This section of the reading talks about creating different transfers and the different mediums you can move them to. This reminded me a lot of the hand sanitizer transfers we did in class, which was a pretty awesome technique. This method is done by printing a digital positive onto a clear piece of paper and then coating the medium that you wish to transfer the images to with sanitizer with a roller. After this you apply the digital positive on the sanitizer (emulsion to emulsion) and put saran wrap on top of these and use the roller for a minute to make the image transfer occur. FInally you peel back the saran wrap & digital positive after a minute to see your newly completely print and leave it to dry. I thought out of all the transfer techniques mentioned in the book and in class this was the most interesting because of the cost efficiency and ease of accessibility to these kinds of supplies.
In this section it talked solar plating and the process in which you accomplish this printing method. Christopher as well as Drew talked about a double exposure technique that can be done using a aquatint screen. In addition to this it talked about the process in which the plate is created and later hardened and this is exactly how Drew showed and told us, when we were doing the demo in class. Originally I thought I was going to hate this because my idea of print making involves a lot more of drawing and painting, but luckily for me this was actually pretty awesome!
In this section of reading it pretty much went back over and reemphasized the importance of having a good paper for platinum/palladium printing. Paper that gets over-saturated causes the sensitizer to bulk in areas and ruin the paper & in turn the print. This “effect” is not a wanted one and its referred to as bronzing. I personally did not have this problem when printing, but I do remmeber a few people in the class did. The most important thing I got out of Christopher’s chapters on platinum/palladium & Ken’s advising is that overall the most important thing is having a good negative density and that digital negatives are more trouble then they end up being worth for the most part.
There are a few things I found out through the reading and experience about working with platinum/palladium. The first thing is that the quality and type of paper is very important in how the overall print turns out. It must be durable, with no buffering due to the long rinsing times. Rule of thumb was: stay away from texture & anything that can’t soak for more than 30 minutes without being destroyed. More specifically and according to Christopher, you want to get buffering with a PH level between 5.5 & 7.5. So before you even start printing both Christopher and Ken suggested that you want to make sure you have a paper that will have good results for platinum/palladium printing otherwise you’re going through the entire process for nothing.
This section goes over using fabric as the medium for cyanotype and how it is applied. The best way to do this is coat it in the darkroom leave it to hang and then wait for a sunny day and expose it outside in my personal opinion. I noticed that some people in class were having problems with fabric, like turning yellow or weird colors that it shouldn’t have. So with that in mind I stayed away from using fabric, plus I find that I am really rough on my materials, so a sturdier medium was better suited to me personally. However, the different types of mediums that he discusses in the reading inspired me to explore and further my cyanotype experiments. In the future I plan on trying to use wood as a medium for the image. Almost forgot to mention that christopher emphasized on using a large body of water for rinsing these larger fabric prints.
This part of the book talked about the various precautions to take if you want to make a cyan with different colors, such as Basic tea toner. I found this to be very interesting, but was more intrigued by the fact that you can tone a cyan print with cat urine (fact courtesy of Thomas & Austin). When doing cyan myself I found that I liked the idea of sticking to the original cyan process (blue toned). The major difficulty with cyan printing and all contact print processes is that if you don’t have a fan or some sort of cooling device in your UV oven it will overheat and continually cause you to need longer exposures. I found this out the hard way of course, as did many in our class.
In class we learned about Anna Atkins who was one of the first people & women to use the cyanotype process. She created books documenting and preserving algae & various plants. To some extent she was the first person to apply photography to scientific method/purpose. Today the book is still remembered as one of the first to study botany photographically. By coating pieces of paper with the cyan chemicals and placing the plant/algae in a contact frame, she contact printing the objects directly onto the paper.