Help me remember- prints on leaves?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by keithwms, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I recall that recently there was an exhibit in Virginia by a photographer who was printing onto plant leaves. Does anybody remember that, and have a link or some more detail? I am drawing a blank!
     
  2. numnutz

    numnutz Member

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  3. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Weird! That's like a semi-living anthotype.
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Thanks, I think that must be him, I do remember hearing about it on NPR.
     
  5. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    ...and I can see why, they are exquisite. Thanks Ian.
     
  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Binh Dahn was BORN in Vietnam, but he lives in San Jose
     
  8. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    I saw these at the Easton house last year when I visited. They were really cool but I don't remember who made them.
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Thanks for the references.

    I gave a seminar and I wanted to mention the "photosynthetic" process because most people think chemical photography was nonexistent until Schulze and Scheele. But I am convinced that in the ~2 millennia between the first pinhole cameras and the discovery by Schulze, somebody must have made photographic prints using photosynthesis or bleaching of dyes etc. Not to insult Danh's work, but I think that it shows just how easy it is to get some kind of primitive photo-pattern or photograph without touching silver halide etc. Unfortunately these leaf or dye images probaby decayed quite quickly, so we wouldn't fnd them in the archaeology.
     
  10. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Reminds me of avedon's story about using a large negative to print pictures on his sister as suntans when they were teens

    there are also the folks in chicago (exhibiting in chicago, anyway) who used very large negatives to control the growth of grass on a large rectangle of sod, hence creating a "live print"
     
  11. GCyberfish

    GCyberfish Member

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    hmmm... does this Binh Dahn just lie the negative on the leave, waits a few days, and then gets a positive? Some years ago I had the idea of a process for printing on leaves including developing with a solution of potassium iodide
    plus iodine.
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Danh prints on living leaves by sandwiching the leaf and negative between glass plates. I think it takes weeks to get good contrast. But I think the leaf is kept alive during that period.

    You can probably extract chlorophyll and carotene from leaves, coat paper with that, and then perhaps see an image after it has been left in the sun with a negative for a good, long while or exposed with a photoflood for a shorter time. I don't know offhand whether it would be robust and permanent though, probably you need to at least UV coat it to keep some contrast and I guess the whole thing would turn a monotonous brown quite rapidly. Well... let's see, dried autumn leaves can stay red for ages, so maybe the carotene is the thing to target for printing, rather than chlorophyll.

    Maybe I will try this myself.
     
  13. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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  14. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ah, wonderful link there Heather, thanks very much! Viola Odorata here I come!
     
  15. Neil Miller

    Neil Miller Member

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    I recollect doing an experiment with leaves when at school - a long, long time ago so I can't really remember the details.

    We taped a negative to a leaf and left it in the sun - can't remember for how long, days, possibly. The chlorophyl couldn't react with sunlight under the dark areas, so no photosynthesis took place. In the parts that received light, photosynthesis produced sugar in the form of starch. The leaf was treated - I think iodine was involved - which turned the areas that had photosynthesised black/blue. The rest of the leaf was a pale yellow colour.

    It must have been known about for a very long time before it was used to illustrate photosynthesis in schools.

    Regards,
    Neil.
     
  16. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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  17. Neil Miller

    Neil Miller Member

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    Allen, not such a different approach but almost exactly how it was demonstrated to us in a school science lesson over 35 yrs ago! The only difference was the negative taped to the leaf and sunlight instead of a projector.

    Regards,
    Neil.
     
  18. GCyberfish

    GCyberfish Member

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