Posted by: honeydo | July 25, 2008

New Project Abound

I have been inspired to start at new project.  My current one is large and complicated and involves much time.  I am still very excited about it, but have some physical limitations to overcome in order to complete it.  That’s fine, I will get there and I’m good with that.

But this new thing.  Wow, it hit me out of nowhere.  I have a friend who is going through something very trying and her experience is one that many of us fear and many of us could experience.  So it hit me like a raging river flooded by the waters rising from a powerful hurricane.  Visions, feelings, different experiences…I can see each print, how the people are, the eyes, the pose, the intensity.  Disturbing yet invigorating scenes to bring about awareness and a new consciousness that so many never achieve because of the desire to remain blinded and therefore unprotected from this thing that could affect many of us.

So now my dilemma is to find models.  Adults, women, willing to do what I need. (no, nothing dirty).  I’ve not done this before.  I’ve done nature, children, technology, but not this.  The visions are so great, powerful and moving, so much that I feel driven to do this.  Driven to get a message out and honor her and so many others in her situation.  Bring about understanding, compassion and awareness in a compelling way.

I have to do this and I don’t know why I feel it so strongly, but I do.  Now to set up the place, the stages, if you will, and find my actresses and then the vision will come to life.

Posted by: honeydo | July 25, 2008

Chemicals…ahhhh

With any luck tomorrow is the day I order my chemicals for processing at home with Cyanotype and Gum.  For the forseeable future I cannot go to the darkroom as I am unable to stand for any length of time, but I miss photo! Digi is not working for me creatively.  It’s nice.  That’s it though, it’s just not my medium.  So I am ordering the chemicals and my lovely woodworker of a husband is building me my UV box and my contact frames (if you are in need of contact frames let me know, he is a MASTER).  I am going to concentrate on some of the fabric things I want to do and I’m torn on a few others.  I am stoked though!  Woo Hoo! I can still do my photo, I love my alternative processes and my body will handle it better.  It’s going to be awesome!

Posted by: honeydo | July 5, 2008

Gum Bichromate and Cyanotype Class at Peters Valley

Black Moshannon State Park - Cyanotype over Single Layer Gum

Black Moshannon State Park - Cyanotype over Single Layer Gum

My first print. 🙂  I took this picture on one of my many jaunts to Blacky to play in the snow and ice.  This is a single layer gum on unsized BFK Rives paper with a layer of cyanotype on top dipped in Hydrogen Peroxide to bring out the rich blues and the detail.  After doing the gum, the print was pretty much abstract shapes of red.  Once the cyan was exposed, the detail was brought out and the scene came to life.

Spring Creek Park - Cyanotype over 3 layer Gum

Spring Creek Park - Cyanotype over 3 layer Gum

This is a picture taken looking up Spring Creek.  I started off with brown ochre, a light color, for the base gum on sized paper.  Did a layer of light green for the second layer and went back for another layer of the brown ochre for some more highlights.  But there I ran into a problem.  As I developed that layer I discovered my negative had shifted when it was put into the contact frame and I had a double image.  I removed that layer of gum, dried it and resized it.  Put the layer of brown ochre down ensuring the negative did NOT move this time, did a cyan on top for the detail and here it is! You’d never know there once was a crooked layer on the winding stream.

Ice drop in stream at Black Moshannon - Cyan over 3 layer gum

Ice drop in stream at Black Moshannon - Cyan over 3 layer gum

One of my most 2 favorite pictures ever.  Was a BEAR to print in the darkroom on silver because of the differences between the top and bottom. Different conditions required the use of lots of split filtering and different times for the top and bottom halves.  So, since I loved it I still HAD to print it on gum.  Andy yelled at me and my choices.  He said I should choose easy ones for the class….nah.  I am the kind of person who can’t just do something where I feel without meaning it so….I did it anyway and Sandy and Andy were amazed at this and the next one especially…and the fabric too.  So this one was taken on one of my favorite adventurous trips to Black Moshannon – a trip I shall never forget.  I walked the one stream and eventually just laid down facing it, in the beautiful snow, to watch the water race past.  What beautiful sites when you give yourself a chance to look.  I spotted this lovely under a fallen tree and, given its distance from me, changed over to my 300mm zoom and snapped it, hoping I got it but won’t be sure till I developed it.  Happily, when I developed the film, the lovely was there with detail IN the ice.  YAHOO!  Getting that detail on silver = PITA though.  So, for this one, I coated the sized paper with a red, exposed, developed dried.  Then I did something that I am not sure why some people were having a problem with….I did black.  YUMMY!  Love that neutral tint black.    Then once that was done, I did….white! LOVE THE WHITE.  The following print is actually the 1st one I did white on.  Black and White are my favorites and cyan on top.  To me they really all 3 make all the difference in the world.    Finished this one off with a cyan on top.  She’s perfect!

Black Moshannon Blue Trail - 3 layer gum

Black Moshannon Blue Trail - 3 layer gum

Getting down to get this shot…fell and twisted my ankle, not bad, about a mile back the trail…well, near the trail….lost the trail.  What a day, one of my many adventures that day.  I was mesmerized by the refection in the little crick that fed into the stream.  Once again, a pure PITA on silver to print with the different conditions. but I got it and loved it.  Much against Andy and Sandy’s advice, I wanted this one as well.  Apparently I am the first student she’s ever had to use white.  I love winter scenes.  White rocks!  You have to use a positive for a negative though so should you want to use white, don’t forget that minor detail.  So this guy is a light green gum with a warm tone purple over top and then white.  We decided to stop there as Sandy said it was perfect!  I’m still thinking I should have done 2 and finished one off with Cyan 😛  It looks amazing though.

Julia crying - Cyanotype with Ammonium Dichromate Over and Washed in Sodium Sulfite

Julia crying - Cyan w/ Ammonium Dichromate Over and Washed in Sodium Sulfite

Troy - Cyan w/ Ammonium Dichromate Over washed in  Sodium Sulfite

Troy - Cyan w/ Ammonium Dichromate washed in Sodium Sulfite

 These two took FOR.EV.ER to expose the cyanotype. It stormed and I had lost the bright sun.  That evening after dinner I came back and exposed forever and a day under the UV lights but still, they needed more.  The next morning outside they went for even MORE exposure.  I have very fair children with really blonde hair so the detail in that took awhile to get.  I LOVED the cyanotype results.  LOVED THEM.  But alas I took the advice of others and put the ammonium dichromate on top.  Ohhhh were they jaundiced.  Horrid.  I was about to cry as the class was nearing the end and I desperately wanted the straight cyan pics.  So I scrubbed to get it as much off as i could and then washed it it sodium sulfite to get rid of the yellowing.  A lot was washed off and/or neutralized thankfully, but a lot was left.  It soaked into the fibers as this was all done on unsized paper, which is how you do straight cyan.  But when it was all said and done, I think I would do it again and size in between the cyan and the dichromate in an effort to have more control.  I like the way they turned out, but still like the straight cyan….which is next!

Julia Crying - Cyanotype

Julia Crying - Cyanotype

Troy - Cyanotype

Troy - Cyanotype


Here we have the same prints only straight cyanotype.  Much more dramatic and contrasty ) I love the blues, especially after dipped in the hydrogen peroxide, a sure key in bringing out the detail.  I still really love these ones.  I love the emotion.  In my exploration of play, things are not always rosey.  These are kids after all!

Cyanotype on Cotton

Cyanotype on Cotton

While I was at big kid camp, Sandy, the instructor, did some cyanotypes on cotton fabric and sold one at the auction.  She had some extra fabric so I took her up on her offer and wanted to try one.  My problem?  None of the negatives I had printed in the class seemed like any I would want to see on fabric.  I contemplated the one of Julia crying, but opted not to.  Then I remembered….I had digital negatives I created awhile ago in my experiment to see how it would work.  Soaked the fabric with cyan mix and hung it to dry.  The next day I placed it and the negative out to for the sun to do its magic.  With fabric, you can’t check it so it really is a WAG in a way, but after what I could see looked kind of right, I took it in, nervously hoping.  Sandy thought the flowers would be all white with no detail and that’s what I should expect.  I thought…sure, that’d be great.  But imagine our surprise when we saw the pure beauty that was….detail!  In every flower.  Exactly what I had hoped for.  I much prefer this version to the silver version.  It softens the flowers even though the detail is crisp.  Now I am on a mission to make the remaining flowers I have into cloth swatches.  I may do a quilt )  And I SO want to make the cyan bedspreads I saw.  AMAZING outlines of people.  Imagine having each kid with a bedspread with their shape on it.  The possibilities are endless.  This was truly amazing for me.  And they couldn’t believe I did the negatives way before I even heard of the class.  That’s what you get when you combine a geek with photo!

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