This class is an advanced study of photography that focuses on photography as an art form. We will explore more "alternative" methods of darkroom and digital photography to examine the true art of the photographic medium
I love cyanotypes! I actually love all types of alternative process photography. So much of photography is about perfection, and after years of making (or trying to make) perfect prints I really fell in love with the idea of chance in my photography. The chance for something to come out a little different than I anticipated, the chance to let a little of the magic of photography come out in my print. After years of making these prints on my own I decided to share a little of this magic with my classes and have been doing so for the last 8 years!
Cyanotype is one of the first forms of photography and was actually created to make blueprints—architectural drawings of buildings. The process creates a cyan-blue image that is beautiful and different. The process uses a wet photo emulsion that is painted onto paper and then dried and exposed outside using UV light. The brush strokes become an important and stylistic part of the image.
Creative photography will be working on these prints all week in the beautiful fall sunlight.
The Holga camera is an all-plastic child's toy camera that creates beautiful, ethereal photographs. Holga picked up a cult following among photographers and photo enthusiasts following it's introduction in the 1980's. It's known for it's lack of precision, light leaks, happy accidents, and the fact that each Holga is slightly different than the next. The plastic camera allows the photographer to focus on the feeling of the image and the scene in front of them and not rely on the perfection that is so often afforded the common photographer and her camera. Holga is often known as the Diana camera's little brother--Diana was an all-plastic camera famed in the 1960's for it's low-fi, ethereal quality images. Both cameras are celebrated for creating art images with a toy camera.
You must photograph an entire roll (12 square frames) using the Holga camera. You are not limited on shooting one subject but definitely photograph outside as there is not enough light for indoor photography. Holga can take beautiful portraits so don't shy away from portraiture with this wonderful plastic camera. The idea behind this assignment with the plastic camera is to take away your ability to control everything and force you to have more fun with your photography. Allow the accidents (happy accidents) and see what you can create. Christopher James talks all about the idea of play in photography in this article about plastic cameras.
• TAPE YOUR HOLGA, it will leak light and you will be sad. :(
• Holga only has 3 focal lengths (one person, three people, and a mountain range) to choose from but they can help to get a clearer image depending on what you are photographing.
• Holga also has two aperture settings, sunny and cloudy being approximately f/11 and f/8, but only one shutter speed of 1/125 second so you want bright overcast or open shade shooting conditions if possible...and I'm not entirely convinced that the switch actually does anything at all.
• You also have the option of putting your Holga on a tripod and shooting with the B (bulb) setting for beautiful night photography (especially fun in the rain) but make sure it is set to N (normal) for all other shooting conditions.