Art Intersection presents Light Sensitive, our tenth-annual, international juried exhibition of images created using traditional darkroom, historical, and alternative photographic processes and methods.
In the current takeover of imagery presented on computer screens and the overwhelming volume of digitally printed pictures, the purpose of our Light Sensitive exhibition is to celebrate, promote, and reaffirm the art of handcrafted prints that uniquely belong to the tradition of light sensitive creative processes. Each year we are in search for work that represents creativity, passion, and displays the beauty of these light sensitive processes.
Banner images by Mary Nation, Lynn Bierbaum, Ebony Blevins
Processes include the following
van dyke brown
wet plate collodion
About the Juror
Brett Abbott serves as the Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, where he provides leadership for the museum’s curatorial, conservation, registration, archives, exhibition, and publication programs. A specialist in American photography of the 20th and 21st centuries, he has organized more than thirty exhibitions and contributed to more than a dozen publications in the field. He came to the Carter having served in curatorial roles at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
His honors include the 2012 Ansel Adams Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography for his research on Wynn Bullock, the 2010 Lucie Award for Curator of the Year for the exhibition Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the Sixties and the 2007 Lucie Award for Curator of the Year for his work on Edward Weston. Abbott is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute’s Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders. He earned his Master of Arts from Williams College and his Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University.
Take a virtual walk through Light Sensitive in the North and South Galleries. We understand it can be difficult for artists and patrons to travel across the country and oceans to be here in person to see the installation, so this virtual walk through presents the amazing and beautiful work of Light Sensitive within the space. We hope you enjoy the virtual gallery walk through. For a more detail view and information about individual pieces in the exhibition, look at the images in the gallery/slideshow below.
This past weekend at Art Intersection we held a 2 day photogravure printing workshop with Karen Hymer. We had a talented group of students, some with experience in this process and others with none at all. Thank you to Karen Hymer for teaching this workshop!
Over the course of 2 days the students learned each step in the photogravure process which included exposing their positive under UV light onto a photopolymer plate. After the plate was exposed and the imaged was etched in, they coated with ink and learned different processes for wiping and removing the ink.
Karen Hymer explained that using the correct wiping techniques creates great contrast and highlights in the final print. Using your photograph as a guide, you can determine which areas need strong shadows and which parts you want more highlight.
Next, our 1870s etching press was used to stamp the plate onto wet paper creating a beautiful one of a kind print embossed into the beautiful art paper.
Students explored different mixtures of ink which created different colors, changing the outcome of contrast and highlight, as well as different types of paper.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on February 1st for a one-day Platinum Palladium Workshop with Ryuijie!
We had a talented and eager to learn group of students who created beautiful prints. In just one day, students were taught this 19th century process and took home at least 2 or 3 prints of their images.
Photogravure Learn the art of photopolymer gravure printing in this one-day workshop! Using light-sensitive steel-backed Solarplates, participants will create 4 x 5 gravure etching prints from their photographs. This environmentally friendly process translates photographic detail into ink on paper with unparalleled beauty.
No prior experience with printmaking is required. All necessary aspects of printmaking will be discussed including choosing inks, papers, and wiping material. Wiping and inking techniques will be covered. Be prepared to marvel at the way your photograph is transformed through ink on paper!
The making of digital positives will be discussed, but for the workshop itself, please send one color or black and white image file (300 dpi at 10” on the long side) to be made into a digital positive prior to the workshop. An email with details will be provided once you are registered.
All materials for this workshop are included in the registration fee.
Here is a brief outline of the process that will be presented in this workshop:
Starting with your digital photograph, a 4 x 5 transparency positive will be made
The positive is then laid on top of the light sensitive polymer plate and exposed to UV light
Washing the plate in water etches the image onto the plate
Once hardened, the plate is hand inked using water-soluble intaglio inks
The inked plate is then run through an etching press onto dampened paper
You take home 3 photogravure prints of your image
About Karen Hymer For the past five years Karen Hymer, an artist and educator based out of Silver City, New Mexico, has ventured into the world of printmaking – exploring imagery in the form of photopolymer gravures. Her current work explores the effects of time on the human body and various plant life. Hymer’s richly detailed photogravures emphasize the interplay of texture, pattern, light and shadow in muted earth tones. The decontextualized close-ups of the body and decaying plants reveal a poetic beauty in these often-over-looked subjects.
Get back in the studio and practice your skills! If you have taken a Photogravure workshop at Art Intersection or are proficient in the process, you are invited to participate in an Open Studio day dedicated to photopolymer gravure. Please note, this is not a workshop; while you are encouraged to share knowledge with your studio mates, there will be no formal instruction.
The $40 registration fee includes your access to our lab and equipment during the Open Studio. You are welcome to bring all your own materials and pay no additional fee. However, Art Intersection will have 4×5″ SolarPlates available for $8 each, paper and ink available for $5/print, and digital negatives for $5 each – this is a great option for those just starting out with photogravure, or those that don’t want to invest in their own materials yet. These additional items will be accounted for at the end of the day.
In addition to the open lab, the day will start at 9am with a Photogravure Working Group meeting. This is an opportunity to meet other photogravure printers, reconnect with friends from workshops, and share some work you’ve done already. This meeting will last no longer than an hour, but may be briefer depending on the discussion. Art Intersection hosts Working Group meetings and Open Studios on a recurring basis.
Printing out Paper, or PoP, makes an image by exposing a negative and paper to light without any chemical development. With a printing-out process, you can watch your image come to life during your exposure, rather than having to wait until it is processed! Used originally as a simplified field process without the need of a darkroom, today we use this handmade emulsion to create artful images with subtle and warm tonality.
This workshop begins on Friday night with a lecture and demo, where instructor Siegfried Rempel will discuss the history of collodio-chloride printing and demonstrate two different printing-out methods. Following on Saturday is a day of coating and printing your own hand fabricated, collodio-chloride printing out paper.
The day after the workshop, return to the lab to further refine your mastery of this process! We are hosting a PoP Open Studio on Sunday, March 26 from 9am – 3pm. More information here.
The use of Collodion in photography for the production of photographic prints an be found as early as the 1850s, and is most commonly used in the Wet Plate Collodion process to produce tintypes and ambrotypes. The concept of an “emulsion” of silver salts in a collodion binder was introduced by Gaudin in 1853 and by 1861 he was actively producing the “Photogene” collodion emulsion.
The collodio-chloride print has a similar physical appearance to its gelatin counterparts and it can be difficult to tell them apart. In fact, modern gelatin silver darkroom papers evolved from this early printing method! Today, we still practice the collodio-chloride process because of the rich and beautiful tonality it imparts on our images.
Late last month we had the pleasure of hosting a Platinum/Palladium workshop in our Photographic Arts Lab led by San Francisco-based artist Michael T. Puff! A master of this luminous, tonally-rich process, Michael led our eleven participants in making gorgeous prints of their own images.
Platinum/Palladium printing, a photographic process invented in the 19th century, has long been a favorite of alternative process photographers for its highly archival nature and infinite variations of gray tones as highlights shift to shadows. In the process Michael uses, ferric oxalate, palladium, and sodium chloroplatinate are mixed together, hand-brushed onto 100% cotton rag paper, exposed to UV light through a digital negative, and then processed with potassium oxalate and sodium thiosulfate. The end result is a handcrafted print that is estimated to retain its appearance for a thousand years!
Thank you to all of our wonderful participants, and of course to Michael for traveling to us to share his expertise!
Michael instructs the class on mixing the chemicals and coating their paper
The participants mark where the image portion of their digital negatives will be centered on their paper
After exposing a coated piece of paper to UV light, Michael demonstrates developing the print
Participants process their exposed prints
Cyd looks at the class’s finished work at the end of the day
Gorgeous work produced by the students pinned up on the critique board
Michael talks about successes and things to work on with the students
Beautiful work by Lloyd Matthews
Luminous prints by Deb Alberty
A delicate, icy print by our very own Business Manager, Debra Wilson!
The Art Intersection Staff selected three artists from eighty-nine artists in the Light Sensitive exhibition, our signature traditional photography exhibition, to have their own exhibition called “Best of Light Sensitive 2014”. This year Tom Persigner, photographer, writer, and the founder of F295, juried Light Sensitive and selected work for the exhibition in March and April, 2014. Images from Light Sensitive 2014.
Douglas Collins – I make photographs without using a camera – or, in the case of these works, without even a darkroom. In my work I reject accepted forms of photographic meaning, but try instead to create moments of lucidity through a meditation on form and intention. This tends to minimalistic results, and the pictures are often purified of all but essential structure. I set my own rules but often live by violating them. In place of traditional approaches I invest in a deep contemplation on the physical materials of the photographic act itself, in the tradition of Fox Talbot. I live and work in New York City.
These works are chemigrams, a type of photographic art made without a camera and without a darkroom. In this process, black and white photographic paper is exposed to daylight and then is coated with a varnish, which functions as a resist. By soaking the paper in fixer and developer alternately, the resist is gradually lifted, and color is created by the physical effects on silver grains in the emulsion that result from a certain rhythm of soaking. The artist may intervene, attacking the paper with knives, sticks, or hands to induce additional imagery. The process has antecedents going back to the origin of photography.
Mary Donato – Following my retirement in 2006 after 30 years as a research geologist, I began to explore photography and printmaking as ways to satisfy both my analytical and creative impulses. I have no formal training in fine art or photography, nor was I given a vintage camera by an aging relative when I was a child. Nevertheless, I consider myself a fully-engaged amateur photographer and printmaker who combines 21st-century digital devices with 19th-century printing processes to create handmade photographic images.
I am compelled to explore the ephemeral beauty of everyday life, sometimes in deliberate compositions, but more often in incidental situations. These prints display a range of scale and chroma. They represent my efforts to convey a mood or a visual idea, and nothing more. Producing unique prints by hand seems the perfect approach for such imagery.
Erin K Malone – Located in San Francisco, California, Erin Malone spends her days as a User Experience Design Consultant while wishing she was out in the field with her cameras. She received her first camera at 10 and taking it to Girl Scout camp, she promptly left it behind.
A few years later and being much more responsible, she purchased her first manual SLR. Photo classes in high school and serving on the newspaper as a photographer, began her foray into “real” photography.
Coming full circle, Erin primarily works with film, vintage, plastic and lensless cameras and in historic and alternative processes.
Erin’s photos have been shown in group and juried exhibitions across the United States, they have won several awards and are in a few collections, including the Museum of Fine Art, Houston. Her work has been featured in publications such as B&W Magazine, Diffusion, Light Leaks and San Francisco Magazine and the San Francisco PBS produced program KQED Quest.
About the Juror
Tom Persinger is a photographer, writer, and the founder of F295. His photographs have been shown in numerous exhibitions and are in private collections in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His work has been featured in many publications, including Afterimage, Ag, Photo.net, View Camera, and many books on photographic technique and processing.
Persinger has lectured at colleges and universities, leads hands-on workshops, and is a member of Freestyle Photographic’s Advisory Board of Photographic Professionals. His first book Photography Beyond Technique: Essays from F295 on the Informed use of Alternative and Historical Photographic Processes will be released by Focal Press/Taylor and Francis in Spring 2014.
He is especially interested in contemporary photography that considers in its manufacture the intersections of process, subject, and content and the work that can be created in that exciting intersection. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two sons.
Have you ever wanted an enlarged negative for your alternative photographic process art? Does the process to create a digital negative adjustment curve sound too complicated? If you answered yes, then join us for a presentation on creating a digital negative curve. As my kids said when they needed help with their homework, just give me the answer without all the boring technical stuff.
This lecture illustrates creating a Photoshop curve to adjust a digital camera image to make a digital negative suitable for contact printing a gelatin silver (black and white) print. This same process can be followed for any alternative photographic processes that use a negative.
Art Intersection will create curves in advance of our alternative process workshops and make these available to the students. Now, before our workshops, you can use our digital lab to make digital negatives from your digital cameras (yes, even from your phone’s camera) or scanned films.