Processes used: Cyanotypes, Kallitypes, Photopolymer gravures, Vandyke browns, Vandykes over cyanotype and Wet plate collodions on aluminium.
Elizabeth Graves encountered cyanotypes while seeking a simple way to make Contact sheets without an enlarger or darkroom. She quickly fell in love with the tonal subtleties and richness of Prussian Blue. She moved from making jewel-like 120 mm Contact sheets to printing with large digital negatives scanned from 35 mm film.
Elizabeth is intrigued by the way viewers respond to seeing modern subjects printed with an antique process. Contemporary architectural subjects are especially well suited to cyanotype, yet the results often confound viewer expectations of nostalgic pictoralism. In an image-saturated culture, an old way of presenting new things is a useful tool for discussing photographic conventions and fashions.
Although she has a long history of using blueprinting processes for duplicating architectural drawings, she is still amazed at the boldness and clarity of the photographic results possible with the original chemistry.
"At a time when many photographers are limiting themselves to the newest methods, it is exciting to expand my skills to include processes from the past. Printing cyanotypes has changed the way I take photos - I now look at scenes and actively consider which printing technique would best suit the image. It's thrilling to have so many printing options."
Elizabeth can most often be found using an antique camera to record the eclectic architecture of her native San Francisco.