Tag Archives: photographers

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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Filed under black and white, hand-colouring, photography, workshops

Annie Hogan

Annie Hogan’s artwork explores the complex and evolving relationships, past and present, between people and the spaces we inhabit.  Her work has evolved out of a persistent curiosity about interior spaces, how people inhabit them and their relationship to the body.  Through saturated colour and skewed perspective she reveals arterial spaces of the in-between that momentarily enclose the body yet allows for departure through open portals of light.

I came across Annie’s work during my research for my own body of work.  As I’m in my graduate year, I have to come up with a body of new work to exhibit by the end of the academic year.  My lecturer mentioned Hogan after seeing some of my preliminary images from a month ago…nothing spectacular by any means but at least I’m heading in the right direction as the basis for Hogan’s work correlates similarly to the series of images I’m currently working on.  We both focus on the domestic interior as a container of time, natural light and the absence of human presence.  The following images were taken on the day my parents moved out of my childhood home.  Completely empty of furniture, it evoked in me a sense of loss as it would be the last time I would set foot in this house.

I chose to photograph these rooms at the last-minute using the only camera I had with me…my camera phone.  I hope to post more images as I go.

More of Annie’s work can be seen at her site here.

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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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My favourite Photographers…of all time.

On Thursday the 26th Jan I posted on my Tumblr 10 images from my favourite Australian Photographers…it was Australia Day after all! The complete list can be see here.  I know it’s been a while between posts so I thought I would share with you images from my favourite photographers of all time.  Some will be obvious, others not so much but it will give you an idea of the photography that I like and the influences that come across in my own work (this may become obvious in later posts.) I’m also inspired by Art in general (particularly painting and sculpture) , popular culture, books (I have a large collection), architecture and the urban environment.

1. Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus’ Identical Twins, Roselle N.J. 1967 was the first image that got me interested in her work.  I also love black and white and the square format, areas that Arbus excelled in.  Unfortunately she died the year I was born…I often wonder how her career would have progressed had she still been here.  For more examples of Arbus’ work, check out her site here.

2. Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall’s A Sudden Gust of Wind 1993 is a photographic interpretation of a print by the artist Hokusai.  I was first introduced to the work of Jeff Wall in my first year of Art School and I’ve been following his work ever since.  His method of exhibiting his work in large scale lightboxes is visually impressive.  More of his work can be seen here.

3. Lee Miller

As her images are strictly protected by her estate, it is very difficult to post images on blogs, websites etc…I will say this though, one of my most prized possessions is a book on her work called The Art of Lee Miller by Mark Haworth-Booth published through the V&A Museum.  Check Amazon or The Book Depository for details.  She initially started off in the industry as a model in NY for Edward Steichen, Hoyningen-Huene and Arnold Genthe.  She then went to Paris to work with the Surrealist artist Man Ray. In the early 1940’s she became a correspondent during the war and I believe this is where she did her best work.  My favourite image from this time is called Women with Fire Masks, Downshire Hill, London that she took in 1941.  You can access the archives of her work here.

4. Michal Chelbin

Michal Chelbin is an Israeli born, New York based photographer who primarily shoots portraits and she somehow seems to capture the essence of the people in her images.  The above image Alona in the bedroom, Ukraine, 2006 is from the series Strangely Familiar in which she has photographed acrobats, athletes and other performers.  In the age of digital, she shoots with film and prints directly from the negatives.  More of her work can be seen here.

5. Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore photographs the ordinary in America and focuses on the minute details of everyday life, unveiling a beauty in the banal.  He effortlessly moves between black and white and colour, portrait and landscape, large format and small. The above image was shot on Wolf Street in Philadelphia.  More of Stephen’s work can be found here.

Ok, so that’s the first 5. I’ll follow up with the next 5 in a future post. Stay tuned…



Filed under history, landscape, people, photography, urban

Mike Piscitelli

Sorry it’s been a while since my last posting.  Life is pretty hectic at the moment but I have an exciting project coming up that I will fill you all in on very soon.  In the meantime, I came across the work of Mike Piscitelli during last Sundays episode of Art Nation and thought his story (and work) was worth sharing.

Mike is a California boy who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade to pursue his skateboarding dream and other pursuits.  His interest in photography and film came about during his time working as a lighting assistant on porn films and the rest, they say is history.  His portfolio consists of work for some very high-profile clients including Quicksilver, Sony, Hurley and Nike.  His editorial and fashion photography has featured in magazines such as Harpers Bazar, iD Magazine, Nylon and Oyster.  His portfolio is extensive but I have picked out a few of my favourite images to share.

more of Mike’s work can be found here.

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Tim Lisko – Shinkansen

Tim Lisko’s images are photographic abstractions – he removes the object from the equation and what is left is a presence of what once was.  His Shinkansen series of photographs were taken as he travelled on the Bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka, leaving the shutter open and thus presenting a series of abstract landscapes or colour studies of the view outside of the train window.  A simple technique beautifully executed.

A couple of years ago, I adapted this technique for a series of images called ‘Night-time Suburbia’.  I kept the shutter open at 2 second intervals to capture the view from a moving commuter train from Adelaide to Elizabeth at night.  I’ve included a selection below.

The best reason to use this technique is the total randomness of the results…shoot digitally to build up confidence and then switch to film if you can afford to do so.  There are endless possibilites with this technique so go on, get out there and have fun with it.

More examples of Tim’s 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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Filed under black and white, people, Photographers