Winning Lumen Print at National Alternative Processes Competition – Soho Gallery

Ickert-Bond Lab: systematics meets ecology, paleontology, and genomics

Winning Lumen Print at National Alternative Processes Competition – Soho Gallery

Finding another outlet for my passion of plants and photography has been easy to come by, when I came across an ad for a summer course in making handmade photographs (ART/COJO 492), taught by Jason Lazarus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  The ad showed a picture of a fiddle head that peaked my interest, and I enrolled in the class. It turned out to be a fantastic opportunity and allowed me to experiment with lots of alternative processes of making handmade photographs.  It started out with pinhole cameras, and moved on to lumens, cyanotypes, VanDyke Brown prints, just to name a few of the alternative processes.  One of the processes, the lumen printing process, was a natural extension of my research on the flora of Alaska.  Here expired black and white photographic paper comes to life from an interaction with the sun and natural objects creating colorful impressions of objects.  My arrangements are reflective of my passion for plants and the spectacular details plant structures exhibit. Using several different black and white photographic papers  resulted in dramatically different color qualities of the lumen printing process. Part of the magic of the lumen printing process is to let the medium have its own say in how the final image works.  There are many variables that can influence the outcome: humidity, light intensity, lengths of exposure and of course the chemical composition of the photographic paper.

I submitted some of my work from the class to the National Alternative Processes Competition in September and one of my pieces, Bleeding Hearts and Fiddleheads, was selected as a winner among the nearly 800 entries, and is on exhibit at Soho Photogallery from Nov.7 – 25 in New York City. . Of the work submitted, Juror, Dan Burkholder said, “There is a temptation to equate alternative process photography with small, brownish prints of unsmiling subjects staring blankly into the camera lens. Happily, this exhibition attracted a talented group of practitioners who – though embracing chemical avenues long associated with photography‘s early days -fused new subject matter and processes to express prints both beautiful and thoughtful. If this exhibition is a gauge, perhaps alternative should be the new standard.”

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