Open blog

The latest posts from our bloggers.

A rose by any other name…

Nancy Breslin on alternative photographic methods being called conventional.

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A da Vinci code of conduct

Peter J. Blackburn on why, whilst it’s important to gather inspiration, you should find your own voice – like Da Vinci.

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Alive and well

Nancy Breslin reports from the annual Society for Photographic Education conference in Philadelphia.

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Requiem for cottage cheese

Peter J. Blackburn on why you should not use old materials.

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Gertrude Kasebier – an inspiration

Nancy Breslin is inspired by the Stieglitz’s photographer Gertrude Kasebier.

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They did the impossible!

About a year and a half ago some Polaroid fans leased a closed instant film plant in Enschede (Netherlands), after Polaroid had first announced bankruptcy and then stopped making their much loved products. Named “The Impossible Project,” this group had the seemingly quixotic goal of reformulating and manufacturing instant film.

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Compelling color

“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” Like Monet, Peter J. Blackburn is inspired by color.

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The alternative niche

Recently the New York Times ran an article titled “For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path” In a nutshell, the writer said that the combination of smarter, less expensive digital cameras, photosharing sites such as flickr, and fewer magazine pages have resulted in a very tough market for commercial photographers.

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My unexpected best friend forever

It’s raining outside. In the past, rainy days used to irk me. After all, a dichromate printer who relies upon the sun as the sole UV source for printing demands cloud-free days. No sun, no prints.

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April 25 2010 is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Pinhole photography may or may not fit into the general category of “alternative photography,” depending on how the latter is defined, but for me pinhole shares the creativity, uniqueness, and unpredictable nature of many alt processes.

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A lesson from the flowers

Peter J. Blackburn on why the brief moment of a flower is difficult to capture in a photograph.

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A Worldwide Gallery of Pinhole Photos

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day was about 2 weeks ago, and Nancy Breslin contributed to the gallery, she was the 3002nd person to do so, and more followed.

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Too Dark, Use Flash. Part 1 of 2

“Too dark, use flash.” Now there’s a photographic phrase which has become a favorite of mine over the years for regular everyday use… by Peter J. Blackburn

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Gallery Hopping in New York

Nancy Breslin spent a day this week visiting photo exhibits in Chelsea (NYC).

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Too Dark, Use Flash. Part 2 of 2

Peter J. Blackburn on: Speaking of flashes expelling the darkness and suggesting two convenient opportunities for getting those questions answered and issues resolved while connecting with fellow artists along the way.

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A worldwide community

In theory alternative photography is “low tech,” although one thing I like about it is the fluidity between high and low. I might shoot on film with a plastic camera, then scan the negative so I can create an enlarged digital negative, then print in gum over cyanotype. Whatever works…

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Spectacular Platinum/ Palladium Work in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area

Alternative printers, especially those working in platinum/palladium, living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can view some spectacular work by photographer, Michael Massaia.

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Food/Art in Los Angeles

I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles. We spent some time seeing friends and shopping (my 18 year old daughter was with us), taking pictures (I shot 6 rolls each with my Zero 2000 pinhole camera and my Diana+), but also managed to see some art.

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Subtle blues: Impossible Color Shade

Elizabeth Graves reviews the first edition of The Impossible Project’s experimental color film, Color Shade First Flush and finds the aged prints resemble color photographs of earlier eras.

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Pictorialists Then and Now

Nancy Breslin goes to the Phillips Collection to see “TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845–1945”.

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What I Owe to Analog

Peter J. Blackburn reflects on the darkroom work he has done over the years and how a manual opened his world to alt. proc.

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The lives of struggling artists

Nancy Breslin’s take on Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids” and her time with Robert Mapplethorpe.

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Film, Darkrooms, and Analog: My Open Questions to Academia

Peter J. Blackburn asks: Why are the academics are removing the darkrooms from education and replacing them with digital technology?

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An app for that… while a darkroom survives

Nancy Breslin continues Peter J. Blackburn’s discussion on the disappearance of the traditional darkroom.

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The Legend of Casein and the Cruel Dragon: Dark Horizons

Peter J. Blackburn begins a dramatic and autobiographical trilogy telling the tale of how the casein process came to his rescue!

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AIPAD Shows in NYC

Nancy Breslin reports from the AIPAD shows where she found more than a few gems.

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The Legend of Casein and the Cruel Dragon: In the Grips of the Beast

The plot thickens as Peter J. Blackburn continues his dramatic trilogy describing how casein became his superhero to the rescue!

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Another Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Nancy Breslin reports from Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2011.

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The Legend of Casein and the Cruel Dragon: A Hero’s Welcome

Peter J. Blackburn writes the conclusion to an autobiographical trilogy telling the tale of how he became acquainted with the casein process.

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The Legend of Casein: An Epilogue

Some concluding thoughts from Peter J. Blackburn on casein printing and a couple of prints, too!

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Entrance through the gift shop?

Nancy Breslin goes to Ireland and London and finds pinholes in the gallery shop rather than on the exhibition wall.

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A Prolegomenon Series for Gum Printers and Other Visual Alchemists: The Enigma of Why

Peter J. Blackburn tries to figure out why we make images. Please leave your answer at the end of the article!

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A Prolegomenon for Gum Printers and Other Visual Alchemists: Suddenly Vertigo

Peter J. Blackburn discusses the ongoing personal challenges some artists experience throughout the course of their career. This essay is part two of a continuing series. Your responses are appreciated!

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A Perfect Day (Except for the Clouds)

Nancy Breslin enjoys teaching the cyanotype process, taking a step back from the “easy” digital photos.

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A Prolegomenon for Gum Printers and Other Visual Alchemists: I Gum, But I Don’t iGum

Peter J. Blackburn discusses the concept of sincerity in our work especially as it relates to modern technology.

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A Prolegomenon for Gum Printers and Other Visual Alchemists: Criticism from a Canine Perspective.

Join the discussion with Peter J. Blackburn as he chews on the bone of criticism!

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Teaching Winter Session, Week 1

Nancy Breslin is teaching alternative photographic processes at the Uni. Here we can follow her five week course.

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Teaching Winter Session, Week 2

Nancy Breslin is teaching alternative photographic processes at the Uni. Here we can follow her five week course. Week two is a bit smoother than week one.

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Teaching Winter Session, Week 3

Nancy Breslin is teaching alternative photographic processes at the Uni. Here we can follow her five week course. Week three had students working with Holgas, cyanotypes and vandyke browns.

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A Prolegomenon for Gum Printers and Other Visual Alchemists: Last Call for Radicals, Rebels, and Revolutionaries

Peter J. Blackburn reveals that stimulating nine letter word for art and offers a frank discussion as to the implications it evokes.

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Teaching Winter Session, Week 4

Nancy Breslin is teaching alternative photographic processes at the Uni. Here we can follow her five week course. Week four and the finishing line is approaching.

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Teaching Winter Session, Week 5

Nancy Breslin is teaching alternative photographic processes at the Uni. Here we can follow her five week course. Week five and the course is finished.

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Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Thoughts on Faux-Alt-Process Digital Images

Thoughts from Elizabeth Graves on why new digital imaging technology is often used to imitate the appearance of old, chemical photography.

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A Prolegomenon for Gum Printers and Other Visual Alchemists: Trying to See What You See in Fringe

Join the discussion as Peter wraps up the series by fighting a border skirmish. Better wear a helmet.

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Putting the Prolegomenon to Bed

Peter J. Blackburn draws the shade with a few closing remarks and extends a personal invitation to you.

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Francesca Woodman’s blueprints

Nancy Breslin visits Francesca Woodman’s exhibition and discovers diazotypes.

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Celebrate pinhole photography!

If you have a pinhole camera, or have been itching to use one, this is a great excuse to take part in pinhole day 2012.

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Pinhole Photography in Toronto

Nancy Breslin chases down some pinhole photography in Canada and finds some related to the War of 1812.

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“Don’t Waste Your Time” and Other Pearls of Academic Wisdom

Peter J. Blackburn invites you to come and eavesdrop on a short conversation reflecting a sad state of affairs in art academia.

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Vintage Prints on View in Delaware and Washington, DC

Nancy Breslin reports that some vintage “alt photo” prints are on view in the mid-Atlantic US this spring.

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One thought on “Open blog

  1. I have a question regarding platunum and palladium printing…
    I am using a 4 x 5 pinhole camera, and am curious whether I can put sensitized paper inside camera and develop a direct positive.
    This seems reasonable considering nature of UV light and use in normal direct print from negative process.
    Thanks

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