this is a great piece of writing !

The Last Photo

 

i’m a little late to find this, but i did and i am posting it here.

i’ve made a lot of last photos, looking back at them they kind of make me feel sad.

but life goes on ..

Posted in photographs Tagged |

waxed field and photograms

another from a recent slew of waxed negative cyanotypes

waxed and exposed, mottled sky

waxed negative 2 day exposure

one of the last coated papers from the winter/spring when i coated and coated to use up my sensitizer.  the  paper is yellowish from being bleached a little bit, maybe 10 seconds with sodium carbonate, but the reverse side of the paper has a clear image as if the cyanotype embedded itself inside the paper.  i almost scanned THAT side instead of the actual side i exposed on.

 

hair care tools

tools of the trade

broken glass and glass

desaturated cyanotype

 

the absolute last cyanotypes from last winter/spring,

and a few comments …

pre coated paper lasts a long while but gets slower every day it sits in a light safe.  even darkish weirdly colored paper still has some juice left in it and it just takes a little extra time in the sun.  waxed prints bleed through the paper but the image isn’t as clear or nice on the other side.  #10 envelopes make great cyanotype paper.  they are fun to coat and expose on and a great aspect ratio.  when they are washed all the glue that holds them together lets go and it leaves you with wings they can be ignored or included in the final piece.  this time i ignored them but next time i won’t.  cyanotypes are so much fun i almost want to stop using a camera and film and photo paper !  … almost.

as i type this entry i have some more ideas to do with photo paper and hand coated emulsion.  ideas that will give me black paper because the black paper i coated bled black dye all in my chemistry, because i dont’ want to deal with black glass, and while i have exposed and processed and re-coated with liquid emulsion regular photopaper in the past i might have stumbled upon something easy and fun to do that doesnt’ require double dipping in photochemistry.

Posted in alternative process photography Tagged , , , , |

straight, untinted, unpainted cyanotypes

been making more cyanotypes lately … and have been using paper that is probably  gettng close to being dead.  it takes a long while to make exposures, and sometimes the color bleads out but that is OK, it is fun cheap and easy to make more sensitizer, something i will be doing probably in the next week or two.  i’m not quite sure what recipe i will use.  maybe i will use the 2x green : 1x ferri, maybe i will do something in between, i’m not quite sure.  here are a few from ongoing series – tools and things nearby.

hatchet

just a hatchet

1 flat, 3 not

hand wrenches some big some smaller

green leaves

before they changed color

 

i made this retina print while i was making the hatchet cyanotype.  they were both the same very long exposure.  i loaded the graflex 3a up with some hand coated paper as a negative ( 2 4×5 sheets ) ..  one didn’t make it, the one i fiddled with i was able to show the “invisible rays of light” usually talked about with the origins of photography

hatchet

photograph of a photograph being made

Posted in alternative process photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

emulsive

i thought i posted a link to this but i guess it got away from me.

i was interviewed by emulsive.org a little while ago about film and emulsion and what i am up to. in case you don’t know about emulsive org what i am up to here is the link what’s emulsive.org ?  feel free to go there, its a pretty interesting site

well worth the click !

I am John Nanian and this is why I shoot film

Posted in film development technique, technique and style Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

hand tinted

this is a hand tinted image of a tree &c down the road from me.  it was made with either a 8×10 or 11×14 paper negative, i can’t remember which one, but it was run through the empire state …  after scanning the image and inverting it, i added some colors.

hand tinted from large format paper negative

the wind blew at the coast, the leaves rustled and starlings flew away

Posted in technique and style Tagged , , |

more recent cyanotypes

if you have been reading my last few posts you probably know  i have been making cyanotypes.  what happened was i mixed a bunch of cyanotype chemistry and rather than get rid of it i coated everyting i could find …  14×17 xerox paper, butcher paper, velum (pierce and bristol ? ) mailing envelopes brown craft paper ..  some things work better than others …  i have done similar things with photo emulsion ..  just coated what i could to see what worked and didn’t …  and to be honest i am thinking that sometimes the stuff didn’t work because of how i use/ don’t use  whatever it is that i am using.  maybe it doesn’t like my negatives, maybe it doesn’t like my water source or developer …

anyways  here are a few more waxed paper cyanotypes

hot off the skillet !

 

cropped

on the way to vezelay walking up the hill

barely bleached

central france walking to vezelay basilica

saran wrap

dead plant and clothespin, classic cyanotype

 

i think the age of the classic formula gives it a weirdish green tone when i develop it out.  the saran wrap gives a nice wavy texture. the 2 waxed paper negatives are straight scans.  the negatives  are bleached a little bit to get rid of the blue, some areas turned brownish more. the way i bleach is that i put less than a thumble full of water logged washing soda ( calcium carbonate ) in a big beaker of water and it dissolves readily, then i pour the solution into the wash water and it dilutes as the tray drains ( it is a print washing tray i drilled holes in years ago for a water jacket )

a couple of fill and dumps the prints have bleached enough and i keep washing. the print has an area on it that is stained from the wax, but it is just the border, and doesn’t bleed into the print.  the waxed negative prints i usually leave in direct sunlight ( sun blasting on the print frame ) for 8 hours.  sometimes i don’t move it in time so it gets open shade or shady sunlight, sometimes it is shade before i remember to move it …  this time it started raining as i was exposing, so i brought in the frames and dried them and the glass off, and put them back out in the sun the next day when i could.  some water leeched in under the glass and messed with the print along with the blotchy-ness from the wax.  even thought some might view these as failures, and things i couldn’t do again if i tried, i see them as successes.  the waxed negative is great to work with and sometimes partial development by rain while the image is exposing can lead to interesting results.

Posted in alternative process photography Tagged , , |

how you make waxed paper negatives

i’m no expert in this field, i’ve had fun making waxed negatives on and off for a few years.  it can be a messy job and it might not work out very well.  i first saw how to make them by viewing a short video i found in the cyanotype group on flickr.  i’m not sure if i am allowed to link to it here on my blog, but it was posted a while back in a discussion on using paper negatives for cyanotypes.  the  person who posted the video is james harr, and his work is fantastic.  here is a video link to how he explains waxing:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7Fo8seMrFo  i dont’ do exactly as he describes.  i use cheap paraffin,  but still,  his post gave me enough information that i could improvise and have fun.

 

what i do is first get my paper negative.  i don’t have a xerox machine here, or a ink jet printer whose inks won’t smudge or a laser printer.  what i do is i invert whatever image it was in photo shop and put it on a canvas the size i want to have it printed.  most recently it was 4 images on 81/2×11 paper.  the images were digital files from a nikon d200, nothing fancy.  i just desaturated them and inverted them.  i don’t use chart throb or any other programs to make my negatives i just by the bootstraps invert, cut/paste …  and to the copy store i went.  copies are cheap so i got a few of them knowing i might screw up.

i took a small cookie sheet and put it on the top of the stove to get hot to the touch and i put the xerox page in the pan … then i take a block/rectangle of gulf wax paraffin and start rubbing .  the wax melts and i keep rubbing until the paper looks “wet” i turn it over and do the same thing .. then a piece of paper towel i rub as much of the excess of as i can.  it works OK but not very well, i still need to perfect my situation.  depending on how well you rub the wax it might streak or form a texture or just remain as a layer on the paper, that said, the paper  that was once white is now greyish and see-through ( sort of ).

i put the negatives one at a time in a small contact printing frame.  the cyanotype paper i am using was coated IDK 7 months ago so i am not really sure how good or bad it is, it works so i guess it is OK.  i stick it in direct sunlight for as long as i can.  and move it around as the sun travels across the sky.  the wax usually stains the paper a little bit and bleeds but after a long sit in the sun, it seems to do whatever it is that it needs to do.  usually the receiving paper wtih cyanotype chemistry on it is very dark and over exposed.  there are really no details or very few details from the negative.  but i wash it anyways.  i watch the image clear a little bit and a little bit more until whatever it was that i printed appears.  sometimes they look better than others …  after they clear and have been washed for 15 mins, or 35 mins, i put very dilute washing soda and water in the wash water and bleed some of the blue out of the image.  it turns a color of yellowish brown and a little greenish blue.  there are artifacts from the wax in the print and while sometimes they are distracting or might take away from the print  other times they give a layer of texture in the print that i like.  these are small, between 4×5 and 4×6 and i scan them.  and fix them a little bit with photoshop but i don’t do much.  i might boost the contrast/levels a tiny bit, but that is what you do with any scan because of the scan process.  i also might remove a weird blotchy stain or weird artifact from using wax but i don’t really do too much to alter what is there.

 

here are a couple of my last ones i have done :

 

 

window sill detail, vezelay basilica, france

window sill detail, vezelay basilica, france

windmills and field

windmills and field

waxed paper negative from a digital file

waxed paper negative from a digital file

detail of arches, waxed negative

detail of arches, waxed negative

central france, paper negative

vezelay basilica central france, paper negative

 

 

as you can see, these prints can hold lots of detail or none at all,

and they are cheap + fun

Posted in alternative process photography Tagged , |

more recent cyanotypes

i haven’t been using a camera much these days.  i have film to be processed (probably 10 rolls ?)  some taken a while ago, some taken since the spring.  i haven’t gotten around to processing it.  not to mention i have some liquid emulsion ( foma and AG+) to use up and i eagerly anticipate making some of my own chlorobromide emulsion again with some nice hard bloom gelatin.  instead of camera negatives i’ve been waxing paper negatives made from rubbings ( like the last entry ) or things made as a photogram, ( always a favorite ) or better yet, paper xerox negatives that i wax and have fun with …

a few years ago i got a bad case of food poisoning while traveling in france and when i got home i had some film to process, and a few memory cards with images on them.  i was kind  of messed up from being sick when i got home  ( until i wasn’t ) and while i found one of the memory cards’ images, i am still kind of looking for the other.  i took some of these images specifically for converting to paper negatives and into cyanotypes.  i had done this with rubbings and digital images before, and it seemed like a great way to make digital images into hybrid black and white negatives.  so i desaturated some negatives, and inverted them in PS and put them 4-to a 8 1/2 x11 sheet of xerox paper …  heated up an old pan and waxed the paper  … in addition, to a big sheet of cyanotype paper, i had a handful of envelopes i coated a handful of months ago, and they were eager to be printed on.

 

i made some photograms using kitchen-stuff and crayoned and watercolored the images.  i don’t know what size envelopes are, but they are the perfect paper for making cyanotypes.  nice and long and narrow, like a panoramic negative !

 

anyhow her eare some of the images i made …

 

hand painted and black/white photogram

hand painted and black/white photogram

black and white + color photogram

black and white + color photogram

black and white + hand painted photogram

black and white + hand painted photogram

black and white+ painted photogram

black and white+ painted photogram

Posted in alternative process photography, technique and style Tagged , , , |

recent cyanotypes

just made a handful of cyanotypes lately using paper coated and left in a light safe in a humid basement for the last 7 or 8 months.  the paper was not the best but it worked (sort of) made some photograms ( some i watercolored ) i made a contact print with a waxed rubbing and tinted it in photoshop and i also converted some digital images into black and white negatives on xerox paper and waxed and printed them.

i have some more negatives to print and cyanotype paper to use up before i mix new.

 

rubbing waxed negative

rubbing waxed negative

4 screwdrivers

photogram, watercolors

3 nails

photogram, watercolors

semicircle of stuff

photogram, watercolors

truck

waxed paper negative

vezelay

waxed paper negative

metal wire brush

photogram, watercolors

 

 

 

 

as usual most of my work is on imagekind ( jnanian.imagekind.com )  feel free to browse.  through the end of september

i will be donating a portion of every purchase ( 70% ) to relief efforts in louisana.

 

 

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, technique and style Tagged , , , , , , , , |

photo illustration sort of, PS colored photo reconstruction

a while back i made some paper negative from hand made emulsion the negatives were more like a collage of things, images, textures, brush strokes. i decided to scan big and crop small and the image i retrieved from the paper was a sweet photograph of trees and a fencepost, but it always seemed to be missing something whenever i looked at it.  i put it aside for a good 6 months and looked at it a little bit more once i had distance from it

 

railing and trees

railing and trees

 

the other day i spent a handful of hours working on it.

i enlarged the canvas, i added colors ( which was i originally had hoped to do )

anyways, i worked and worked added, and subtracted and came up with this

 

 

cyclone

reworked image

it took hours, and it really still isn’t completely done, but it was fun making something that never really existed.

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Tagged , , , , |

far away places

so many people need to go to far away places.  they save their money and materials and buy tickets or gas they sign up for workshops in the desert or to someplace remote.  they  photograph for a week or a few days, return and loved their experience.  i’ve never been able to do that, and part of me is jelous of photo-safarians.

when i go to someplace i am not used to, i am struck by what i see, the unfamiliar sometimes overwhelms me.  that isn’t to say i can’t make any photographs, but i’ll be on auto pilot and make exposures of what comes to mind, what might remind me of the familiar, things i am used to, things i am comfortable with — the usual. a lot of what i photograph for the most part is the unfamiliar familiar.

i am usually within a short distance from where i live, or have spent a lot of time and i am familiar with the scene that i am able to read it differently and notice things i hadn’t noticed before.  very much like a portrait photographer might make a portrait.  there are only a handful of head and face shapes, ways of making a portrait, and even if the person is a complete stranger, a portrait photographer is able to not only make a familiar light and head position and camera position but make the person feel at ease.

its no too late to photograph things close by, things you know by heart, things you see every day but don’t bother because they are too familiar, sometimes the familiar make the best subjects.

Posted in photographs, technique and style Tagged |

double coating paper

i dug into a 1 kg jar of foma emulsion the other day.  i know i can make my own but i have this still on hand so i might as well just use it until i run out.  coating paper and glass and metal with it will be great practice for when i don’t want to waste stuff i spend time making on my own.  so i took a few of the large sheets of xerox paper i had already coated.  i took 1 of them and with the lights on i exposed it in developer to show how poorly i coat.  it wasn’t that poor, it just wasn’t very good,  no it was pretty bad … it was  a lot of grey, only 1 area of black.  i’ve been coating things for years and this is the first time i did this …  that’s ok.  im a noob, even after 30 years.  i used a coating rod the last time, and a brush, but still things weren’t as good as i had hoped.  with denise ross’s book in hand, or at least in my mind
( if you haven’t gotten her blurb book and you like coating things, and making things, it is worth every penny you pay for it:  http://www.blurb.com/b/6465389-the-light-farm  ..)  i never thought about paper grain ( now i do )  i never thought about wet coating ( now i do ).

i took the remaining 2 sheets of paper and cut them into 4×5 pieces and soaked them in cold water.  this isn’t really what denise did in the book but that’s ok.  it is easy to tell which side is emulsion and which isn’t ( the emulsion side is slippery ).  i took my squeegee and removed the water from the prints 1 at a time and with warm emulsion i re-coated each piece of paper.  i looked at each piece in the safelight and they looked coated ( i guess they always do )  but coating 4×5 pieces was always easy for me, so my fingers are crossed that the 2nd emulsion layer took.  i’ve coated cyanotypes 2x, and other stuff 2x but never wet.  i’m hoping denise’s invention and my twisting it for my own needs took.

i also took some sheets of regular paper and coated that stuff too.  1 sheet folds and cuts into 18 4x5s.  i’m still trying to figure out what it is.  i did a little research and it seems to be “virgin” butcher paper.  uline sells it cut into the same size sheets or on a big roll.  alex art supply also sells something similar to it.  in both cases it isn’t the same weight (thickness) but it seems similar enough that when i runout at least i will have something to buy.  smooth finish paper i like best for coating.  nyways, i cut 1 sheet up soaked and squeegeed it and coated 14 pieces.  they are hanging on the line.

 

 

Posted in images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion, technique and style Tagged , , , , |

hand coating xerox paper

i’ve been experimenting a little with hand coating a variety of different papers.  i have a stack of paper i was given 20 years ago that is slowly being  eaten away and i know i will need to find another something to coat.  i brought the paper to my print shop and local art stores ( locally we have a jerry’s artarama, dick blick and the risd store ).  no one could really tell me what it was but someone told me it seemed like butcher paper.  i looked around for a source and found a few places, i could get it on a big roll or separate 1/2 sheets.  uline has both sheets and rolls, alex art supply too.  its “virgin paper” so it doesn’t have the wax coating on it.  my local restaurant supply stores also have it too, in a big roll.  none of it was the same feel ( i got samples ) as the paper i have been using, but at least now i have a few leads.

a while back i bought a reem of 14×17 xerox paper that was acid free ( i am told it is ALL acid free ) .  i originally was using it to do rubbings which were waxed to print as silver prints or iron ones (cyanotypes) and it worked great, so i figured i would see how it held up with stuff coated on it.  i have a bunch of cyanotype emulsion coated on it, but haven’t exposed it yet, and i am wondering if i should bother.  i also coated 1 sheet with foma liquid emulsion and exposed it and just finished processing the negatives.  i love how smooth paper looks with emulsions on it.  most of the negatives look good but it came with a price.

the paper is VERY thin.  if azo or single weight printers think single weight paper is thin, they have never used xerox paper or thin japanese paper ( i’ll be using some of that next ).  a couple of pieces tore a little bit.  it wasn’t, too bad, maybe it was maybe because i am clumsy with rubber examination gloves on ( i hate using them ),  but it is something i worry about a little bit.  thin paper is weak when it is wet.

i also have a bunch of things i coated lately that i will be exposing and printing on.  i have some photo grade gelatin purchased from artcraft ( THEY ARE GREAT ! ) for my self made emulsion projects as i plug along.

so, this long ramble to say:  if you use xerox paper, be careful, its nice but it might be more trouble than it is worth.

Posted in images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Tagged , , |

wait 9 month or a year and see what happens …

i admit it, sometimes i don’t want to process film.  i get tired of standing there and agitating, or shuffling sheets in a tray in the dark.  i started doing stand development because i didn’t want to deal, my version of stand development only lasts for maybe 1/2 hour if i remember to come back in time, sometimesit lasts even more.  i use the same develop my every day film in, sumatra coffee, washing soda,vitamin c and some dektol.  i shake the bubbles off and leave.  sometimes i put of processing film for a few weeks or sometimes i am not very good and put it off for a few months, 9 or 10 months this time.

 

the film sat in a ziplock bag for all this time.  i would process sheets, i would develop paper negatives, i would make contact prints,  even make emulsions and developers from scratch, coat things, and develop them, but i wouldn’t process the rolls of film.  i’d think about it sometimes

painted cyanotype with watercolors

film reels cyanotype with watercolors

finally i processed the film, at least, some of it. i had about 15 or 20 rolls to get through, and i made it through 9 of them.  i loaded the film into the metal reels.  it took a while since i was out of practice.  some reels roll easier than others, and for the first time in a long while i had a few areas touch and not develop.  that’s ok.  after the film was hung and dried and sleeved i began scanning them.  i will eventually print them but i figured scanning is as good a way as any to see what i have, so i scanned, and scanned and scanned. i remember most of the photographs, sort of. but not really.  it was a nice feeling to have distance.  there wasn’t any sort of importance or need or “i have to see this or that”  they were just negatives.

i remember seeing a show on garry winogrand years ago and how he exposed the film and left it for a year or more before he processed it.  ( i think there were 10 thousand rolls of film to process after he died. )  and i can see why he did what he did.  the distance adds to the editing process.  there isn’t a ” this exposure is going to be SO GOOD !” and process the film 20 seconds after it was unloaded. the film is just there and ready when you are, if it is good, its good, if it is bad, you probably don’t remember even making the photograph, so it is OK.

these photographs are from a handful of long walks i took.  sometimes they were made walking home from my mechanic;s place abotu 5 miles away.  i took 3 differnt routes home.  some were taken on the way or way back from picking up beer making supplies.  it was a road i used to travel often with a camera but no so much anymore.  time sat still and the places were virtually the same.

anyways … it’s ok to leave film for a while before you process it,

it mght even be a good thing.

 

colored black and whtite photo

colored black and whtite photo

shadow and textured wall

shadow and textured wall

retina print

retina print

run down fieldstone buildingjakes antiques

Posted in Misc., photographs, technique and style Tagged , , |

a few photograms, with hand made emulsion

i love making photograms.  they only take a second, and they are a blast.

 

bulbs

inverted photogram
onion bulbs

 

spoon

hand made inverted photogram

Posted in images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Tagged , , , |