Posts Tagged ‘developer’

Thursday in Chemistry of Photography was a day for making prints without a camera.


We used Nature Print paper. Nature Print Paper – BLICK art materials shows a sample of what the end product looks like.  This requires only the sun and found objects, including negatives, to create designs. Using the darkroom, we placed found objects on the paper and then exposed them to the sun. While some students were doing this, others used my enlarger to create photo-montage images by placing objects on print paper, exposing and developing.


This is a good lesson in design and what makes a good picture.


Friday was a good day to have fun using up any extra developer and fix and have. We did Chemistry Photographic Painting.


Designs can be painted right on photographic paper with developer solution, stop bath and food coloring.


 Chemistry painting image

It’s a good idea to set up several separate trays at different stations. I was using 5X7 print paper so I was able to use a lot of small trays. Painting with fix can contaminate the Developer, so I had developer trays that were labeled “developer only.” These were at the sink and students were instructed to do a quick wash of their print, or at least let it drip off, to get rid of excess fix before developing.


They used q-tips, string, shish kabob sticks and any number of items to paint with water, developer and fix on their print paper.


Painting with fix causes a white image against a dark background. If you immerse it in clear water before developing, it will cause grays to blend into the black background.


There was one last experiment though, after their photo painting was exposed, developed, stopped and fixed and with a quick wash.  We mixed one tablespoon of food coloring to sixteen ounces of water. Then dip the print briefly into clear water to take off excess hypo. Paint the color on or dip it but let it get a little darker than the intended shade.


This was a very popular day and a great way to end a fantastic week of Chemistry of Photography

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I’ve never had a great memory. Whether it was genetic, from being thrown under the dash, in an auto accident, when I was two, or a random neurological problem I have had, I will never know.  I have always worked very hard in school to remember things. I take notes, transcribe notes, transcribe my transcription, make index cards and go over them again and again to set facts in my head. The strange thing is that I will often shock myself by making a statement that I did not know I knew.

Gosh, that sounds strange. I don’t know if anyone else can relate to that. It is how I feel though when I find myself mentioning a name or fact, I had no idea I knew. If you would have asked me outright, “who is x”, I would have probably blanked. If I got into the “cash cab” I would have a brain freeze of unimaginable proportions.

Then there is my “professor” mode. This is the mode I go into when I teach art or talk about art. I have given up trying to figure it out, but all the things I have to look up to be sure I am doing it right or just plain remember how to do it, come pouring out of my mouth when I am teaching an art class or talking to a client.

For my writing, I have notebooks.  Notebooks with research, characters, location, mythology, the whole thing. I have folders for the same stuff in my computer and on a flash drive.  Okay, I’m paranoid. But, I’m not losing it.  I knew of an artist who shipped all of their sketch books to their new home and they never made it there.  That would be like losing part of yourself.  I have years worth of sketch books and guard them closely. I lost a lot of artwork in a move one time.  They are my memory. That and photos.

And, this is why, I treasure some memories, that I don’t need help with, so much. I’m sure everyone has their favorites. A few I left off my last list are here:

We start in the sky where so many of my memories are. I was at a backyard picnic once and someone brought a telescope he had put together with his father. The moon was suddenly closer than I had ever hoped to see it.  I wasn’t just seeing dark shadows, I was seeing valleys and craters and mounds. It was inspiring.

I used to travel from coast to coast twice a year doing art shows and placing work in galleries. I had a large Chevy cargo van, customized with household insulation and tongue and grove paneling. I slept in it at 120 degrees and at 30 below, comfortably, during the weeks I was on the road.  I shampooed in the highway reststops. I found out you can keep squeeky clean with wet wipes. The occasional motel bed and shower were appreciated all the more for it.  I would use the opportunity to take photographs too. I love the darkroom. It is my deviation to being an environmentalist. I love the smell of developer.

I used these trips for resource material and just because I love being outside.  I could live in a tent. I was one of the first cars allowed to enter Yellowstone  Park, I believe it was in 1988, right after their huge fire.  They were still dropping water from the helicopter buckets. I will never forget the smell, nor seeing a perfectly normal forest and then turning a corner to see black, devastation as far as the eye could see.

I worked in Chicago when they started the Music Festival on Navy Pier. One night I sat in near empty bleachers to watch B.B.King sing and play piano. How cool!  I felt like he was playing a concert for me.

Think about your great memories today and share them with someone


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