Botanical Portraits: Captured by Camera and Camera-less Processes
As an avid gardener, I have the daily opportunity throughout the year here in San Diego to tend to a garden of flowers and vegetables. My subjects for the portrait series have been most cooperative. I feed and water them…they pose for me.
Even though have a well outfitted darkroom studio, I still feel the need occasionally to get down and really handle my “subjects” using alternative photographic processes, such as “Lumen Printing”. It is not as tidy or neat a process as placing film in a film holder and exposing photographic paper or using digital capture, but very satisfying in a more primitive way. The lumen process requires the use of the sun’s UV rays to create imprints on black and white photographic paper. This is called a “camera-less” process.
Sometimes my floral subjects are somewhat elusive, blooming only at night under a full moon. Photographing the Night Blooming Cereus in the dark is a challenge. No sun to show their delicate beauty. The need to use artificial lighting to capture their languid blooming process offers an opportunity to create some drama in their life cycle. The whole blooming process takes about one hour. By morning the blooms are limp and forlorn looking.
Without Camera: Lumen Prints