Experimentation: Anthotypes


Having recently attended two different events about the anthotype printing process (a workshop and a demonstration), I have decided to have a go at processing my own photographs at home using these techniques.

After the anthotype workshop, I brought home two sheets of A4 paper, one prepared using spinach leaves and the other using beetroot juice.  In addition, I have been looking around my garden in search of suitable flowers.  Just this week, I cut some red lilies from my garden, and ground up the petals with a little water to make a surprisingly orange pigment.  I now have 3 different coloured papers ready to go.

For ease of comparison, I decided to restrict myself to using acetates for my first anthotype experiment.  I edited several photographs to create high contrast positive images for the contact printing stage.  On printing out my first acetate however, I was concerned that the blacks in the resulting image would not be black enough, so I printed a second, identical version of the image and carefully overlaid the two acetates.

I know from the workshop, that the spinach pigment will take approximately half a day in the sun to expose correctly, whilst the beetroot will take more like five days to a week.  I have no idea how long the lily pigment will take however.  In part, I realise that this will be a process of trial and error.  However, I have also cut a small test strip off of one of the lily-washed papers so that I can keep checking the exposure as necessary.  The contact prints are now outside, and I am eagerly awaiting the results.