Photography final arrangements

I keep on going with trying new things but not sure how best to arrange.

I’m really not sure that I enjoy the overlays. To some extent it’s two good photos spoiled.

Wondering now about pairing an inside thing like an insect or bottom of wine glass or sanitiser photogram with a pinhole through the window photo without the overlay.

Would look something like this but done in most likely cyanotype. Outside pic could be cyanotype and inside maybe coloured solarfast. Although I am really wondering whether to ditch all the solarfast for this project and just do cyanotype because it gives better imagery. Like Gerrard says it’s cleaner.

If I was to do this though, how would the whole quilt be arranged? Nine diptychs would look very landscape

Could do three by six diptychs and that would be a square 🙂 Of course that is 36 prints. 72 inch square quilt with no sashing. So that is actually alright but a lot of work in a week. At least I wouldn’t actually have to sew it. Could do that later.

Still trying to work out what photosensitive chemical best. Cyanotype or solarfast.

Here I have bleached cyanotype with washing powder – tried to control the amount and then I have used one tea bag only to tone the print. Definitely warms it up but it is not as pink as that looks. Other options are a harder bleach and tannin which will give a brown and white print.

I could do my wine glasses/flies etc in the same toning or I could use solarfast with muted colour. i could use red wine for some of the tannin toning and maybe I could also use different teas. Manipulating the colour with home materials like washing powder, tea and wine seems like a good plan. Also could use vinegar and peroxide. Perhaps I should look for a cyanotype artist and research toning a bit more. So far I’m just using what I learned at the two day workshop at Gold St Studios a couple of years ago. I did Van Dyke brown while I was there too and do have chemical for that. They can also mix with cyanotype. Trouble is it’s all a bit late for that now but something to consider in Honours.

Here I have paired the fly with the outside scene. I have dulled down the fly because it’s too bright green solarfast but I can repeat the print and treat it the same as the left hand print to more completely match colour. This is the sort of pairing of imagery I imaged but not necessarily these too as a pair. It’s late to add this much work but I think I can do it. With the objects I can flip around and reverse if I like I can also use scans of small objects which give amazing detail. Could also still do some small object lumens. Have time for that.

Just mocked this up in photoshop from a negative to show another example. Will have to flip around configuration to stop me having a column of outside and a column of inside.

Obviously not using the same photos but this would have to be the arrangement 3 diptychs across and 6 down.


Trying a composite of a lumen and a pinhole. Done separately this time but merged in photoshop. Since I’ve discovered how to cut irregular shapes I was able to post the circular wine glass without it’s dark background so it doesn’t interfere with the image.

I’ll add in the cyanotype print once I’ve done that.

Further experiments

Wondering if pinhole would give a bigger depth of field so I took a couple of pinholes through wine glasses. Did give some interesting images but didn’t translate very well into transparencies.

I’m not unhappy with this image but it has lost the detail of the photo. Not helped by inverting the colours from intended. I’m going to end up with a whole lot of 12 inch blocks and I may end up just combining what I consider the best ones.

I then went on and did a cyanotype of a wineglass pic, not a pinhole. I notice that I sort of get the pinhole soft focus effect anyway even without the pinhole so maybe the pinhole is a bit redundant. It doesn’t give a full range of sharpness like I was hoping but more a full range of subtle blur. 🙂

The cyanotype however is much better than the solarfast for actually seeing what is going on in the images.

Sample layout

This is a layout of a bunch of the work I have done. Putting these together suggest that I could possibly use a range of techniques out the window. The fly is out there but could stay too. I have other imagery like that I could include.

Feedback was good for the new prints but the mix was also ok. Martin started by saying the coherence of the wine glass was good but then moved on to also saying he liked the variation. I’m attracted to the variation. The theme is the things that surround me whilst I’m looking out the window at the world in this covid time. Or could be more specific, looking out at the world through the lens of a wine glass literally. So I’m sure the wine glass would resonate with lots of people. I’m going to do more work printing and then decide which is working for me for my final nine patch. I’ll do more wine glasses too as well as the photogram ones. If nothing else I’ll end up with lots of fabric for future works.

I may be able to get more variation within the wine glass lens series. I’m working on colour contrast rather than tonal contrast. So maybe I should ditch trying to get colours from the actual photo and simply pick one colour from the image and use its complementary for the second colour. That is effectively what has happened in the top left and that one works the best. I also need to be a bit careful about overexposing the first colour because the fabric will only take so much dye and not develop further colour over the top if I push the first exposure to its limit.

It’s meant to reference windows in a grid.

Single imagery

After hearing Matt’s presentation last week I was attracted to the idea of trying to produce my imagery of windows through the lens of a wine glass in a single image. I took a few photos of through the bottom of glasses and have printed up three. There is a lot of problems with them and if I include the source photos it will highlight the fact that the fabric prints are very soft and blurry in contrast so I won’t put them up here at this stage. I don’t want to confuse evaluation of the final prints.

I’d probably like to go with this because I think it will gel nicely as a whole work and less obviously contrived but more ambiguous. The two colours also seem to work better when I am using the same print only inverted.

Not sure about the wood strips. They might not serve to highlight the print as well as a solid dark colour would. Possibly plain black sashings would be better.

Photography tossing up

I’m not sure where to go now with photography. I liked the idea of combining the two images and then only printed once. So the view through the bottom of a wine glass would be just that in one image rather than constructed from a photo of a window view and a photogram of a wine glass.

So I have tried that and am slightly disappointed with the result. Not that it doesn’t look interesting but just that technically it’s a bit messy and hard to see what the imagery is. Not sure if that matters or not. Also only one colour is a bit dull.

The pale blue areas obscure the image a bit and I think are a result of dye pooling under the transparency.

So nine of these gridded together in a window frame like quilt could be quite interesting but I’m not sure. Think I’ll do three and put them up in comparison with the other style in diptych and see what the response is. I have all the transparencies so they aren’t wasted. The other though was that I could put some of this imagery up digitally. Even though I would make the quilt I could be assessed on the digital imagery as it will be a digital submission. So I don’t have to actually make the quilt. But if I don’t do that I feel a bit like I’m not being true to my ultimate desire.

Another thing I’ve done this week is a fixed some lumen prints. This is an example of pre and post fixing with editing to increase contrast. Also these are only photographs and not scans, which is much easier and for my purposes is enough detail. No point in having too much fine detail in translation to fabric because the process loses it anyway.

Left is pre fixing. Right is fixed. I have brought up the contrast and perhaps the saturation a bit but these are essentially the type of colours before and after fixing. I think contrast is improved if anything post fixing but Carolyn did not have that result with her paper.

This paper was in date fiber paper.

Might do a print of one of these next after I swap it in to black and white. This is a sanitiser bottle.


Christian Schad did photograms of everyday objects and discarded items to create photograms which he presented cut to an irregular shape on a plain background.

Modernist painter and printmaker associated with Dada movement

<; Viewed 19 September 2020

This is a gelatin silver chloride photogram using dust and shoelace.

Photograms give new life to everyday objects and encourage you to look at previously unnoticed aspects of the everyday. Add mystery to the banal.

The blurb from Art Institute of Chicago talks about “ennobling lowly materials.”

Adam Fuss: Photograms

This information is from an exhibition brochure from 1992.


Tannebaum B (Curator and writer of text in the brochure) 1992, Adam Fuss: Photograms, Akron Art Museum, Ohio

Image references – Robert Miller Gallery, New York

Brochure design Bruce Morrill


Christian Schad used photograms in 1918 for art around objects – need to look him up.

“Photogram is a conveyor of literal fact” but then author then asserts that Adam Fuss has gone beyond that.

Adam Fuss has created the photograms in this exhibition by hanging a light, swinging in a circle over and using coloured filter swinging over coloured paper.

A little bit similar to how I was thinking of creating a wind generated dyeing machine for sculpture and possibly to use. But I could also use light to draw. I would need something that slowly unveiled the work to the light rather than slowly exposing, or I could slowly expose with a uv torch I guess but slow exposing would take a lot of imagination to set up a way of moving the torch.

The photograms are large and evoke a sense of the sublime, colour and suggestion of the universe and orbits. Tannebaum speaks of a sense of mystery, spirituality and references mandalas.

I am using the circle in my painting work but more in its function as a barrier rather than as a spiritual reference, but it will read a bit like a mandala too.

Untitled, 1992 (AF#N92) From back cover of the brochure.