Alternative Photography – Contact Printing

I have been experimenting with ‘solar’ printing as an investigation into what is broadly termed ‘alternative photography’, which is essentially the photographic printing methods of the mid to late 1800’s. Versus experimenting with A.I. (Alternative Reality), the latest controversial art creation methodology (what I think of as the 2022 version of the controversy of using digital photography in conjunction with digital editing software like Photoshop at the turn of this century). My friends Gerry Clausing and Diana Nicholette Jeon have chosen to see what they can create with AI and I find their results fascinating. Just not where I am interested right now…

What a lot of alternative photography shares in common is the use of a contact printing frame, such as the one above I purchased from Photographer’s Formulary. Incidentally, what I paid for this printing frame was about the same as my earlier Bessler 23c enlarger without an enlarging lens (the 80mm El Nikko enlarging lens was about the same cost) back in the mid-1970’s.

Thus the digital negatives I make can be used for a variety of alt printing methods; Cyanotype, Platinum/Palladium, Gum, etc., although for a tri-color gum print, I would need to create three slightly different digital negatives. So at this time I am using it to create some Cyanotypes with mono-type digital negatives, the first few from my Surf-Rider series. I don’t require a printing frame to contact print botanicals, such as my very first Cyanotype, nevertheless I can foresee how I might combine these two; digital neg in the frame, then something like some seaweed laying on top of the glass. hmmm.

Above: the Photographer’s Formulary printing frame with a digital negative sitting on top of the Cyanotype coated 100 lb hot press watercolor paper. Solar printing at noon and for this exposure it was 12 minutes. I am starting to contemplate purchasing a UV light alternative to the solar (sun) printing because we are moving into Fall & Winter; less sunny days and more overcast, which this morning’s rain. Apparently there is enough UV light from the sun even on a cloudy day, while it means a lengthy exposure and dealing with some uneven lighting conditions created by the various cloud covering…

Fun, fun, fun!

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day



 The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, Fall 2022 release, $60.00 (CA sales tax for those residing in the USA) plus shipping expenses. Message me or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Note: The Artist Special Edition (book + extra print) is Sold Out

Book workshop:

UPDATE! (Sold Out): Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop, (Sold Out) a virtual event on Zoom; February 25, 26 & March 4 & 5th 2023; from 10am – 1 pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). 

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop (Sold Out), a virtual event on Zoom; November 5 & 6 and 12 & 13, 2022, 10am – 1pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy).


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