[Alt-photo] the alt family tree
jorj at jorj.org
Tue Jul 25 01:14:55 UTC 2017
> Chris, The history and family tree is an interesting topic. There is also a maturing of the internet that can be intertwined there.
The Internet is definitely a big part of my alt photo lineage.
I'd done some sun prints and basic cyanotype work as a kid in the 80s.
All stuff from Edmund Scientific, I'd bet. My grandfather - a
physiologist doing research for the Navy - was always getting me great
stuff from them.
Around 2004, I decided I wanted to get deeper in to photography; the
journey led me back to film around 2006, at which point I was reading a
lot about various developer formulae on the 'net. Along the way I read
about homemade emulsions, which let me to alt printing. I experimented
heavily with kallitypes, cyanotypes, gum, and casein. (Which makes me
think I've been doing it for about a decade now? Sheesh, seems like
yesterday.) Salt, platinum/palladium, Chibatype, and probably others
along the way. Somewhere in there I decided I wanted to print on glass
and spent most of a year working out how to make that happen the way I
A lot of the core information came from random web pages; the James Book
of Alt Processes; Dick Stevens' Making Kallitypes; APUG; this list;
youtube videos. I'm a learn-by-doing kinda guy so all of those were
details that lead me back to my lab to figure out how they all work
I don't learn well in class settings unless I'm already knee deep in the
topic. After "figuring out" glass casein prints - probably 5 or 6 years
in to my alt-photo experimentation - I decided to attend a seminar on
gum prints to see if any of it translated back to glass. Scott McMahon,
at Basho in Philly. (Scott studied under Sarah Van Keuren at University
of the Arts in Philly, if I recall correctly.)
Scott's a fine guy and I picked his brain for a couple days. He fixed up
my paper sizing technique while I compared all of his "about this much
goop with that much glop" ratios to the weights and volumes from my own
notes. Ultimately I took away from this that you can do just about
anything with gum and it will work, for some definition of "work"...
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