Monday, January 28, 2013

hands on

Today, we left the formal classroom after twenty minutes or so, and went out to make cyanotypes.  OK, we weren't all Anna Atkins, who produced extraordinarily detailed images of algae and so on in the 1840s, but some of the images were pretty good (on top, some lace - following in the footsteps of Fox Talbot; below, a necklace).  What did we learn?  That weather must have played a considerable role in early photography.  The problem wasn't the sunshine, but the wind, sending little specks of grit onto our paper, and carrying off some of the damp sheets.  At the same time, we appreciated, ever so much, that we were doing this in sunny Southern California in late January, and not exactly having to contend with the conditions experienced by British photographic pioneers.

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