Monday, 22 April 2013

Dark Room Experiments

For my recent rolls of film, I have been developing my distortion experiments. I took the photographs with the same technique that I did with the digital - spray acetate or clear plastic with water and held it up in front of the camera lens, focusing on that so that the items that the photographs are of are out of focus, and the water creates a bokeh effect.

In the dark room, not only did I create prints of just the photographs themselves, but I also placed scratched glass on top of the photo paper as I exposed the photograph. This added to the distortion and is a simple yet effective way to develop my experiments. Just by moving the piece of glass around the paper, you could get a different scratched effect each time you made a new print, even if you were using the same negative, which is something that I really enjoyed doing. You could have a series of prints that were the same image, but by using different pieces of scratched/texture glass, you could create entirely new images every time. On one of the prints, you can see water droplet marks. Before exposing the print, I put a little bit of water on top of the glass. This is a simple way to experiment with the selective developing technique, as it doesn't ruin the paper before it is exposed as the water is on the glass. Here are some of my prints:

When I was making prints of all of the photographs, I used 5 as the setting for the filter, and the light setting was 8. 

Experiments: Liquid Emulsion

Liquid emulsion is a technique that I really like to use when creating prints. By using liquid emulsion, you can expose your photograph onto almost any kind of material - from regular paper, card, texture paper, fabric, and even glass. To create this effect, take the material that you want to use and paint the liquid emulsion onto it. You then have to leave it to dry before exposing it - make sure it is completely dry. Part of the paper was still damp when I exposed it and you can see in the bottom right hand corner that it is faded and pale, however this actually helped to distort the image further. Expose it like you normally would, but perhaps try creating a test strip with slightly longer exposures, for example for normal test strips I use 1 second intervals, but for liquid emulsion you might want to use 3 or more second intervals.  I like this technique because it creates a rough edge/effect to the photograph, especially if not all of the material has been covered equally. This also adds to the distorted idea that I am currently exploring.

The test strip didn't work so well, as I think the exposure intervals were too long, so I shortened it and it worked quite well.

The below image is the test strip, and as you can see, it didn't work, however the final print turned out well and because of the photograph that I took (the water droplets), it created an interesting bokeh, blurred effect which looks quite ghostly. I particularly like the rough appearance to the image, as when I painted on the liquid emulsion, it was perfect (mainly because I painted it on in the dark room, and it was harder to see). You can see the brush strokes very clearly and I also layered up the liquid emulsion, so you get a varied surface for the photograph to be exposed onto.