jay besemer - gorgeous hybrids and recombinant poetry

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts

Four Tips for Working with Editors
I am guest-editing a special issue of NERVE LANTERN with Joel Allegretti!
Register for My Four-Week Poetry Class at Spudnik Press; In Conjunction with Printer's Ball 2015 PUSH & PULL !
New Interview up at Rain Taxi (and a review I wrote, too)
David London's Magic Outside The Box in Chicago - April 22, 2014!


"silicone" vs. "silicon"
Absinthe & Zygote Series
adrienne dodt
All Movies Love the Moon
alternative markets
Andrew J. Robinson
Ann Liv Young
AnySquared Projects
art education
art for you to do
art history
art market
art practice: issues and challenges
Aster to Daylily
Black Took Collective
Borderbend Arts Collective
Brooklyn Arts Press
calls for work
calls for work/artists
canal project
card deck book
cean gamalinda
Chad Chmielowicz
chicago artists, chicago galleries, art practice, art marketing
chicago calling arts festival
Chicago Calling Arts Festival 2012
christine mcnair
city lit books
City Structures
collage poetry
colleagues and collaborators
community-supported arts
Convulsive Editions
crowdsourcing arts funding
Damask Press
david london
Dawn Lundy Martin
double exposure
Drunken Boat
Duriel E. Harris
Etc. Gallery
Frank Goldberg
Galen Beebe
Gary Clean Water Celebration 2013
gary, indiana
getting involved
gregory robinson
history of literature
Images Gallery Collective
Impossible Project
j/j hastain
jay besemer
jen besemer
jen besemer, david london
joel allegretti
John West
Kiss List
lake michigan shore
Laura Goldstein
lew welch
Liana Katz
lincoln square
logan square
magic chicago
magus magnus
mess hall
Michael Anichini
michelle naka pierce
Miguel Gutierrez
my books
Myopic Poetry Series
Nathan Hoks
Nerve Lantern: Axon of Performance Literature
nicholas alexander hayes
Object With Man's Face
Outlaw Production Collective
photo transfers
poetry business
poetry market
Polaroid Big Swinger
Polaroid Spectra
Printer's Ball 2015
process notes
Pyriform Press
Rain Taxi
Rain Taxi Ohm Editions
Red Rover Series
reviews of jen besemer
richard fox
robert mcdonald
Ronaldo V. Wilson
Rose Metal Press
Russ Woods
seventh annual chicago calling arts festival
Small Press Distribution
Sophie Grimes
SPD Recommends
spudnik annex
spudnik press cooperative
Stage 773
studio visit
the book cellar
The Next Big Thing project
The Querist of Forms
Toby Altman
Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics
upcoming events
video poems
visual poetry
Web-based art
works in progress
yoko ono


June 2015
May 2015
August 2014
April 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
February 2012
January 2012
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011

powered by

The Querist of Forms

more sun stuff: advanced solar printing

Yesterday, I wrote about how to make photograms using paper treated with UV-sensitive cyanotype emulsion, available from various manufacturers.  Now I'd like to share some ideas for how to take that process a little further, by using the same paper to create a more traditional photographic image.  I'll be showing you two very similar processes using inkjet-printer transparencies.  One procedure creates a print with inverted values--like a photonegative.  The other procedure uses a negative transparency and produces a fine blue-as-blue-can-be photo print.  Both are amazingly cool, especially when you make a pair of the same image, positive and negative views, and present them together!

What it Looks Like

First I'd like to show you a series of images which will help the later descriptions and directions make more sense.  Here is a digital photograph that should be easily recognizable from this site!
I chose this image to work with because it's one of my favorites, but there's another reason. This was photographed in the Garfield Park Conservatory, and the light was so peculiar that day that it interacted with the dusty/waxy coating of the agave leaves and made the plant look both transparent and solarized.  The result is that it's difficult to decide whether this is a positive or negative! What do you think?

Because the transparency made from this image looks no different from what you see, I won't share that one.  But here is the solar print I made using the transparent version:

Notice how the vertical orientation is reversed here--the print image is flipped along the vertical axis so that what was on the left side in the original digital photo is now on the right.  Because the print is made from a transparency, it can easily be made to match the original orientation.  Just put the transparency against the paper "backwards."

Now here's an image of the "negative" I made by scanning the positive transparency and using my scanner menu choices to invert the colors (in this case, values) in the scanned image:

Eerie, isn't it?  It's still hard to tell which is the positive--is it the positive or the negative?

Well, before we burn our brains too much trying to figure that one out, let's look at the print that resulted from exposure with this negative transparency.

Cool!  One thing you've probably noticed about both the cyanotypes is that they are smaller than the original photo and the transparency.  Partly that has to do with the image size settings on the original vs. those on the actual transparency, and partly it's the way the web design software standardizes image sizes.  But the fat blue borders on the prints are there only because I printed the transparencies at a smaller image size than the original photo. Not all such prints have them.

How it's Done
You'll need the same basic supplies as listed in the previous post, with these additions:
  • A computer with photo software and printer (inkjet or laser are both fine). A scanner is optional, depending on your photo software. The scanner may allow you to invert an image when your photo software might not.
  • Transparency sheets for use with your kind of printer.
  • A digital photograph, either your own or one from the Web.  Please note that, for the most part, people (like me) who have copyrighted images of our own creation easily located through a simple search do not enjoy it when others use those images without permission and claim the results as their own. Be careful when choosing images.  If you want to work with an image made by someone else, try to use something in the public domain, or email the creator of the image to see if you can get permission.  Just because something's on the Web does NOT mean it is in the public domain.  Honestly, it's easier if it's your own image!
  • Scissors or a paper cutter to trim the transparencies to a more convenient size, if desired.

Once you've got all your gear together, you can start on the fun.
Making the Positive Transparency
  1. Get your chosen image up on screen.  Check its image size (not the file size; I'm talking about the actual inch/centimetre dimensions of your photo) and make sure it is not too big for your paper!
  2. If the photo is in color, convert it to black and white using your photo software.  This helps to improve the print results by simplifying the visual info.  If you think the black and white version looks "washed out" or dull, increase the contrast using your software.
  3. Pull out a transparency sheet and load it into your printer according to the directions on the package (and your printer--especially in terms of the orientation of the sheet!  I wasted several sheets before I remembered that one side is coated so the ink will stick, and it had to be loaded upside down and backwards.)
  4. Open the print dialog box to specify the media used to print on.  My printer driver software makes me access this via the button labeled "properties," but printers all vary.  You want to make sure you tell the printer that you're using transparencies, and many printers will have your actual brand of transparency there for the clicking!  If not, you can always choose the "other transparency film" option.
  5. Print!  You'll want to wait for the ink to dry before you try to trim it or use it to make a solar print, though.  The ink stays sticky for quite a while.
Making the Negative Transparency
  1. As with step 1 above, you'll want to keep that image file open.   Check to see whether your photo software will allow you to invert the values or create a negative.  If so, click "save as" to create a new version, and before you click "save" that second time, rename the file to something you'll recognize as the negative version of the first image. Then repeat steps 2-5 above.
  2. If not, you'll need a scanner or a copier that will allow you to create a negative.  Before you scan or copy the first transparency, however, be sure it's dry! (This part is more vaguely outlined because scanners and options vary so widely.) Basically, what you need to do is to scan or copy the first transparency and then use the scanner or copier controls (or software) to invert the values and create a negative.  
  3.  If you're using a scanner, you'll probably want to save the new scan so you can use it again. After this, all you have to do is print to transparency once more, or, if using a copier, copy to transparency.
  4. As with the first transparency, wait till it's dry before trimming and printing from it!
Making the "Negative" Print
  1. Pull out your first transparency--the one that looks normal. Put it between the paper and the glass/plexi, or load up your contact print frame.
  2. Follow the same exposure, rinsing and drying directions given in the previous post. Note: Sometimes, transparencies containing lots of dark regions will want a few more seconds of exposure, but remember, the optimal exposure is two minutes.
  3. The print you get from this exposure will look like a negative of the original image.
Making the "Positive" Print
Use your second transparency.  Follow all the same directions above, and enjoy the results!  Put them side by side and see what you notice in the negative print that you miss in the positive!


Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint