[Alt-photo] the alt family tree

bobkiss caribsurf.com bobkiss at caribsurf.com
Mon Jul 24 11:01:21 UTC 2017


     My "lineage" is much less impressive than most of the others who have posted.  I remember being very excited while at RIT reading a master's thesis on platinum printing by another student.  At that time I was double majoring in Photo Science and Photo Illustration (a. k. a. the creative side).  Then I assisted in NYC and opened my studio in 1974.  While in NYC my former professor of History and Aesthetics of Photography, Alan Klotz, visited my studio and told me he had obtained funding to open a gallery dedicated to fine art photography named PhotoCollect.  I saw many examples of alt prints at his gallery/sprawling apartment.  I also met someone named Lenny (can't remember his last name), I am guessing around 1980, who was experimenting with using graphic arts direct positive film to make enlarged negatives for pt/pd printing.  

     I was always fascinated with alt but the pressures of being an advertising and fashion photographer in NYC with regular trips to Paris, Munich, Milan, and London to shoot kept me from doing much more than meeting deadlines.  In 1989 I had a near fatal horse riding accident while in Brazil shooting fashion.  Seven surgeries and three years of physiotherapy gave me pause to rethink my life and I left fashion, NYC, and photography and moved to Barbados.  Soon after arriving I cleaned and printed a collection of negatives made from 1933 to 1970 and fell back in love with photography.  Soon thereafter I bought some paper and chems from Palladio and began making pt/pd prints.  I bought Nadeau's book, then Keepers of the Light and Arentz and read them cover to cover.  Having a background in Photo Science made it easy to understand the technology, chemistry, and procedures.  Then, suddenly, I discovered "The List" and had at my fingertips the knowledge of all you amazing practitioners.  So many people helped me with so many questions and I must especially thank chemist and alt printer, Eric Neilsen, who I met in Dallas and who, to this day, answers my questions from New England.  And, of course, I bought every edition of Christopher James' book.  

     And who does not owe an enormous debt to Judy Seigel's WJPFP with articles and how-tos on just about every process under the sun...as it were.  

     Over the last few years I was honored to receive guidance from the late Bob Schramm on uranotype and, as some know, did a video presentation for APIS a few years ago.  So my "family tree" includes great books and great people who were, and continue to be, willing to share their hard earned knowledge on this list.

                         CHEERS FROM BARBADOS!

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