Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Collage Activity

I experimented with different collage activities to broaden my ideas. I did 4 different collage activities. The first was a quick activity whereby I ripped up a photograph, held the pieces above a piece of coloured paper and dropped them. I stuck them down where they fell. The idea of this activity was to show that even with a limited amount of materials and images you can create a collage. This doesn't work as well as a composition as it was a quick 5 minute activity to see what you could get from doing simple collages. As I has to stick them down where they landed this meant that some of the pieces were stuck down upside down. I didn't like this as I think it looks messy and incomplete.
The second activity I did was the exquisite corpse activity. It's a group activity where each person starts with the the top of the body, folds it over and passes it onto the next person then they add the next part of the body, fold it and pass it on etc until the body is complete. The idea is to create interesting body forms using different images without seeing what the other parts are. I enjoyed this activity as the reveal at the end was interesting to see what compositions we came up with and how the images fitted together.  
We were given an A1 sheet of white card and using various photocopies of photographs we had to rip/tear/cut ect. We combine dany materials we could find to use with them and create a collage. We used a range of the subject matter in the photocopies.  For finishing touches we used pen and paint over the top of the images.

  Cubomania is a method of collage making in which a photograph is cut into squares and reassembled without regard to the original image. From a collection of photocopied images I chose an image I liked the look of and cut it up into even squares.I then reassembled the photographs in a new composition without thinking about the original composition. I filmed reassembling it to make a new composition.

Monday, 25 March 2013


Masking is the technique of masking out an area onto the paper and exposing the image into the shape. I wanted to see how many images I could get onto one piece of photographic paper, I went into the darkroom and lowered the enlarger as low as I could so that the image was still in focus. I roughly drew how big the square was on a piece of paper then measured the sides and worked out how many I could get onto one piece of paper. I cut the squares out of the black card. I also did this with circles but instead of measuring an image in the darkroom I found objects that vary in different sizes then cut then out of black card.
In the darkroom I used masking tape to hold the black paper onto the photographic paper. I covered the squares that I didn't want to expose the image into while I exposed it into each one. I did the same process with the circle mask. 

I experimented with selective development to give it more of an abstract look to contrast between the formal layout and the selective development. I don't think this worked that well because you can't really see what the images are of and you can see some of the boxes around. 

This print below is a solarisation of circle masking. It's hard to make out what is within the circles but from knowing the original prints you can work out that some of the prints are of the banana skin photographs.

Tinting Prints

I experimented with tinting prints with food colouring. I know from previous experience that painting food colouring onto photographs makes them sticky and do not dry. I experimented with putting food colouring on in the developing of the print. I exposed my print for 12 seconds, dripped on some food colouring on the paper then put it in the develop and agitated it slowly so slightly move the food colouring over the print. Once it had developed I moved it into the stop then into the fix then washed it carefully not to rub off the food colouring. These worked well as they kept their colour and were not sticky but from where I had dripped the colouring the image did not develop. I wanted to do it again but to find a way so that the print fully develops and keeps it colour. I developed the print fully then painted some food colouring on then put it into the develop for a couple of seconds and agitated it to slightly spread the colour. I moved it into the stop then into the fix and carefully washed it. This resulted in the print fully developing and have a wash of colour over it. I was pleased with the success of this as I didn't quite know what I was doing and wanted to experiment with something I had not tried before. The last print is my favourite because I like the way the colours have blended to make it look like water colour paint.

Double Exposure/Sandwich Printing

Double Exposure is the process of placing two negatives in the negative carrier at the same time so that it exposes one image on top of the other. Another way to do this is by exposing one print for half the time then exposing another for the rest of the time then developing it. 
For my images I tried exposing rice and one of my images. First I cut a small piece of acetate to fit in the negative carrier then put some rice on it. I then did a test strip of this to see the correct timings which was 4 seconds. I then done a print of it to see if I was happy with the outcome. I then went onto producing my double exposures/sandwich prints. Firstly I exposed the rice for 2 seconds, then changed to my negatives in the negative carrier and exposed it for 10 seconds. The usual print is exposed for 12 seconds. I then developed the print. In the first print I did of the bones and rice is it hard to see the grains of rice as the bones are mainly the focus point. I tried this again with a different negative but exposed the rice for 4 seconds and the negative for 8 seconds. This made the rice more visible but harder to see the image. The pomegranate did not work as well because the print was quite detailed with the seeds so it clashed with the rice to make it hard to make out what is what. 

Friday, 22 March 2013


I had previously experimented with reversals but the outcomes were not that great as you could not clearly see what the images were of. I reprinted some from my first film and extended the exposure time to see if the images were clearer. This did improve some of them for example the pepper as you can see the inside of the pepper more clearly. However a reversal of the liver will not have that much detail because is it quite dark subject matter so the only parts that will be reversed and have detail is where the light reflected off it. 
I made some reversals from my second film which worked a lot better due to the different shades and lighting on the subject. The bones and fish skin with various foods arranged within it was the best outcome of reversals as the light reflected off many different surfaces. My favourite reversal out of all of them is of the peppers because they look like x-rays, also because the original print was quite grey so I didn't expect the reversal to come out that well.


Anthotypes are a technique of making a print using plants or different foods. The anthotype process is made up of three steps. Making the emulsion, preparing the canvas and printing.
I made sure I has all of my materials before I started. I used a blender, beetroot, vodka, a bowl, paint brush, paper and a clip frame.
1. Making the emulsion - I chopped the beetroot up into small pieces, put it into the blender and blended it to a pulp. I added vodka to dilute it then blended it again. I poured the mixture into a bowl. Most people making anthotypes strain the emulsion so that there are no bits in it but I wanted to keep the bits as my theme is all about foods so I thought it might work well having a few pieces of beetroot on the print as it might add to the effect.
2. Preparing the canvas - Any paper that can hold the emulsion can be used. As the paper will be wet and then put in the sun it needs to be quite sturdy paper. I used cartridge paper and recycled paper. I worked in a dark room with very dim lighting as any exposure to sunlight will destroy the colour of the emulsion. I covered my work surface in newspaper so that the emulsion wouldn't stain the surface. There are two ways of getting the emulsion on the paper, either by brushing it on or dipping the paper, both add different qualities to the final print. As my emulsion still have bits in it I decided to paint on the  emulsion but it left brush strokes on it. I like the brush strokes as it gives it more of a handmade look to it. Either leave the paper to dry in a pitch black area, or dry with a hair dryer in a very dim lit area.
3. Printing the anthotypes - Objects or positives can either be used. I used cabbage leaves, feathers and a positive. I placed the objects onto the dried paper then put in in the clip frame. I left it in the sun for a week. Depending on what emulsion was used the development time varies, it may take a few days or several weeks.
Drawing of mushroom and orange. This didn't come out very clear because the sunlight possibly went through the pen drawing. It might work better with a printed image on acetate as the black would be darker than the pen.

The cabbage worked the best as the objects came out dark but I was expecting the lines and creases in the leaves to appear. 

 The feathers worked as you can make out that they are feathers and the individual strands are visible but the lighter feathers didn't come out that well.
After making small anthotypes I wanted to create large ones. I painted on the emulsion and set them up in the sun. Below is images of the outcomes. They didn't work as well as I hoped, I think it's because the sun was too strong that it bleached the whole paper including where the objects were.
Close up of mushrooms
Close up of feather
Close up of banana 
Close up of leaf

Prints with Food

I used my prints that I developed in the darkroom to cover with food. The idea behind this is to bring forward the literal idea of the senses. To be able to smell, see, touch and taste the food. By using the foods that I had photographed to put onto the prints it gives the sense of the image coming to life. If the foods are left on the prints they will eventually go mouldy and have a foul smell which would then change the reaction of the image. Using the photographs of the grotesque foods made pretty would then reverse the view of them as the food would go mouldy. 

Strawberry jam to act like jelly.
Mustard to look like custard.

Syrup to put over jelly.
BBQ sauce to look like gravy.
Ice cream 

Thursday, 21 March 2013


I solarised some of the images from my second film as the compositions were more complex. The solarisation of the images worked better than the first film as there was more highlights and shadows to solarise. As the images are more complex it makes the image visually more interesting and makes you think more about what is in the composition. As there is no right or wrong way to solarise there are many different outcomes. The two differences I get are when the image completely inverts and becomes more black where as the other way it comes out more silver looking. 
The image below is one of my favourite solarisations as the composition is visually interesting and the way it has solarised as parts have become darker and others have becomes more silver.