View Full Version : Rejlander type contact prints?

Dean Lastoria
30-Oct-2000, 20:51
OK, I'm a bit behind in times, and photo-shop doesn't interest me. I have wanted to make big composite prints from 4x5 negs like Oskar Rejlander (Two Paths of L ife) but don't know where to start. I get these lines where I've cut. I've done some playing around, but someone must know where to start. I imagined that you g et a big Frankenstein negative that you can just print to your heart's content.

Yea, I'm stuck in the past.

Thanks for your help.


Brian Ellis
31-Oct-2000, 21:14
Rejlander spent something like three years making "The Two Paths" so it is not a type of work for the faint of heart. However, as you probably know Rejlander was a painter before getting into photography. Once he came up with an idea he would make a detailed drawing of how he wanted the final photograph to look. He would then bring people and objects into his studio and photograph them in the positions in which he had drawn them. Then he cut them out and pasted them into the photograph. When I say "pasted," I don't really know that he used paste but in some manner or fashion he would adhere them to the underlying paper or board. The shadows you are getting result from not having the photographs firmly adhered to the board or paper after you've cut them out. Scoth or 3M and probably other companies make a "stickum" material that comes in a tube like lip stick. You can rub that on the back of the photograph before you put it on the board. It will hold the photograph flat but you can still remove the photograph and change the position after applying it (i.e. it isn't permanent). You have to make sure you don't put too much on the back of the photograph or else it will show along the edges when you stick it on the board. You can also use double sided scotch tape to accomplish the same thing but it's more trouble to cut it and more trouble to move the photograph after it's been stuck on the board. You also need to make the edges of the photograph dark after cutting it so that the edges don't show up as white lines. You can do this with a soft pencil or a Marks A Lot lightly rubbed around the perimeter of the photograph after it has been cut out. Good luck.

Dean Lastoria
31-Oct-2000, 22:45
Brian: Thank you. I was under the impression that the cutting and pasting was done on the negative. I guess cutting and pasting glass would be difficult. This saves me a lot of frustration and give me one of those stories to chuckle about ... going about it all backwards. Thanks again. Dean

Jay Kaiser
21-Jan-2004, 22:21
Actually it took 6 weeks to print (required sunlight), over 30 negatives were used, if you want to print a photomontage like this you'll need to use a mask, like Oscar did in 1857.