(Photo credit: Nan Wollman, “Two Trees”)
(Photo credit: Nan Wollman, “Split“)
(Photo credit: Nan Wollman, “Spring Leaves”)
Nan Wollman’s cyanotype trees cut across the picture plane like the passing shadows of clouds on a bright hillside. Their isolation in space is strangely humanizing, loneliness being a quality we can readily identify and occasionally covet for its scarcity.
Cyanotype is the technical name for this antiquated blueprint technique. As machine processes have replaced blueprints, the process has been adopted by artists for its creative capabilities. It is a simple process utilizing two chemicals that when combined become light sensitive. The sensitized paper is exposed in sunlight and processed in water, producing a variety of blue hues, that can then be toned to produce a range of colors. With bleaching and toning I rework and reprint the paper for a cohesive idea. I am influenced by Dada and Surrealist use of juxtaposition of imagery which catches the eye. Like the Dadaist taking useful items out of context, my use of x-rays is a similar removal of context, with body parts looking like landscapes, and trees and rocks looking like human forms.
Visit www.wollmanstudios.com to see more of Nan’s work
(Photo credit: Ken Jackson, “On Sheep Table Mountain“)
The need to slow down is a recurrent theme amongst our Low Tech entrants. Once upon a time, the idea of photography as a “point and shoot” enterprise was ludicrous – resolutely impossible to create a snapshot when the subject had to be held in the chair by a brace to maintain stillness for lengthy exposure. Despite immersion in the high tech perks of modern photography, Ken Jackson still finds himself drawn to the tactility of the process.
In his own words:
In the last few years, exploring alternative processes has led me to some revelations about photography, and along some very interesting paths. It goes rather against the dominant narrative of digital photography in the early 21st century. Although I frequently use my Mac and Photoshop and often shoot with a DSLR, I find myself more and more drawn to high-touch approach of alternative processes, and the more elemental nature of early photography.
Using precious metals in light-sensitive solution and beautiful papers brings a kind of alchemical magic to the pursuit for me and I expect to be exploring it a lot more. I believe that the medium, the process, and the presentation is nearly as important as the image itself, which is essentially nonexistent until you express it in a particular way with particular materials and processes.
Check out more of Ken’s palladium work at www.kenjacksonphotographs.com