[Alt-photo] the alt family tree

Jorj Bauer 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 
wanted.

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 
together.

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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