Giving the exhibition it’s full name Squaring the Circles of Confusion: Neo-Pictorialism in the 21st Century.
The exhibition is curated by Zelda Cheatle, RPS Honorary Fellow, and features work from Takashi Arai, Susan Derges, David George, Joy Gregory, Tom Hunter, Ian Phillips McLaren, Céline Bodin, and Spencer Rowell. The exhibition will be on display at RPS Gallery, Bristol from 9 September to 6 November 2022
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm, free admission
In the 1800’s serious photographers used cyanotype chemistry to proof print their negatives before making silver prints, Edward S. Curtis made some great cyanotype portraits. It is actually easy to make an image with cyanotype but to make a beautiful print with a long tonal range that can compete with silver prints or platinum prints, then it’s definitely more complex.
With the advances in digital technology we are now able to print complex digital negatives that can be manipulated in Photoshop and printed on to OHP transparency film and then used to make contact prints for any of the alternative printing processes – in the past, you would have to have carried around a heavy, bulky, large format camera and tripod to make a negative the size of the images below.
The cyanotype’s here were printed in the typical blue cyan first, then the images were bleached and toned. A cyanotype can be toned in various things like, tea, coffee, wine tannin, tannic acid and various botanicals.
The first row of images below were shot using an analogue Rolleiflex f2.8 camera with Kodak Tri X 120 film, the negatives were then scanned, interpolated to a larger size and then printed onto OHP transparency film. This then allowed me to make a large contact print with cyanotype chemistry. The second row of images were shot on an iPhone to show that you don’t need expensive camera equipment in order to make a beautiful cyanotype print. The last of the images, the pear and the foggy landscape were shot on a Canon 5d digital camera.
Below are the samples that I made to show the students during the masterclass at The School of Art, Architecture & Design