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Thread: Chemigrams

  1. #1

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    Chemigrams

    People have been asking me about this post in which I described my current experiments in photography, so I thought fellow LFers may be interested in chemigrams, something which doesn't get as much coverage as it should. Some total weirdo has posted Pierre Cordier's article on the subject here, and you can view some of his works on his website. I think you'll agree that it is a very creative use of photographic material (though Cordier himself denies it constitutes "photography" & his description of the process is a bit obtuse.)

  2. #2
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    Re: Chemigrams

    hi cyrus

    i have been making cameraless, chemical &c photographs for a long time.
    mine don't look like the ones you linked to. people don't know how to make heads or tails of it (still)
    before sophisticated photoshop arrived on the scene, people didn't accept any of it as photography
    even "sophisticated" gallerieowners insisted they were monotypes, lithos, etchings paintings &c ...
    now they insist it is digital manipulation

    do what you enjoy and don't pay attention to the naysayers ..

    john

  3. #3

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    Re: Chemigrams

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi cyrus

    i have been making cameraless, chemical &c photographs for a long time.
    mine don't look like the ones you linked to. people don't know how to make heads or tails of it (still)
    before sophisticated photoshop arrived on the scene, people didn't accept any of it as photography
    even "sophisticated" gallerieowners insisted they were monotypes, lithos, etchings paintings &c ...
    now they insist it is digital manipulation

    do what you enjoy and don't pay attention to the naysayers ..

    john
    I've checked out your work before and love 'em!
    Oh screw the naysayers! I'd just love to figure out how Cordier acheived some of his effects!

    Other than appearances, what I dig about these processes is specifically that they "subvert" the idea of photography (as a process of recording external reality -- which like I pointed out Ansel and Cartier-Bresson etc. took as a granted.) Photography is not just about looking and recording external realities but also of creating and expressing one's own conceptions, even without a camera or enlarger. But too many photographers simplyoverlook these other techniques and don't consider them part of photography, sadly, and so end up re-shooting what has already been shot a million times already.

  4. #4
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    Re: Chemigrams

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    I've checked out your work before and love 'em!
    Oh screw the naysayers! I'd just love to figure out how Cordier acheived some of his effects!

    Other than appearances, what I dig about these processes is specifically that they "subvert" the idea of photography (as a process of recording external reality -- which like I pointed out Ansel and Cartier-Bresson etc. took as a granted.) Photography is not just about looking and recording external realities but also of creating and expressing one's own conceptions, even without a camera or enlarger. But too many photographers simplyoverlook these other techniques and don't consider them part of photography, sadly, and so end up re-shooting what has already been shot a million times already.

    thanks cyrus ..

    if you expose photopaper to roomlight / sunlight it tarnishes/ blackens not to fast, but slowly .. .. don't put it in developer ...
    you can paint on fixer in different strengths to "fix" and reverse the image .. to different shades of grey, brown, blue, and white
    in other words, if you had a blackened image, you paint dilute fixer on it and it would do the same thing as
    bleaching back using ferri ...
    you can take one of these unfixable light /paper/chemical drawings and if it is dense enough,
    you might be able to fix it briefly in a very very very weak hypo solution ... only for a few seconds
    careful, it will turn WHITE

    the ones i have made are unstable enough that they don't last and if/when scanned they are destroyed
    they are beautifully ephemeral
    i have thought of coating them with spraymat/fixitive but haven't gotten around to it
    maybe a clear coat of urethane would stabilize the image a little bit ?
    (or even a super saturated salt water solution )

    they are fun !
    john

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