Using old outdated black and white photographic paper for this alternative process you can achieve some amazing results using just sunlight as the exposure medium and a plant cutting. I cut a flower, plant, anything I think will be interesting as an image. In the darkroom I get set up. Marks has made a form for me to use with glass cut to the size of the form. Both the form and the glass are slightly bigger than the actual sheet of paper. With the safe lights on in the darkroom (all other lights out) I place the photographic paper on the form, position my plant and put the sheet of glass over the top. Then I head outside to place it in direct sunlight. The heat of the sun will allow moisture to build up where the glass is in contact with the plant. This moisture is important for the color change to take place. My exposure times varied from 30 minutes to about an hour. The amazing thing to me was the amazing color changes that occurred using this process. You wouldn’t think that black and white photographic paper could take on these different hues. Here’s some of my first attempts.
The initial color is quite a bit stronger than this but I scanned mine after fixing them in a dilute solution of ammonium thiosulfate. This fixer will bleach the print significantly so I ended up with a quick dunk in the solution and then into the water to wash. I really didn’t want to change the color and the luminous effect.
The shrimp plant provided a great result for this process. This bush so named for the flower (I actually think they’re the bracts at the ends of the branches) that resemble a shrimp. This one was fixed for just a few seconds and therefore retained a stronger color hue.
The butterfly bush was another great subject. The bush is so named not because it attracts butterflies but rather due to the shape of the flowers which resemble butterflies. In this example the moisture near the stem and flowers is clearly visible and took on a marbled appearance.
Not black and white photography exactly but just an example of what can be done with some photographic paper and flowers, plant cuttings, leaves even fruit.
All these prints were done on some outdated Berger matte photographic paper.
Happy weekend from soggy Florida.