Chlorophyll Printing with Handlettering: an alternative photography mashup

I’m all about getting people easy access to photography and getting them quick wins in terms of making simple projects that look great. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, then you’re in the right place. The Chlorophyll Process in alternative photography is accessible to anyone that can get their hands on some greenery, and simple enough to understand, that even children can participate. I’ve also decided to pair it with a text-based¬†project in the form of hand lettering, which might help to remove any intimidation from traditional photography rules.

A quick rundown

In it’s simplest form, the chlorophyll process is a bleaching process. A leaf is placed outside in the sun and an object (in our case, a printed word on a transparency) is placed on top. Anywhere that is exposed to the sun is bleached over time, while anywhere that was covered is not affected. The one caveat is that it does take time: at least several hours to potentially several days, depending on your geographic location and the time of year.

I’ve been wanting to try this process for a while, and I’m happy that I finally got around to it. It’s still very much an experimental process for me, and I’d probably need to make about 100 more prints before I feel completely comfortable. Still, I thought what I learned in the process could be helpful to you as your starting.

And now, the video

If you’d like to get the rest of the videos in this course, head over to my Skillshare page. Skillshare is an awesome platform that I personally have used to learn all sorts of things. They run great deals for your first 3 months of membership, during which you have access to thousands of great videos on a wide range of creative topics, including mine. If you’re at all interested in continuing to learn and grow as a creative, this platform is well worth being a part of. And who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired to teach your own class someday.
So, head over to the rest of the course, and make something awesome!


Advanced Cyanotype Class

I’ve just completed another Skillshare class. Cyanotype 103: printing from a digital negative is the last class in my cyanotype foundations series. Together they lay the groundwork for someone to understand how the process works and make their own prints using either pre-coated paper or mixing and coating their own chemicals. With the addition of this most recent class, they are now also prepared for either photogram style prints or actual photographic prints from printed digital negatives.

A cyanotype print from an image I took during my Catoctin residency.

One of the other other important skills introduced in this class is how to make a test print. Understanding how test prints work allow you to really refine your exposures and make it possible to have very consistent results.

Test Print at 1 minute intervals

Next on my list of classes is how to make and use paper negatives with cyanotype and also a little bit of a deeper dive into how to really perfect your digital negative so that your final print is as good as it can be.

So, if you haven’t checked out my classes yet, now is a great time. If you sign up through one of my links you get 2 months access to the entire library of classes for FREE! Go learn a new skill.

Check it out

Back at the Helm

Well, I’m waist deep in teaching once again. This semester I’m only teaching 3 courses (the last few I’ve had 5 or 6) so I’m really hoping to spend some time on some other projects. But all in all, it’s good to be back in the classroom, both physical and digital. I’ve also just completed transitioning a physical course over to an online platform. The class is History of Photography, which I’ve taught in person before, but this process of converting it to purely digital gave me the chance to re-evaluate all the content and exercises. I’m especially happy that through reworking it, I’ve been able to add a little bit of actual photography in. It would seem a little sad to spend a whole semester talking about photography without any of them actually snapping a shutter. Since a large portion of the class is spent in the early history, I’m focusing on very early processes of Anthotype, Chlorophyll Prints, and Cyanotype. Those three process are perfect introductions to the principles of light sensitive photography, which most of my students have never experienced (should I feel old?).

I do plan on investing a little more time in teaching my Skillshare classes this semester. They’ve gotten off to a slow, but steady pace, and I’m encourage enough to add to my selection of classes. Right now I’m planning my next 4 classes which will be on cyanotype and anthotype.

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And last, a side project which you may not be aware of. For the past many years I’ve dabbled in board game design. I’ve prototyped a few of my designs and played them with family, but I’ve never put in the required time to finish them off. You may remember that ¬†a couple years ago I made a card game called Park Trails. Anyway, over the past few years I’ve continued to dabble and even fill a notebook with ideas and designs, but now I’m starting to take next steps: prototyping, play testing, designing and printing. I’m not sure exactly where this will lead, but I love the process and I’m looking forward to the journey. If you want to follow along, you can find me on Instagram @circlecanoe

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