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Anthotype 2

I just put my second batch of anthotype attempts up for exposure. There will be 4 variations:

  • blackberry, regular positive
  • blackberry, retouched positive
  • wine reduction, regular positive
  • wine reduction, retouched positive

The “positives” are now printed on regular paper. I’m hoping the white area will let through sufficient UV. Otherwise, I’ll have to revert to those crappy transparencies. For the “retouched positives”, I darkened the black areas by hand with a retouching pen (basically an extremely thin brush) and Pelican black ink. These are a bit experimental because the laser printer toner seems to repel the water based Pelican ink, so the result is a bit blobby in places. We’ll see.

Wine cellar, wine attic

I double-coated all “photo paper” this time for better contrast, except for the wine reduction with a regular positive because I ran out of wine reduction. There’s more in the freezer but that’s for the next attempts.

The wine reduction anthotypes can be seen in the photo. The blackberry ones are still drying. I may have to add another coating because there’s a few spots due to drying. They’ll be put up for exposure as soon as they’re ready and dry.

Anthotype 1

A bit of an anticlimax, really. But nothing that was unexpected. My first two anthotypes came out nearly blank. Here they are:

If you watch closely, there's a vague image ! Really !

Blackberry is on the left, wine reduction on the right. As you can see, there’s not too much to see. There is hardly anything discernible in the blackberry image and in the wine image, you can only barely make out the lantern and the windows. Good ! Encouraging, actually. So what did we learn ?

  • We need more exposure than about 4 cloudy days with just a few hours of sunshine. Probably an array of UV lights would help, particularly with the days shortening.
  • High contrast seems to work well, so we have to select an image that consists of nearly only black and white areas.

Next attempt, I’ll pick a very high contrast image. Also up next: elderberry, redcurrant and coffee dyes !

Exposure times

I decided not to add a second coating to my dyed paper for the simple reason that the sun was out. So I quickly put everything together in my contact print frame and put it in a nice sunny spot.

Blackberry & wine getting some sun

The one on the left is the red wine reduction, the one on the right is the blackberry dye. I left it there for about two hours. Taking the frame back inside, I had a little accident and about everything blackberry related dropped out. The red wine negative and paper stayed in place. This gave me the perfect opportunity to get an exclusive preview and yes, there was something going on already. The exposed parts were bleached a little bit compared to where the dark parts of the positive transparency blocked the light. Very subtle, but definitely something happening. Because it was still so subtle, I decided to just mount the negative and paper more or less like they were and ignore the accident. The sun hasn’t been out since then, but I think about 3 good sunny days should be enough for the exposure.

A tale of two dyes, part 2

Here’s a photo of my two dyes. Blackberry on the left (freshly brushed onto the paper), red wine reduction on the right (slightly dried into the paper already). The blackberry is slightly gritty and I’m curious what the effect will be after printing the anthotype.

They’re now drying, which will probably take more than a night. I might decide to add another coating if I don’t think it’s dark enough when I see them in daylight tomorrow.

Two dyes

A tale of two dyes

I started work on the dyes that I’m planning to use for my first anthotypes. After a longish visit to the garden, I came back with a few hundred grams of blackberries. I’ve put them on a simmer for an hour or so. The second attempt is a red wine reduction. Both are cooling in the kitchen now. Tomorrow, they’re going onto a paper and into my contact print frame with a crappy laser printer negative.

Blackberry soup

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