Schedule of Meetings

May 13th—Frank Lopez’s home/studio: (1) Anthotype Demo by Rachel Rushing and Peter Blackburn; (2) Case Making Demo by Frank Lopez

June 10th—Thom Jackson’s studio: Artist Lecture by Amy Holmes George

July 8th—NO MEETING: HOLIDAY/VACATION WEEK!

August 12th—Thom Jackson’s studio: Casein Demo by Peter Blackburn

September 9th—Thom Jackson’s studio: Book Presentation by Loli Kantor (?)

October 14th—Location TBA: Encaustic Demo by Susan Sponsler & Kathy Lovas (?)

November 11th—Location TBA:

December 9th—Location TBA:

If you would like more information or need directions, please email alternativeprocesses@gmail.com. 

May Meeting

5.13.12

This month’s meeting drew a nice group together with 16 in attendance. After initiating a round of introductions, Frank Lopez introduced a case-making demo for his work with ambrotypes and tintypes. 

Peter Blackburn also shared a new student grade paper he found that seems to work very well for gum printing. 

After discussing this new paper, Peter shared his experience in proofing the text,  Anthotypes by Malin Fabbri, and his own experimentation with the process. 

This print was made using Alizarin Crimson. 

Rachel Rushing then presented a dry demonstration of the Anthotype process, which is based on the use of organic pigment. 

Overall, it was a fun-filled meeting!

Next month’s meeting will be June 10 at Thom Jackson’s studio space where Amy Holmes George will present “Double Vision: A View of Florence Past & Present” discussing her work on a rephotographic project in Florence as a 2007-08 Fulbright Fellow.  If you would like more information about this meeting, including directions, email alternativeprocesses@gmail.com. 

April Meeting

4.8.12

The April meeting was graciously hosted by Thom Jackson at his studio in Deep Elum where Loli Kantor, Rachel Rushing (and her husband Ryan), Kathy Lovas, Susan Sponsler-Carstarphen, Peter J. Blackburn and Amy Holmes George were in attendance. Discussions included Houston’s Fotofest and upcoming opportunities for group shows in DFW. 

Thom Jackson shared his platinum work with the group, while Rachel Rushing shared work made during her first year as a graduate student in the UNT Photography Department.

A schedule of future meetings can be found here. Next month Peter J. Blackburn and Rachel Rushing will present and demo the Anthotype process, and Frank Lopez will lead a case-making demo. 

If you are interested in attending any future meetings and need an address, or you’d like more information, email us at alternativeprocesses@gmail.com.

March Meeting

3.11.12

Our monthly meeting for March was at La Madeline in Addison, our default location. Amy Holmes George, Peter Blackburn, Thom Jackson and Rachel Rushing shared updates on personal work and introduced a tentative schedule for the remainder of 2012. 

Our next meeting will be April 8th at 6:30pm at in Dallas, where Thom Jackson and Rachel Rushing will be presenting their work. 

Future meetings will include several demos in various processes as well as a few lectures. 

If you are interested in attending any future meetings and need an address, or you’d like more information, email us at alternativeprocesses@gmail.com.

Rachel

Images courtesy of Kathy Lovas.

February Meeting

2.08.11

Last night was our meeting for the month of February.  Amy Holmes George presented Alternative Photographic Processes Today, a lecture about the value and resurgence of alt processes in our very instant and digital age.

Along with a slew of great resources, I loved the discussion spurred by her presentation.  We talked about young photographers and their hesitation against using analog processes. The costs can be overwhelming, and Photoshop seems to promise the same product. I think Brian spoke the truth when he said that it’s all about what is important to you: product or process.

We also talked about the usefulness of digital technology as a tool to facilitate analog work. Amy shared Precision Digital Negatives as a great resource, as well as Pictorico and Inkpress Papers, all for digitally creating negatives that can be used for a variety of alternative methods. A few teachers in the group expressed the freedom digital negatives seem to give their students, who are much more experimental and relaxed than they would be working with film negatives.

Amy also shared a few artists from the 70s and on who work(ed) in alt processes.

Betty Hahn

From vsw-movement.org

Bea Nettles

from iheartphotograph.blogspot.com

Sam Wang

from www.pinholeresource.com

Scott Hyde

from scotthyde.net

Brian Magnuson closed out the evening with a great Inkjet Transfer demo using just Simple Green, a sponge, and a brayer!

Check out our Resources page for links to chemical and community information.

For information on our March meeting, see our Calendar

Images courtesy of Peter J. Blackburn

Images courtesy of Amy Holmes George

The Cyanotype Process

Discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842, the cyanotype process is still used today in its original formula, and it possesses the unique ability to render subjects in a rich range of beautiful blues—a notable feature that distinguishes the cyanotype from its counterpart processes. Anna Atkins, the first female photographer, actually dedicated a great deal of her life to this alternative photographic process, printing and publishing exquisite photograms of various algae and ferns. As one of the oldest non-silver processes in the history of photography, it is difficult to resist the charm of a cyanotype image.

Cyanotype is very affordable and user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners and at the same time appealing to the seasoned printer. Neither a camera nor a darkroom is required for this process, and you can print an image on just about anything. To begin, you must purchase 2 chemicals: Ferric Ammonium Citrate (Solution A) and Potassium Ferricyanide (Solution B). I highly recommend the traditional cyanotype formula available in ready-to-use liquid kits from www.photoformulary.com for only $19.95. Or, you can order pre-coated surfaces from www.blueprintsonfabric.com to avoid the use of chemicals. Keep in mind that this is a contact printing process; meaning your negative will result in a printed image of the same size. So, you can experiment with film negatives, digital negatives, paper negatives and even transparency drawings in addition to everyday household items (for photograms).

Next, select a printing substrate with the strength to endure lengthy water immersion. A few rag paper suggestions are Southworth Resume, Canson Montval Watercolor and Fabriano Artistico. Most watercolor papers and neutral pH papers are suitable, but you are free to explore just about any nontraditional surface including fabric, newsprint, stoneware, plastic and wood. I have been working with the cyanotype process for nearly 12 years now, and I am still surprised by the unending number of applications that my students discover over the course of one semester.

Now for hand-coating the emulsion, a foam or Hake brush works well (label it for Cyanotype only). Don’t forget to have some mixing containers, eye droppers and print trays on hand too. Additionally, you should buy or build a contact printing frame to hold your negative and coated paper firmly in place; although, this is not mandatory. I also advise using a watch with a second hand to document exposure times (and maintain accurate notes!). Lastly, you will require a ultra-violet light source such as sunlight or a UV exposure unit.

When preparing the emulsion, work in dim light and on a protected surface. Mix equal parts of solutions A and B for immediate use. Each drop of solution will cover roughly 2 square inches. For example, 5 drops (A) plus 5 drops (B) will coat a 4” x 5” image. The first print will likely need a little more solution since the brush is dry. Coat your paper quickly and evenly, and then allow it to dry flat in total darkness. Drying may be accelerated with a fan or hair dryer on a low heat or cool air setting. Make sure the paper is thoroughly dry, or it may ruin your negative. Unexposed emulsion will appear bright yellow/green. If desired, a second coat can be applied for a richer blue. Coat and expose within a few hours, as fogging can occur over time.

Now, place the negative in contact with the coated emulsion under your chosen light source. During a study abroad program in Italy, my students simply exposed their cyanotype images on a windowsill in direct sunlight. Cyanotype is a printing-out process, so you can actually evaluate exposure by watching your print transform before your eyes! Exposures will vary greatly (3 to 20 minutes or more) depending on the light source and negative density; test prints are always helpful. A properly exposed, undeveloped image will look light gray with blue/green in the highlights.

The cyanotype image will reveal itself after “development” in water. Simply wash the print in a tray of room temperature tap water for 5 to 10 minutes or until the highlights clear. Several drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a second water wash will oxidize the print allowing for an immediate preview of the final blue image. Conclude with a running water rinse and then dry (the image will darken as it dries). If you decide that blue is not your color afterall, no worries! Cyanotypes can also be toned to acquire a variety of hues and may be easily combined with other alternative photographic processes (please refer to “The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes” by Christopher James for an exciting range of possibilities).

Note of Caution: Please handle all chemistry with proper safety precautions in mind; use of protective gloves and apron are recommended. Keep chemicals labeled correctly and stored in a dark, dry, cool environment. Make sure all brushes and containers are cleaned and washed well. Chemicals will stain clothing and other surfaces if not washed immediately.

Images from Loli Kantor

Schedule of Meetings

May 13th—Frank Lopez’s home/studio: (1) Anthotype Demo by Rachel Rushing and Peter Blackburn; (2) Case Making Demo by Frank Lopez

June 10th—Thom Jackson’s studio: Artist Lecture by Amy Holmes George

July 8th—NO MEETING: HOLIDAY/VACATION WEEK!

August 12th—Thom Jackson’s studio: Casein Demo by Peter Blackburn

September 9th—Thom Jackson’s studio: Book Presentation by Loli Kantor (?)

October 14th—Location TBA: Encaustic Demo by Susan Sponsler & Kathy Lovas (?)

November 11th—Location TBA:

December 9th—Location TBA:

If you would like more information or need directions, please email alternativeprocesses@gmail.com. 

May Meeting

5.13.12

This month’s meeting drew a nice group together with 16 in attendance. After initiating a round of introductions, Frank Lopez introduced a case-making demo for his work with ambrotypes and tintypes. 

Peter Blackburn also shared a new student grade paper he found that seems to work very well for gum printing. 

After discussing this new paper, Peter shared his experience in proofing the text,  Anthotypes by Malin Fabbri, and his own experimentation with the process. 

This print was made using Alizarin Crimson. 

Rachel Rushing then presented a dry demonstration of the Anthotype process, which is based on the use of organic pigment. 

Overall, it was a fun-filled meeting!

Next month’s meeting will be June 10 at Thom Jackson’s studio space where Amy Holmes George will present “Double Vision: A View of Florence Past & Present” discussing her work on a rephotographic project in Florence as a 2007-08 Fulbright Fellow.  If you would like more information about this meeting, including directions, email alternativeprocesses@gmail.com. 

April Meeting

4.8.12

The April meeting was graciously hosted by Thom Jackson at his studio in Deep Elum where Loli Kantor, Rachel Rushing (and her husband Ryan), Kathy Lovas, Susan Sponsler-Carstarphen, Peter J. Blackburn and Amy Holmes George were in attendance. Discussions included Houston’s Fotofest and upcoming opportunities for group shows in DFW. 

Thom Jackson shared his platinum work with the group, while Rachel Rushing shared work made during her first year as a graduate student in the UNT Photography Department.

A schedule of future meetings can be found here. Next month Peter J. Blackburn and Rachel Rushing will present and demo the Anthotype process, and Frank Lopez will lead a case-making demo. 

If you are interested in attending any future meetings and need an address, or you’d like more information, email us at alternativeprocesses@gmail.com.

March Meeting

3.11.12

Our monthly meeting for March was at La Madeline in Addison, our default location. Amy Holmes George, Peter Blackburn, Thom Jackson and Rachel Rushing shared updates on personal work and introduced a tentative schedule for the remainder of 2012. 

Our next meeting will be April 8th at 6:30pm at in Dallas, where Thom Jackson and Rachel Rushing will be presenting their work. 

Future meetings will include several demos in various processes as well as a few lectures. 

If you are interested in attending any future meetings and need an address, or you’d like more information, email us at alternativeprocesses@gmail.com.

Rachel

Images courtesy of Kathy Lovas.

February Meeting

2.08.11

Last night was our meeting for the month of February.  Amy Holmes George presented Alternative Photographic Processes Today, a lecture about the value and resurgence of alt processes in our very instant and digital age.

Along with a slew of great resources, I loved the discussion spurred by her presentation.  We talked about young photographers and their hesitation against using analog processes. The costs can be overwhelming, and Photoshop seems to promise the same product. I think Brian spoke the truth when he said that it’s all about what is important to you: product or process.

We also talked about the usefulness of digital technology as a tool to facilitate analog work. Amy shared Precision Digital Negatives as a great resource, as well as Pictorico and Inkpress Papers, all for digitally creating negatives that can be used for a variety of alternative methods. A few teachers in the group expressed the freedom digital negatives seem to give their students, who are much more experimental and relaxed than they would be working with film negatives.

Amy also shared a few artists from the 70s and on who work(ed) in alt processes.

Betty Hahn

From vsw-movement.org

Bea Nettles

from iheartphotograph.blogspot.com

Sam Wang

from www.pinholeresource.com

Scott Hyde

from scotthyde.net

Brian Magnuson closed out the evening with a great Inkjet Transfer demo using just Simple Green, a sponge, and a brayer!

Check out our Resources page for links to chemical and community information.

For information on our March meeting, see our Calendar

Images courtesy of Peter J. Blackburn

Images courtesy of Amy Holmes George

The Cyanotype Process

Discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842, the cyanotype process is still used today in its original formula, and it possesses the unique ability to render subjects in a rich range of beautiful blues—a notable feature that distinguishes the cyanotype from its counterpart processes. Anna Atkins, the first female photographer, actually dedicated a great deal of her life to this alternative photographic process, printing and publishing exquisite photograms of various algae and ferns. As one of the oldest non-silver processes in the history of photography, it is difficult to resist the charm of a cyanotype image.

Cyanotype is very affordable and user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners and at the same time appealing to the seasoned printer. Neither a camera nor a darkroom is required for this process, and you can print an image on just about anything. To begin, you must purchase 2 chemicals: Ferric Ammonium Citrate (Solution A) and Potassium Ferricyanide (Solution B). I highly recommend the traditional cyanotype formula available in ready-to-use liquid kits from www.photoformulary.com for only $19.95. Or, you can order pre-coated surfaces from www.blueprintsonfabric.com to avoid the use of chemicals. Keep in mind that this is a contact printing process; meaning your negative will result in a printed image of the same size. So, you can experiment with film negatives, digital negatives, paper negatives and even transparency drawings in addition to everyday household items (for photograms).

Next, select a printing substrate with the strength to endure lengthy water immersion. A few rag paper suggestions are Southworth Resume, Canson Montval Watercolor and Fabriano Artistico. Most watercolor papers and neutral pH papers are suitable, but you are free to explore just about any nontraditional surface including fabric, newsprint, stoneware, plastic and wood. I have been working with the cyanotype process for nearly 12 years now, and I am still surprised by the unending number of applications that my students discover over the course of one semester.

Now for hand-coating the emulsion, a foam or Hake brush works well (label it for Cyanotype only). Don’t forget to have some mixing containers, eye droppers and print trays on hand too. Additionally, you should buy or build a contact printing frame to hold your negative and coated paper firmly in place; although, this is not mandatory. I also advise using a watch with a second hand to document exposure times (and maintain accurate notes!). Lastly, you will require a ultra-violet light source such as sunlight or a UV exposure unit.

When preparing the emulsion, work in dim light and on a protected surface. Mix equal parts of solutions A and B for immediate use. Each drop of solution will cover roughly 2 square inches. For example, 5 drops (A) plus 5 drops (B) will coat a 4” x 5” image. The first print will likely need a little more solution since the brush is dry. Coat your paper quickly and evenly, and then allow it to dry flat in total darkness. Drying may be accelerated with a fan or hair dryer on a low heat or cool air setting. Make sure the paper is thoroughly dry, or it may ruin your negative. Unexposed emulsion will appear bright yellow/green. If desired, a second coat can be applied for a richer blue. Coat and expose within a few hours, as fogging can occur over time.

Now, place the negative in contact with the coated emulsion under your chosen light source. During a study abroad program in Italy, my students simply exposed their cyanotype images on a windowsill in direct sunlight. Cyanotype is a printing-out process, so you can actually evaluate exposure by watching your print transform before your eyes! Exposures will vary greatly (3 to 20 minutes or more) depending on the light source and negative density; test prints are always helpful. A properly exposed, undeveloped image will look light gray with blue/green in the highlights.

The cyanotype image will reveal itself after “development” in water. Simply wash the print in a tray of room temperature tap water for 5 to 10 minutes or until the highlights clear. Several drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a second water wash will oxidize the print allowing for an immediate preview of the final blue image. Conclude with a running water rinse and then dry (the image will darken as it dries). If you decide that blue is not your color afterall, no worries! Cyanotypes can also be toned to acquire a variety of hues and may be easily combined with other alternative photographic processes (please refer to “The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes” by Christopher James for an exciting range of possibilities).

Note of Caution: Please handle all chemistry with proper safety precautions in mind; use of protective gloves and apron are recommended. Keep chemicals labeled correctly and stored in a dark, dry, cool environment. Make sure all brushes and containers are cleaned and washed well. Chemicals will stain clothing and other surfaces if not washed immediately.

Images from Amy Holmes George

Images from Loli Kantor

Schedule of Meetings
May Meeting
April Meeting
March Meeting
February Meeting
The Cyanotype Process

About:

The North Texas Alternative Process Group is based in the DFW area and meets monthly to share work and discuss ideas based in non-silver photographic processes.

We welcome new people to sit in on meetings and share work. If you have a show, article, or resource we should know about, drop us a line & we'll make sure to add it to the site!

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