Category Archives: black and white

Hand-colouring photographic prints

It has been so long between postings I almost forgot I actually had a blog.  The last few months have been quite hectic but I have managed to squeeze in a couple of photographic workshops.  Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a hand-colouring workshop with the amazing artist Nici Cumpston.  An artist of Irish and Barkindji Aboriginal heritage, Nici has a resolute passion for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the recognition of their various artistic practices.  She is also an accomplished photographer, writer, curator and educator who managed to take a few hours out of her very busy schedule to teach a small group of photographers the art of hand-colouring monochrome prints.

There are many mediums that can be used to handcolour prints including pencil, acrylics, watercolours, oil paints, pastels and crayons.  Over the course of five hours, Nici demonstated her techniques and tips on using the various art mediums and encouraged us to experiment.  I have included examples of Nici’s work, Kate Breakey’s work (another wonderful hand-colourist) and my attempts during the workshop.

Nici Cumpston Leopard Tree 2011 archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Nici Cumpston
Leopard Tree 2011
archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Nici Cumpston Shards 2012 archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint.

Nici Cumpston
Shards 2012
archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Kate Breakey Butterfly from the series "Small Deaths" 1995-2006 silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

Kate Breakey
Butterfly from the series “Small Deaths” 1995-2006
silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

Kate Breakey Still Life 1995-2004 silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil an pencil

Kate Breakey
Still Life 1995-2004
silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

I have included a couple of my images prior to my attempts at hand-colouring.  These are 8 x 10 in. hand-printed silver gelatin prints on Fomaspeed Variant 312 Multigrade Matt paper.

Almond Blossoms 2014 silver gelatin print

Almond Blossoms 2014
silver gelatin print

Under the Bridge 2014 silver gelatin print

Under the Bridge 2014
silver gelatin print

silver gelatin prints handcoloured with oil crayon and coloured pencil

silver gelatin prints handcoloured with oil crayon and coloured pencil

Apologies for the clarity of the above image as it was taken with a mobile phone.  I was quite pleased with my first attempts and I found that pencil was the most receptive medium to work with.  I plan to continue experimenting and practicing the various techniques in the hope to become proficent enough to possibly exhibit some images in the future.

The materials that were used during the workshop were:

  • Stabilo ‘woody’ pencils
  • Prismacolour Premier pencils
  • Lukas Studio oil paints
  • Golden High Flow Acrylics
  • Golden High Flow Refillable Acrylic Markers
  • sea sponges, cotton wool, ear buds and taklon brushes
  • Krylon Preserve It! spray for inkjet prints (inkjet prints must be sprayed prior to hand-colouring to avoid smudging)

all of these can be obtained from most reputable art supply stores and Ebay.  Thanks go to Aurelia and Alex for hosting another great workshop (and awesome lunch) at the Analogue Lab.  Hopefully it won’t be this long again before another post.  Cheers!

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Graduate Work – Final

Again, I apologise for the lack of posts.  I’ve been so busy with study and work that every spare moment has been taken up with other things beside blogging.  So…I’ve finished the body of work that I recently exhibited for the Graduate Show.  This work follows on from the those images (see previous post) that I was working on earlier in the year.  The concept and imagery hasn’t changed so I decided to research photographic processes and presentation methods.  How could I make these images more interesting?  I managed to get stuck in a bit of a rut until I stumbled upon a box of expired photographic paper at the house during one of my visits.  Considering I had plenty of digital images and that decisions needed to be made, I turned a selection of these images into digital negatives and printed them in the darkroom, onto the paper I had found.  Limited to 10 x 8 inch in size, these images became  artefacts…small captured memories of the home.   I loved being back in the darkroom too.  This experience has definitely persuaded me to return to film and alternative photographic processes.  Now that the degree is completed, I’m going to take a study break and build up my portfolio (and bank balance) and apply for honours in 2014.

These are only 3 of the 6 images that I exhibited.  The image itself was only printed at 5 x 4 inches with an exposed black border and floated inside a box frame without a matt.  There was a lot of trial and error in getting the result I wanted with the nuances in the image focus due to the variations in contact between the negative and photographic paper.

Now that I have more time to contribute to my arts practice, I’ll post much more often about my own work as well as other artists that I find inspiring.

All images by Kylie Macey 2012

 

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Favourite Photographers of all time…the next 5

A couple of entries ago I posted about my first 5 favourite photographers of all time. Here is the next installment:

6. Olive Cotton

Olive Edith Cotton (1911-2003) is regarded as one of the pioneers of Australian modernist photography. However, her work is distinct from the boldness and dramatic compositions of other modernists, because it is characterised by a gentleness and tranquility. Her career spanned more than six decades, but was punctuated by a forty-year absence from the art scene. Despite this, she never stopped taking photos. I particular like the above image Papyrus taken in 1938 but she is probably most known for her image Tea Cup Ballet that she made in 1935.  More information about Cotton and her work can be found here.

7. William Eggleston

William Eggleston (born July 27, 1939) is an American photographer. He is widely credited with securing recognition for colour photography as a legitimate artistic medium to display in art galleries. Eggleston has a unique ability to find beauty, and striking displays of colour, in ordinary scenes. A dog trotting toward the camera; a Moose lodge; a woman standing by a rural road; a row of country mailboxes; a convenience store; the lobby of a Krystal fast-food restaurant — all of these ordinary scenes take on new significance in the rich colors of Eggleston’s photographs. He has the ability to turn the banal into something extraordinary, his use of colour sublime. More information about his work can be found here.

8. Sally Mann

Sally Mann (born in Lexington, Virginia, 1951) is one of America’s most renowned photographers. In the past Mann has courted controversy with very moving and often candid photographs of her own children. I admire her work not only for its beauty but Mann works with collodion glass plates that she coats herself…an arduous process where she must work the plates while still damp using a large format bellows camera. She is one of just a few photographers that has mastered this age-old technique. The result is a crispness in her black and white images that can’t be achieved with regular film. More of her work can be found here.

9. Tokihiro Sato

Tokihiro Sato is a Japanese artist who long exposure photographs connote the passage of time, a performance and the artist’s own body in space. Sato keeps the shutter open for long periods of an hour or more and travels throughout the landscape in the field of view while marking his path with flashlights or mirrors causing the light effects that you see in his images. A relatively simple technique executed well. More information about Sato’s work can be found here.

10. Martin Parr

Martin Parr (born 1952) is a British documentary photographer and photojournalist. He is known for his photographic projects that take a critical look at aspects of modern life, in particular provincial and suburban life in England. Parr’s approach to documentary photography is intimate, anthropological and satirical.  Using high-saturation colour film, and recently digital allow him to put his subjects “under the microscope” in their own environment, giving them space to expose their lives and values in ways that often involve inadvertent humour. Recently Parr was invited to Australia by FotoFreo Festival director Bob Hewitt to photograph 3 Western Australian port cities. The documentary video can be seen here. More information about Parr’s work can be seen here.


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Mohammadreza Mirzaei

Mohammadreza Mirzaei photographs with precision and dispassion. Setting up his camera at a distance, he sees and records anonymous people making cameo appearances, alone or in groups, frozen against backdrops of expansive and empty white skies.  The following images are from the series Humans.

Mohammadreza is a Tehran born and based photographer.  He is also the founder and editor of Dide Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to contemporary Iranian photography. More of his work can be found here.

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Ellen Von Unwerth

Model turned Photographer Ellen Von Unwerth captures images that ooze sexuality but in a beautiful way.  Ubiquitous, bold, and imaginative, her work features the faces and bodies of today’s top models and celebrities shot in her signature black and white style.

On a personal level, I’ve loved Ellen’s work since the early 90s in the way she photographs the female form…overtly sexy but not trashy.  Beautiful women, high contrast black and white in a film noir style…what’s not to like?

Her retrospective publication ‘Fraulein’ is available from Taschen.

more information about Ellen and her work can be found here

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Nathan Harger

Nathan Harger is an American photographer based in Brooklyn NY.  His interest in the infrastructure of American industry is what drives his photographic practice.  Initially, he attended art school to become a designer but fell in love with the ‘instant gratification’ that photography provided and instead turned his camera on the industrial fringe of New York and its surroundings.

His resulting prints are usually so high in contrast that there are no shades but black and white; giving the objects of his images a completely different dimension and providing for definition in line and repetition in pattern.

info via Feature Shoot. More of Nathan’s work can be found here.

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Black & White

The images below are a selection of my favourite black and white photographs from various photographers.  They are all different but together form an interesting collection by showcasing how beautiful black and white photography can be.  As a photographer, there is something intensely gratifying about processing and printing your own work.

Photographer - Jana Stolzer

Photographer - Aneta Kowalczyk

Photographer - Mitch Dobrowner

Photographer - Rodney Smith

Photographer - Sally Mann

More images from these photographers can be found here – Jana Stolzer, Aneta Kowalczyk, Mitch Dobrowner, Rodney Smith and Sally Mann

 

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