To celebrate the art of handcrafted prints, Art Intersection presents Light Sensitive, our eleventh-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 search for work representing creativity, passion, and display of the beauty these light sensitive processes bring.
Acceptable Processes include, but are not limited, to: silver gelatin prints, albumen, anthotype, argyrotype, athenatype, Bayard direct positive, calotype, carbon, casein, chrysotype, cyanotype, dusting-on process, gum bichromate, gumoil, Herschel’s breath printing, photopolymer gravure, Ivorytype, kallitype, mordançage, platinum/palladium, printing-out-paper, solarplate intaglio, van dyke brown, wet plate collodion, whey process, Ziatype, combinations of any of these processes, and all photographically based image-making techniques that incorporate traditional studio-based mediums such as printmaking, ceramics, or painting.
Banner image by Veritas Publishing, Keron Psillas images: Cavalo Lusitano: The Spirit Within
Here’s how Carol Henry made the large hanging cyanotypes in the Spellbinding Light exhibition. Be sure to see the installation to truly appreciate the beauty of these incredible life-size fabric, cyanotype photogram prints.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Opening Reception of Light Sensitive 2018! We loved seeing so many friendly faces, both familiar and fresh. Thanks for helping us celebrate this beautiful exhibition!
Luigi Luccarelli with his work
Peter Friedrichsen with his cyanotypes on birch ply
Amanda Scheutzow with one of her sculptural tintype pieces
Kayla Bedey with her gum bichromate over cyanotype prints
In October we hosted a Carbon Printing workshop led by Dennis L. Collins. Dennis was able to lead our participants through this tricky process from start to finish – sensitizing carbon tissues with potassium dichromate, exposing the tissue with a negative, transferring the exposed tissue to the support sheet, and developing the print. Our students got hands-on experience making prints, as well as lots of practice trouble-shooting, which will better prepare them for continuing this process on their own. Each student made beautiful prints, and all learned to find the beauty in mistakes!
Dennis demonstrates the process of sensitizing carbon tissues to light using potassium dichromate
As the carbon print “develops,” un-hardened carbon pigment floats away – leaving the image remaining!
Several participants experimented with salvaging the used carbon tissue, to interesting effects
The same print is shown here printed on white and black paper, creating a cool contrast. The image on the black paper is viewable only when held against light
Dennis discusses the participants’ final prints after two days of hard work
Join us for a hands-on introduction to the rare carbon transfer process! In this alternative photographic process, finely ground pigment creates a unique image quality and tonal range. The prints beg to be held in your hands to appreciate their texture and reflection of light.
Though carbon printing is notoriously difficult, with this class you can learn from a contemporary practitioner who has ironed out all the kinks. Dennis Collins has spent years perfecting his process, and now would like to share his knowledge with you!
The skills acquired in this class will provide you with the knowledge necessary to explore the possibilities of your artwork in this medium. This class is open to photographers of all levels, though some darkroom practice is beneficial.
Prior to the workshop students will need to provide a digital image containing highlight, mid-tone and shadow detail from which a digital image will be made for contact printing the size of a 4×5 print. More details will be provided upon registration.
Students will take home a glass and squeegee set at the end of the workshop to continue their exploration of carbon printing at home.
With over 30 years of experience as a Corporate Photographer, Dennis Collins’ interests now lie in the timeless beauty of carbon printing. While earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan he focused on alternative processes.
Dennis has painstakingly embraced carbon printing, a particularly difficult and rare process, and he passionately wants to share this knowledge with others in the hope this art form will continue. When not in the darkroom, Dennis enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering at Art Intersection and Infinity Hospice, and car racing.
We got experimental in the lab this weekend during our Mordançage workshop with Jace Becker! This free-form, intuitive process process physically lifts the darkest parts of a silver gelatin emulsion, forming delicate veils. The veils can be manipulated or removed, allowing for endless creative opportunities. Our participants played around with a variety of techniques, achieving one-of-a-kind results with each print.
Jace demonstrated processing silver gelatin prints in mordançage solution, water rinsing baths, and developer. The mordançage chemistry bleaches the prints as it’s lifting the emulsion, requiring the print to be re-developed to bring back the image.
After the print has been washed, the lifted gelatin emulsion can be manipulated to add visual interest, motion, or abstract shapes to the image. We used cotton balls, hypodermic needles filled with water, compressed air, and hairdryers to place the veils exactly where we wanted them to go.
This print is slowly being re-developed – the tan parts of the print were originally black!
Cesar Laure had some interesting results with this half-mordançaged photogram – the altered portion of the print is on the right.
Beautiful print by Susan Berger
Prints by Suzanne Fallender displaying a range of different colors achieved by placing developing prints out in the sunlight.
We can’t wait to see what our students make with this process!
This course provides a hands-on introduction to the fascinating 19th century bleach/etch process of Mordançage. Each student will be instructed concerning the history, process, and various techniques in which to produce engaging imagery within the medium. Mordançage produces wonderfully evocative imagery, and the possibilities for experimentation are nearly endless. The knowledge and skills acquired in this class will equip you in the development of self-expression and provide an opportunity for intuitive applications in your own artistic practice. All students must be prepared to experiment, be creative, but most importantly to have fun!
The course is intended for intermediate to advanced photographers only, as each student must possess a foundation in the fundamentals of gelatin silver darkroom printing techniques prior to enrollment. If you are new to darkroom printing or would like a refresher course, check out our 1-on-1 Tutorials.
Though there will be time to make new prints during the workshop, students will benefit from bringing at least 20 finished gelatin silver prints and a large range of negatives to experiment with this process. More details will be provided upon registration.
Mordançage is a mystifyingly beautiful method of altering gelatin silver prints or negatives with endless opportunities for experimentation and creative application. Mordançage chemistry physically lifts the darkest parts of the photographic emulsion from the rest of the image, allowing it to be manipulated into veils or removed completely. This rare 19th century process was largely forgotten, but fortunately was revived by 20th and 21st century practitioners Jean-Pierre Sudre and Elizabeth Opalenik. Try it yourself and prepare to be amazed at the possibilities this process will introduce to your artistic practice!
Jace Becker earned degrees in photography and anthropology from Montana State University, and is currently a 3rd year MFA candidate in Photography at Arizona State. His work focuses on the cultural landscape, specifically social and self-exploration, issues of identity, vulnerability, and the darker sides of introspection. His area of emphasis is in alternative processes. When he is not hiding from the Arizona sun in his darkroom, he is an avid rock climber, surfer, and lover of sailing.
In our Exploring Photography and Darkroom Photography for Teens summer camps we experimented with all the possibilities of photography!
Our Exploring Photography students shot images on 35mm film, processed it themselves, and printed their images in the darkroom – many of them for the first time ever. They also took digital pictures, edited them in Adobe Photoshop, and made beautiful inkjet prints of their photos. They learned manual SLR camera functions like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, which are used in both film and digital capture, and played around with composition, lighting, and varying perspectives. With these tools, our students are ready to dig deeper into their preferred photographic medium and really become pros!
Our Darkroom Photography students shot 35mm, 120mm, and even 4×5″ film, spanning the range of film formats from casual to professional. They each captured photos relating to a project concept of their own choosing, allowing them to flex their artistic muscles in finding or creating images. Once they processed all that film, they put in some dedicated time in the darkroom printing their work, even learning advanced techniques like split-filter printing. In the end, each student left with 3-4 perfect prints for their portfolio.
At the end of all our photography camps we pin up everyone’s work from the week and reflect on our successes and challenges. It’s at this time that the immense creative drive and talent our students posses really shines.
We had a blast this summer sharing our love of photography with young artists!
Our first Tri-Color Gum Bichromate workshop with Diana Bloomfield last September was such a hit, we decided to do it all again! This past Saturday and Sunday Diana led nine students through this labor-intensive and difficult process. The workshop included many first-time gum printers, and despite the tricky nature of the process, all produced fantastic prints! As we gathered around to look at everyone’s completed work at the end of the two days, one thing was apparent: there is nothing like the magic of gum printing, and no one better to teach it than Diana Bloomfield!
We are grateful for all of our students, but we especially would like to extend a big THANK YOU to our four class participants who travelled from far, far away to take this workshop with us – Cary from Alaska, Timothy from Michigan, and Scott and Kelly from Pennsylvania. We’re so glad you could join us!
Diana discusses digital negatives during her demonstration at the beginning of the workshop
Diana “develops” an exposed print in water
Diana discusses the cyan-layer exposure she demonstrated as it hangs to dry – Terry, the student who provided the negative for this print, will later add yellow and magenta layers
Janet washes out her print after exposing the yellow layer
Karen coats her paper with a mixture of watercolor pigment suspended in potassium dichromate and gum arabic. The potassium dichromate hardens the gum arabic upon exposure to UV light; the parts of the coating blocked by the negative remain soft and wash away in water.
Tim washes out his print
Kelly very carefully registers the negative for her next layer
Janet, Tom, and Matthew attend to their prints
Each layer of pigment make a big impact when gum printing. The print on the left includes cyan, yellow, and magenta layers; the print on the right includes cyan and yellow. Both prints by Karen Hymer
Diana discusses the finished prints one by one with the class
Karen, Diana, and Tom mask off the brush-marked border of Cary King’s image in order to look at the print without visual distractions
Scott Wrage shares his tri-color print, not yet dry enough to pin up, with the rest of the class
Prints clockwise from left by Matthew Covarrubius, Kelly Wrage, Karen Hymer, and Timothy Wells
This past weekend of September 12 and 13 Art Intersection was bursting with color! Tri-color gum bichromate, that is. We had the great pleasure of hosting a two-day, immersive workshop in the process taught by Diana Bloomfield, a master gum printer especially known for her tri-color technique. Ten participants learned about this fascinating 19th-century process that includes mixing together gum arabic, potassium dichromate, and watercolor pigments, then hand-coating that mixture on paper, exposing their paper under a digital negative in UV light, and washing out the print in water to “develop” it.
Diana Bloomfield explains her technique for mixing the gum emulsion on Day 1.
Workshop participants look on as Diana coats a sheet of paper with the light-sensitive gum mixture she’s made.
Any color watercolor pigment can be used, but this tri-color process involves making three separate coating and exposure runs with cyan, magenta, and yellow pigments individually to get a full-color final print.
Armed with coffee, the participants listen as Diana explains the basics of color balancing for a natural-looking print at the start of Day 2. If a print does not initially look correct, more passes with various colors can be made to balance it.
In order for the image to remain sharp, the negative being used must be placed in exactly the same spot for every layer. Michael Puff carefully registers his negative to exactly match the previous layers he’s created.
Chris Palmer rinses out his print after exposing it to UV light. During the exposure, the areas of the gum emulsion blocked by the dark areas of the negative wash away in the water, creating highlights. Those underneath the light areas of the negative solidify and adhere to the paper, creating shadows.
BK Skaggs, Shari Trennert, and Maylee Noah rinse their prints while others hang to dry. These prints show the first pass with the cyan layer.
At the end of the workshop, all the participants show the results of their hard work by putting their favorite prints up on the critique board. Diana gives the class constructive feedback on their printing.
Finished prints by Maylee Noah showing one-color, two-color, and tri-color prints.