PDA

View Full Version : disapearing photograph experiment



sema
02-15-2012, 03:18 AM
Hello
I am fascinated about the idea of a photograph being an temporary object.
Now I want to make a dissappearing photograph. The idea is that there will be a (b&w or color) photograph in an (lightproof) envelop, the reciever of this envelop will take the photograph out and, it being exposed by daylight, will go black before his/hers eyes.
Question, is this possible?
I did tests with developing bariet and platsic coded photopapers and did wash them but without fixing them I dried them and put them in an envelop, when I opened the envelops in daylight, I was surprised to see that they would only very slowly change color after being exposed to the light.
Does anyone now how to fasten this process? Ideally it should turn black in a minute or so!
Thanks a lot!

edp
02-15-2012, 03:37 AM
Do one of those one-year pinhole solargraphs, you only get one chance to look at them.

Newt_on_Swings
02-15-2012, 04:03 AM
Well you could store solagraphs in a light tight box and view them under safelight. The one that was posted recently on apug and elsewhere was destroyed as he decided to scan the image in. The bright light strip from the scanner obviously destroyed it.

The impossible project used to have a product called fade to black where the Polaroid does exactly that. The image goes totally black within minutes or hours.

I would also checkout different brands of paper. Each reacts a bit differently to light when not fixed. Some have different hues that appear, others go darker when hit with a light source. Good luck

jnanian
02-15-2012, 07:33 AM
hi sema

i do this all the time ... and have a whole drawer FULL of photographs that have disappeared .
what i do is a cross between a solargraph, as newt-on-swings mentions ... and a lumen print
you just need a box camera, or you can even use your 35mm camera ( but the image will be as big as a 35mm negaitve )

you take a some photo paper and put it in your camera ( this can be done in daylight, it doesn't really matter )
then, you leave your camera bulb or time &c ... it takes between 45mins and a few days .. and all depends ...

when you remove the paper, there is an image on it ...
it will be there for a little while, but slowly it will disappear ( even in darkness ) - the paper turns grey, and the image just vanishes ...
impossible to fix in a conventional way( if you try, the paper will turn as white as it was in the box.) i've been making cameras
to do this sort of thing for a little over a year some small ( 2x3 ) some large ( 11x14+ ) i have one i am finishing today ( or tomrrow ) for someone
who ordered one from me ...

i mentioned lumen prints ... you can also do something sort of like that, but without plant/biological matter you are contact printing.
you take you "negative" ( maybe a piece of acetate with a drawing on it, maybe a large format negative, maybe keys an change ( photogram )
and you put them on a regular piece of photo paper, and leave it out in the sun ... you will get an image ( positive image if you used a negative )
from whatever was blocking the sunlight ... and again, it will disappear eventually ...

if you are interested i can make a camera for you ... glass lens and all !


have fun !
john

sema
02-16-2012, 03:57 AM
Thank you for all the great tips.

The fade to black sounds good but it seems completely sold out.I will experiment with the solargraph but it is not very usefull to me when it disappears in the dark.

To be more precise, my plan it to add the envelop with light sensitive image with a publication. So people who buy the book (the edition will be 70) can choose themselffs if they want to see the image, but by seeing it they will destroy it, or not see it and keep it intact.

Newt_on_Swings
02-16-2012, 04:31 AM
Maybe unfixed albumen print could be a solution too.

sema
02-16-2012, 04:44 AM
Sounds worth trying out, is this kind of paper still being sold somewhere or should I make it myself?

Athiril
02-16-2012, 04:46 AM
Yes I was going to suggest an unfixed print, though I do not know how fast it will fade. You will want to put it in a black envelope though, so it doesn't fade (go dark) before opened.

The other idea is to make some kind of peel apart thing like a polaroid that reveals the image when you peel it apart, but exposes it to the chemistry that will destroy it.

(such as an unfixed print being exposed to a developer (turns black) or a bleach possibly (turns white)).

Lars Jansen
02-16-2012, 04:48 AM
Hi sema,

This sounds like a great idea to add to your book. One thing I'm thinking about is that as a buyer/owner of your book I think I would like to have the ability to enjoy that image a tad longer. Maybe have the opportunity to see the image fade over the course of a day or evening, or maybe have the opportunity to revisit the image in it's faded state over the course of a week or so, enjoying it for say 15 minutes and then putting it back in the envelope.
This way people would have more opportunity to enjoy the process, and an accidental opening of the envelope does not immediately destroy the image.

Anyway, just my thoughts. As I said, a great idea none the less.

Lars

sema
02-16-2012, 04:52 AM
I did do some test with normal (plastic coded) and bariet papers, it takes approx 15 minutes to slowly change color (a light shade of purple/grey) Now two days after the the pics turned a darker purple but the image is still there, I figur it ll take a week to dissapear completely.
Will this process be faster with albumen paper?

sema
02-16-2012, 05:02 AM
Lars, Thanks. Ofcourse it is nice when people can enjoy it for a longer period of time but I also like it when the image changes in front of you as you were watching a film.
Thats why I would like the proces go a bit faster. (maybe change black between 10 min and an hour?)

darkosaric
02-16-2012, 05:19 AM
The fade to black sounds good but it seems completely sold out

You can try to find very first flush of impossible PX100 films on ebay, they were very unstable because of killer crystals, in a week you get from normal picture something like this:

http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/Attack-of-the-Killer-Crystals-167898038

Not exactly what you a looking for, but maybe it is worth of try also.

sema
02-16-2012, 05:26 AM
killer crystals, I like the sound of that!
but wont that process continue in the dark?
i can imagen the polaroids once exposed, continue going black in the envelop.

darkosaric
02-16-2012, 08:06 AM
killer crystals, I like the sound of that!
but wont that process continue in the dark?
i can imagen the polaroids once exposed, continue going black in the envelop.

Yes, process will go on no matter it is dark or no, only thing that was helping was to peal off back of photo (what I did in this link above - to stop decaying).

jnanian
02-16-2012, 08:20 AM
good luck with your experiments !



- john

cliveh
02-16-2012, 08:47 AM
Lars, Thanks. Ofcourse it is nice when people can enjoy it for a longer period of time but I also like it when the image changes in front of you as you were watching a film.
Thats why I would like the proces go a bit faster. (maybe change black between 10 min and an hour?)

I attempted something similar to this with some salt prints in exhibition and featured in an article “A Sideways Movement in Time” published in the Photographic Journal. I see what you are trying to do and it is an interesting challenge, but I think without some sort of chemical pod that bursts and spreads developer over the print as it is pulled out of the envelope, this will be difficult to achieve.

sema
02-16-2012, 02:00 PM
Does anyone know what the difference will be when I use normal, bariet or albumen paper? (or as a photogram in the sun or develop without fix)
Will the albumen go black faster and why?
Thnx

Paul Cunningham
02-22-2012, 05:39 PM
The problem with photo paper is that it is (relatively) not very light sensitive. What if you used film instead, developing and stopping but not fixing it?

jnanian
02-22-2012, 06:27 PM
hi paul

the think about not fixing a sheet of processed film
is the image will be milky a sheet of photo paper"lumenized"
might take a little time to get an image, but it is well worth the wait :)

of course YMMV

NB23
02-22-2012, 07:07 PM
I see this working quite easily: unfixed print in a black, light-tight envelope.