planning that is required and the correct equipment to take. I have enjoyed the trip as it was eye opening and it was my first real experience of travelling with an interest in capturing the aesthetics of the city.

 

 

17 February 2016  Embroidered Photography

This week I intend to carry out the process of embroidered photography. This is an effective technique that I wasn’t aware existed but is particularly appealing to me as it involves using a more crafted method.

What materials, equipment or techniques are required to successfully complete the project?

  • An embroidery kit
  • Photographs (particularly portraits)
  • Card for mounting the photograph onto for sturdier support

I have started my first test image which I am very pleased with, although I will need to do a reprint and reproduce my first portrait image due to the embroidery not being applied neat enough in places. There are also scratch marks visible from were I turned the photographs over to sew, I believe this needs to be completed more delicately on further experiments. However this was only my first experiment print and I still remain very pleased with its aesthetics.

I have also combined burning and embroidered photography on a self portrait which I am very pleased with.  I have enjoyed involving arts and crafts and actually manipulating my photographs to make them different any unique.

I am finding my confidence in my own ability the more I experiment and introduce new processes. I find that I am also learning valuable lessons in not to compare my works to others too much and focus on my own study needs and personal development.

Review: Upon completion of my first embroidered photograph I found that the best technique is to push the needle through the photo paper from the front of the image. I realised that pushing the needle through the back of the card revealed white paper mark which is evident throughout the stitch. However, I am very pleased with this process and would like to continue with other styles of photographs to see how experimental that I can be with my technique.

 

 

 

10 February 2016  Burning Photographs

I am currently in my second semester of year one and I’m working on the ‘Research Methods’ Brief. Since beginning researching and reviewing alternative photography processes and how they are achieved. I am becoming much more open minded and inquisitive about what I can achieve by the use of my own creative abilities. Although sometimes a feel that there is so many genres and alternative techniques that I am finding myself wondering where to start. However I have made a list and intend to work through each section piece by piece so I am not overloaded with too much information.

The first technique that I have decided to work on is ‘Burning Photographs’. The main aim of burning photographs is to aesthetically destroy but also enhance the overall image quality. I intend to start this process immediately, with an average time scale of three to four hours to complete, way before the deadline which is due in May.

I need to research the burning photographs technique and find out if there are any particular ways or methods of achieving the desired result.

What materials, equipment or techniques are required to successfully complete the project?

  • Printed portrait photographs
  • A large blow torch

 

I didn’t find much information during my research in ways of burning photographs, so I have relied upon my own experimentations to achieve this method. I made use of other materials such as water, bleach and acetone solution which all had little effect. My most effective method was burning the photographs directly with a large flame.

I first started burning my photographs with a lighter, which worked but not to the extent that I would have liked. So, I decided to make use of a blow torch which had more power and heat to obtain the desired effect.

Once the printed paper has been burned there was rippled evident in the texture of the paper, I was not happy with this at first but upon scanning the image I found that the curves in the paper added to the overall effects.

I am very pleased with the overall results of this experiment and process. Although it was trail and error I believe that I have created works similar to professional photographer Lucas Simoes in burning my photographs to enhance their overall appearance. I also decided to challenge my self by creating my own self portrait for burning. I was unhappy with the portrait image until I burnt out the eye’s as this added a super natural effect that appeared to match and exaggerate my facial expression.

I now know that burning photographs can enhance their overall appearance and aesthetics. I am now also familiar with the process as a whole and have first hand experience for any future practices.

Review: Upon evaluating my final image I find the results to be fascinating and extra ordinary in their otherworldy appearance. I have decided to experiment further and produce still yet intriguing results as seen in my second burned image. Through realising my own creative ability I find that my confidence in experimenting with processes is growing stronger.

 

 

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