Cameraless

June’s online exhibition features Cameraless prints including photograms, lumens, chemigrams and alternative processes.

Pansies – Lumen by Olive Dean

Cameraless Gallery (Click to enter)

Strips – Photogram by Elaine Robson

New work will be added over the month so please check back to see how the gallery evolves.

Anthotypes Workshop

6:30pm, 11th June, 2020 (TBC)

An anthotype is an image created using photosensitive material from plants – In 1842 Mrs Mary Somerville created an emulsion from crushed flower petals, which when exposed to direct sunlight bleached the parts not covered by a mask and created an image. Sir John Hershel later presented her letters to the Royal Society sharing her findings with the world. Learn how to create your own at home with simple equipment, sunshine and plant juices in this months virtual photography workshop, run by Brittonie Fletcher.

Spinach example – B Fletcher

The workshop will comprise of an overview of the process/ how and what to set up / a demo. Brittonie will then be online a couple of days later to troubleshoot your process and answer questions.

Plant materials – B Fletcher

Basic materials:

  • paper which will withstand coating (watercolour for example)
  • brush to apply
  • plant grinder (pestle and mortar or improvised)
  • seive or cloth to filter fibers from liquid
  • apron/old clothes
  • newspaper/plastic sheet etc. to protect work surface
  • printing frame (clip frame)
  • plant materials (such as spinach, turmeric)
  • items to use as a mask – digital negatives, stencils, leaves etc.
Colour swatches – B Fletcher

Please email brittoniefletcher@edinburghlofi.com for full information on materials required, payment details and live workshop link.

Pinhole Day Challenge – Still Life

Many thanks to everyone who sent work in.

The winner is Graeme Pow! Some book tokens for Beyond Words are winging their way to you.

Beeblebear by G.Pow

…reminds me of Lovecraft-ian horror, juxtaposed with childhood innocence… well composed and lit.

The Judge

Honourable mention to Ali Millar .

By Ali Millar, 2020

A portal to another world – a sharp and exciting projection.

The Judge

In An Instant

May’s Online Exhibition features work by Sheila Borthwick, Ali Millar, Chris Osborne, Mandy Kerr, Roddy Shippin and Elaine Robson.

Polaroid – A Millar

Vintage Polaroids, new OneStep film, Instax Squares, and hybrid images from the Polaroid Lab and Zink instant printers.

Lab Polaroids – Chris Osborne

Lifts, composites, chemical fogs and other diverse techniques are on display.

Polaroid Lift – The Angels of History – Roddy Shippin

In An Instant Gallery (Click to enter)

June’s virtual exhibition will be Cameraless

Coronagrams – Online Photography Workshop

6pm, 29th April, 2020

From writing with light to writing with chemicals, the chemigram uses photosensitive material, chemical solutions and resist materials to form a unique print directly on the paper surface.

This fun workshop, run by Brittonie Fletcher, will add a lockdown twist to the process by using everyday long expired items found while cleaning out cupboards to show you how to produce your own “coronagrams”.


Basic materials:

  • light sensitive photo paper
  • developer and fix (DIY recipes or standard)
  • trays to holds chemicals
  • disposable gloves / tongs
  • apron/old clothes/safety glasses
  • newspaper/plastic sheet etc. to protect work surface
  • a selection of kitchen/bathroom/cleaning closet disposable things for resists

Please email brittoniefletcher@edinburghlofi.com for full information on materials required, payment details and live workshop link.

Chemigram image: Cthutlu flies through time and space by Brittonie Fletcher.

Pinhole Day 2020

We can all measure this day as a win already – because it is NOT SNOWING! (In Edinburgh at least.)

Here is a roundup of some of the challenges we have discussed over the last few meetings – take part in any or all today –

– Make a pinhole photo by any methods possible – for those without access to chemicals LoFi relaxes the rules, for one day only, to use digital.

– Virtual photo walk – make a pinhole photo and a take regular snap of your new favourite lockdown place to have a walk. Send in the photos and the GPS co-ordinates (or address) and we will put them on a virtual map for people to take an armchair wander. [ …and after the lock down rules are relaxed visit these spots in person.]

– process and develop at home – try some DIY developer. There are many recipes for Caffenol out there but if possible try beer-ol – recipe below (https://www.caffenol.org/)

  • 500ml Corona Extra
  • 50g soda crystals
  • 12g Vitamin C

– Most inventive pinhole still life ( there will be a prize – SC will judge ) Deadline for submissions 3rd May.

– Turn a room into a Camera Obscura

– The Cannister Club theme this month is “Home”

Don’t forget to email your images in to be included in the online exhibition and to submit work to our gallery group on pinholeday.org. Work must be submitted to them by 31st May to be included in the 2020 on-line exhibition. (Select Edinburgh LoFi in the gallery group option.)

Coffee on Skype at 10:30 today, and then a catch-up for afternoon tea at 4.30pm.

Next regular meeting this Wednesday morning from 10:30 and the first week of May will be the “Instant” on-line exhibition.

Coronagram workshop – possible date this Wednesday 29th – TBC Early evening.

Lockdown Lumens

We are not sure where the phrase Lockdown Lumens started but there are plenty being made at the moment given everyones confinement and nice sunny weather here in Scotland.

Lumen Basics

B&W photographic paper is exposed to UV or artificial light, masked with objects or a negative until the paper turns a pleasing colour. The print is then scanned or fixed to retain the image. No developer is used.

Lumen from paper negative. From the Lower City series, E Robson.

The Art Bit

As with photograms the composition is probably more important than the chemistry! Inventive uses for household objects can take these beyond the everyday and into the narrative or abstract. Saying that, plant matter produces delicate and beautiful results and negatives of all sizes work well too.

Lumen preparation, E Robson
Tulips and tea, sprayed with hand sanitiser under glass on Illford MGIV paper for a 1 hour sunny exposure. E Robson.

The Science Bit

How do you get colour from black and white paper?

As more intense light is allowed to fall on the paper, over a prolonged exposure period, coloured areas form. This is caused by silver atoms clumping on the silver halide particles and reflecting different wavelengths. As more free silver is liberated by the light energy reaction the ‘print out’ on the paper becomes coloured. First appearing yellow, pink, then sepia, then red-­brown and finally as a purple slate ­gray shade as the clump particle size increases.

What factors Affect how the lumen will appear?

  • Density of objects placed on the paper -how much light reaches the paper surface. Objects in contact with the paper will be crisper so use a sheet of glass to hold everything in place. (Check the glass does not have a UV coating!)
  • Intensity of light – bright sunlight, overcast, LEDs, fluorescent light will all give different effects.
  • Colour of light – black and white paper is designed to be used in darkroom conditions so red light has little effect on it.
  • Time of exposure – a long exposure usually leads to more darker prints. Lumens can be left for seconds to days!
  • Humidity – damper usually means faster reaction time (Refer to John Beaver!)
  • Temperature – warmer will usually result in darker more colourful images.
  • Paper type – Ilford warmtone will give a different colour range to Kodak bromide or Fomaspeed Variant. Old out of date or fogged papers are perfect for producing lumens.
  • PH- acids make the print pinker, alkalis make the print more grey or brown.
Pink (dipped in vinegar) and brown (dipped in bicarbonate of soda solution) orchids. E Robson

How do you preserve the lumen?

The lumen will be fugitive after exposure. Many people scan the lumen to preserve the fresh colours. The lumen can be fixed using an alkaline fixer (such as 10g sodium thiosulphate / 1g sodium carbonate/ 100ml distilled water) but this will cause some bleaching of the colours.

At a previous LoFi meet we discussed “Loomens” – that is using a very long water wash to remove as much of the reactive chemicals as possible. The only dark tank with changing water we could think of was the toilet cistern – pop the print in the back, out of the way of the flush mechanism, and leave it for a month!

Tea and Tulip Lumen, E Robson
Ready for the long wash. E Robson.

What next?

Try Anthrotypes if you enjoy the UV aspect and make your own photosensitive materials. Liquid light can allow for lumens on all sorts of surfaces. Try coating the B&W paper with cyanotype fluid first to make cyanolumens!

Trying this out?

Email in your results or tag us on social media for repost – we would love to see the results.

Check out work by Olive Dean and Mandy Kerr – they have lots of example works available through the links in their galleries.

Cyanolumen, Olive Dean.

Let There Be Light – Day 17

Day 17 – Back in 2011/12 when LoFi was just getting started we did a group project called Time Place Light based in Dunbar using various lens-less photographic techniques including pinhole and solargraphs. The results can still be seen on the project blog.

THE GALLERY IS OPEN (Click to enter)

 J Rowan
Time Place Light – pinhole paper negative – J Rowan