Historical Photographic Processes
The Kallitype and Cyanotype processes are vintage photographic processes (1842) in which chemicals are mixed and hand coated on a high quality paper (I use Arches watercolor paper â€“ a high quality paper made in France). I create an enlarged negative in the darkroom that is contact printed on the paper (exposure is made by a UVA light source). However big the negative is, the size of the final image.
Once the image has been made it is washed and then placed in fixing bath of sodium thiosulfate, which gives the image permanence.
I am drawn to this process not only for the painterly aesthetic and historical contribution but for the hands on print making aspect; I become much more involved in the creation of the art piece.
This vintage process has become a perfect puzzle piece for my double exposure figurative work which I juxtapose historical imagery with contemporary models and self portraits. The painterly, less photographic quality references drawings and etchings from art history which is my point of departure.
The process enhances the dimensional quality of the image due to the chemicalsâ€™ ability to get into the fibers of the paper rather than staying on top of the paper as with traditional photographic paper. This creates a soft, tactile surface which is congruous with nature.
My investigation of this vintage process has not only increased my life long exploration of the medium of photography but has helped make a profound statement for my subject matter.