A camera-less process?

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Fernery 1
Cyanotype on Arches paper. 24 x 31 cm
Jennifer Eurell

Cyanotype is usually thought of as a camera-less photographic process. There is also something intriguing about using an old process – and something equally intriguing about combining it with newer ones. At its most simplest an object is laid directly onto an emulsion coated paper and put in the sun. After exposure the print is washed and hung out to dry. Despite being a cameraless photograph, my camera is often involved in creating images for cyanotypes. Both photographs and scanner images have been manipulated in Photoshop, printed out, retouched by traditional pen and ink, maybe even some ‘cut and paste’ artwork employed, and then photocopied onto acetate. Fernery 1 is based on the floor plan of the Hugo Lassen Fern House in the Rockhampton Botanical Gardens – some Maidenhair Fern (no I didn’t pinch it from the fern house!) was lain directly onto the scanner to obtain my initial image. Other images have been photographed and negatives printed. Many artists are using old photographic film as their negative. So even though it may be a camera-less process, there are many occasions when a camera may be involved.

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