Colour Film Development Process


In your camera, light exposes the film, creating a latent image. In order to view this image, the film must be developed, fixed and washed. If you are photographing with film, you may find that having it processed at a lab saves time and gives desirable results. You may, however, prefer to process your own film for 1) increased control over how your negatives look (For example, you can alter the development time to increase or decrease density and/or contrast), and 2) more options when photographing (For example, you can rate the film speed higher in your camera and compensate for this with processing). Refer to the book for information about film, descriptions of small tank processing, general work area, chemicals, safety and storage issues, and black and white film processing. Here, on our web resources, we describe  the C-41 colour negative development process. [2]


For the purpose of this study the following question(s) were addressed:

  1. What is the colour negative process?
  2. What is the colour printing process?



Colour processing can produce improved images to B&W and by perfecting the process the pinnacle of film based photography, that of a high quality, colour image should be achievable.




Most commercial labs process colour negative film with fast turnaround and at reasonable cost. However, if you plan to shoot a large quantity of colour film, self-processing can be less expensive. If you want to control the development process, you may want to process the film yourself. Colour processing is similar to black-and-white processing. 35mm-processing in the small tank utilizes the same method of loading the film on reels in a tank, pouring in chemicals and agitation, but with different chemicals, times and temperatures. Colour has less latitude than black-and-white processing: processing times and temperatures must be spot on. The developer temperature must be 100˚F, with accepted variance of only ±1/4 . When processed correctly, negatives benefit from self-processing. The colours will be more saturated. The more often you process film, the greater understanding you will have of how time and agitation can produce specific results. [2]


The Colour Negative Processing C41 Process:

  • Heat the drum                             37.8°C            5minutes
  • Colour develop (bottle 1)           37.8°C            3minutes 15 seconds  (1 to 4 films)
  • Bleach fix (bottle 2)                    37.8°C            4minutes                       (1 to 4 films)
  • Rinse with water                         30°C               1minute                          (1 to 4 films)
  • Stabiliser with WA (bottle 3)    30°C/40°C    1minute                         (1 to 4 films)
  • Dry                                                 20°C                Until Dry


Small tank is used for single film                                                                                                     Large tank in used for 3 to 4 films

Remember: The loading reel is different to the reels used for black and white film.


Colour Negative Film: is the type of film found in convenience stores and is available to everyone for affordable print processing using C-41 chemicals. You get negative prints from this process.

Colour Positive Film: also known as ‘Reversal’, ‘Slide’ or ‘Transparency’ film uses E-6 chemicals for processing and when mounted on card stock look exactly like slides that go into projectors. You get positive prints from this process.


Summary/ Conclusion

The C41 colour process is easy to follow but due to the use of bleach and stabiliser it is necessary to follow guidelines for correct development. A well produced colour photograph still holds presence against any digitally printed image, due to its chemical nature being made from invisible pixels.




[1] LOMOGRAPHY. (2010) Film 101: What is the difference between negative and slide film. [Online] Available from:                                             [Accessed: 27th January 2016]

[2] REFRAMING PHOTOGRAPHY, (2016). Processing Images: C41 Colour Negative Process. [Online] Available from:                                                                                                                             [Accessed: 08 May 2016]

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Walker Evans

(1903 – 1975)

Walker Evans is an American photographers best know for his documentary series of the effect of great depression, for The Farm Security Administration. Much of Evans work was shot using a medium format 8x10inch camera. Evans had the ability to see the present as if it were already the past and to translate that knowledge and historically inflected vision into an enduring art.

Most of Evans’ early photographs reveal the influence of European modernism, specifically its formalism and emphasis on dynamic graphic structures. But he gradually moved away from this highly aestheticized style to develop his own evocative but more reticent notions of realism, of the spectator’s role, and of the poetic resonance of ordinary subjects. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004)

His work is outstandingly moving due to the life occurrences that were taking place during this period and the way he manages to stir up some form of emotion by looking at his photographs. They are raw and true, he’s captured a time in history that will or has forever left its mark of devastation and catastrophe.




BIOGRAPHY. (2016) Walker Evans Biography. [Online] Available from:                                         [Accessed: 04 February 2016]

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNIA. (2016) Walker Evans: American Photographer. [Online] Available from:                            [Accessed: 04 February 2016]

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART. (2004) Walker Evans. [Online] Available from:                                                   [Accessed: 04 February 2016]


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Ian Lawson

Ian Lawson is a British photographer that captures the beauty of Lake District and the Herdwick sheep mainly with a large format camera. Ian presents a year in the life of this unique breed, from lambing in spring to wild winters on the high fells. The exhibition is an emotional portrayal of an endangered way of life, as Herdwick Farming becomes less sustainable. The farmers Ian has worked with struggle to endure the pressures of modern farming techniques, in the face of thousands of years of traditional co-existence with the land.

‘Before I began visiting the hidden valleys of English Lakeland with my camera, my understanding of what it means to live a life regulated by the slow procession of the seasons was limited. In a technological age, the life of a Herdwick shepherd can seem anachronistic, but five years spent observing these men and women at work has taught me that this is not so. Theirs is not a life lived out of time, but rather one deeply attuned to the rhythms underpinning our very existence on this planet.’ Ian Lawson            (Rheged, 2016)







IAN LAWSON. (2016) [Online] Available from: [Accessed: 04 February 2016]

RHEGED CENTRE. (2016) Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland. [Online] Available from:                                                     [Accessed: 04 February 2016]

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Photography and the Law

Photographer’s should be aware of the law at all times but in particular, in highly populated areas and due to the Terrorism Act 2000, the police may approach to ask for identification and to check you motivation is not suspect. So I have included some guidelines from the Metropolitan police and The National Archives to give brief instruction, on how the law relates to photographer’s and what to do in this situation.

Photography Advice by Metropolitan Police [1]

We encourage officers and the public to be vigilant against terrorism but recognise the importance not only of protecting the public from terrorism but also promoting the freedom of the public and the media to take and publish photographs.

Guidance around the issue has been made clear to officers and PCSOs through briefings and internal communications. The following advice is available to all officers and provides a summary of the Metropolitan Police Service’s guidance around photography in public places.

Freedom to photograph and film
Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.

Terrorism Act 2000
Photography and Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000
The power to stop and search someone under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 no longer exists.

Police officers continue to have the power to stop and search anyone who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act.

Photography and Section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000
Officers have the power to stop and search a person who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist. The purpose of the stop and search is to discover whether that person has in their possession anything which may constitute evidence that they are a terrorist.

Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to discover whether the images constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is a terrorist. This includes any mobile telephone or camera containing such evidence.

Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search. Deletion or destruction may only take place following seizure if there is a lawful power (such as a court order) that permits such deletion or destruction.

Section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000
Section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000 covers the offence of eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police where the information is, by its very nature, designed to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Any officer making an arrest for an offence under Section 58A must be able to demonstrate a reasonable suspicion that the information was, by its very nature, designed to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism

It would ordinarily be unlawful to use section 58A to arrest people photographing police officers in the course of normal policing activities, including protests because there would not normally be grounds for suspecting that the photographs were being taken to provide assistance to a terrorist. An arrest would only be lawful if an arresting officer had a reasonable suspicion that the photographs were being taken in order to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

There is nothing preventing officers asking questions of an individual who appears to be taking photographs of someone who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Forces (HMF), Intelligence Services or a constable so long as this is being done for a lawful purpose and is not being done in a way that prevents, dissuades or inhibits the individual from doing something which is not unlawful.

Guidelines for MPS staff on dealing with media reporters, press photographers and television crews
There is nothing preventing officers asking questions of an individual who appears to be taking photographs of someone who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Forces (HMF), Intelligence Services or a constable so long as this is being done for a lawful purpose and is not being done in a way that prevents, dissuades or inhibits the individual from doing something which is not unlawful.

Contact with photographers, reporters and television crews is a regular occurrence for many officers and staff. The media influences our reputation so it’s crucial to maintain good working relations with its members, even in difficult circumstances.

Following these guidelines means both media and police can fulfill their duties without hindering each other.

Creating vantage points
When areas are cordoned off following an incident, creating a vantage point, if possible, where members of the media at the scene can see police activity, can help them do their job without interfering with a police operation. However, media may still report from areas accessible to the general public.

Identifying the media
Genuine members of the media carry identification, for instance the UK Press Card, which they will present on request.

The press and the public
If someone distressed or bereaved asks the police to stop the media recording them, the request can be passed on to the media, but not enforced.

Access to incident scenes
The Senior Investigating Officer is in charge of granting members of the media access to incident scenes. In the early stages of investigation, evidence gathering and forensic retrieval take priority over media access, but, where appropriate, access should be allowed as soon as is practicable.

Film Unit
The aim of the Metropolitan Police Service Film Unit is to be a central point of contact, to co-ordinate, facilitate and bring consistency to those people filming in London with MPS support.

We work together with Film London and stakeholders of the Film London Partnership to make London accessible, whilst minimising inconvenience to Londoners and increasing the economic benefits of filming.





[1] METROPOLITAN POLICE, (2016). Photography Advice. [online] Available from:                                                [Accessed: 08 May 2016]

[2] THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, (2016). Terrorist Act 2000. [Online] Available from:                                             [Accessed: 08 May 2016]

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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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Embroidered Photography


Photograph embroidery is a method of enhancing a photograph by adding embroidered stitching onto of it, using a needle and thread. The main materials used are thick photographic paper and images printed on canvas or materials. The image can be of any subject but I have found portraits, due to their single subject, work well for this process.


For the purpose of this study the following question(s) were addressed:

  1. What colours of thread work best for embroidering over low key photographs?



My prediction is that I have the needle work ability to produce an embroidered image. Also that the process can be completed sufficiently on ordinary photo paper.


Maurizio Anzeri:


Hinke Schreuders:


  • Embroidery Kit: Needle, floss and hoop
  • Photograph
  • Measured card
  • Scissors
  • Print out paper (POP), semi-gloss paper or gelatine silver paper



  • Capture portrait or landscape photographs.
  • Print photograph on to semi gloss paper, Gelatine Silver Paper or Print Off Paper (POP).
  • Apply spray mount glue and stick the photograph to a measured piece of card for structural support.
  • Consider the preferred layout and sketch onto the photograph.
  • Start to sew the subject.
  • Aim to push the needle trough the same hole to avoid any unwanted broken surface.






I have found the craftsmanship of this process to be very appealing. I have enjoyed physically enhancing my own photographs with the use of embroidery. I have aimed to provide and Indian head wear theme within my style and approach. I found the process fairly easy, however there are slight imperfections that I could have improved. However, due to limited time and other processes being more demanding, I only managed to complete one embroidered photograph.



[1] A BEAUTIFUL MESS. (2014) Embroidered Photo Art. [Online] Available from:              [Accessed: 13th January 2016]

[2] JOE. (2016) Melissa Zexter Interview: Embroidered Photography. Textile [Online] Artist interview, mixed media, stich. Available from: [Accessed: 13th January 2016]

[3] SUBLIME STICHING. (2016) Hand Embroidery Tutorials by Jenny Hart. [Online] Available from:                                 [Accessed: 13th January 2016]

[4] THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP. (2014) John Foster: The Renewed Art of Embroidered Photographs. [Online] Accessed at:                                                                                                              [Accessed 13th January 2016]

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Burning Photographs


Upon researching alternative photography techniques I came across the work of Lucas Simoes and in particular his photographic burning technique. I found the results of this technique particularly dramatic and aesthetically appealing although destructive in manner.


For the purpose of this study the following question(s) were addressed:

  1. How are these images produced?
  2. Does this work with developed film photographs as well as digitally printed images?



Equipped with the knowledge of how these images are created, can I produce a set of my own burned portrait images that resemble the quality of Lucas Simoes originals.




My methodology mainly came from experimentation. After experimenting with lighters I soon realised that they were not up to the job and I needed a more precise flame. This eventually lead me to the use of a gas torch which had a very precise and hot flame which created the desired effect.

The results differed between developed photographs and digitally printed ones in that the reactions of the chemicals created different colours. The developed photographs tended to produce a more orange colour hue and diffuse whitening. Whereas the digitally printed photographs tended to produce green hues and the photo coating tried to crack off the paper.

Many attempts were made to erode the photograph with things such as white spirit and acetone but neither were very successful proving developed photographs to be very hardy.





After experimentation I chose two portrait’s to try to more closely recreate the work of Lucas Simoes. The first print that I did had small print lines in it due to printed error but I still used this as a chance to practice burning the correct facial area to create a desirable image.


I recreated this in the second correctly printed image and became a little more vigorous with my technique. This resulted in an enhanced version of the prior image.

Due to the differing burn patterns I decided to overlay both portrait images to create a composite that combines the two burn patters into one image.


I decided to try the technique on a self portrait to try and differentiate and create my own variation of the method, I chose to just accurately burn out the eyes rather than the whole face.

I believe that this was effective in a number of ways, firstly that the removal of someone’s eye’s immediately causes alarm or shock and secondly, the flame of the torch reacting with the chemicals created an intricate pattern around them that has a very spooky effect.

I was dissatisfied with the original portrait but upon enhancement it has transformed into an image I find more aesthetically pleasing. During the burning process al the images were warped due to the heat, so when it came to scanning it revealed gradients due to the undulations in the paper. I was originally unhappy with this but due to the almost textural nature of the images I find that they add the overall mood.



I have found this process and particularly the combination of both of them can create extremely stylised and impressive imagery. I believe the final set of images hols an aesthetic suitable for things such as album covers or music promotion. It is my opinion that they hold parallels with the work of Brian Griffin’s. I also feel they demonstrate qualities reminiscent of a David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust album. I have found the process when implemented at the correct time, can create an enhanced aesthetic to original photographs.




[1] STUDENT ART GUIDE. (2015) 100+ Creative Photography Ideas: Techniques, Composition and Mixed Media Approaches. [Online] Available from:                   [Accessed: 15 February 2016]

[2] LUCAS SIMOES, (2014). Assembling The Pieces. [Online] Available from:                    [Accessed: 08 May 2016]

[3] BIZARRE BEYOND BELIEF MAGAZINE, (2016). Lucas Simoes: Burning Photographs. [Online] Available from:       [Accessed: 08 May 2016]

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