Open blog and essays

Exhibition

Exhibit your work—pros and cons

Keep your works secret, share them with a few or show them in public? Gabriele Coassin shares candid reflections on the subject after his wife Rita’s exhibition. Writer and photography / Gabriele Coassin, copy editing by Dennis Humphrey I am not speaking on behalf of those who earn their living from artistic production, but of those who enjoy creating works for their own pleasure—an aesthetic search for beauty, or a … Read more

A Gum Printer’s Nightmare: Paper Potholes

Peter J. Blackburn wrestles with the constant quality changes of art papers and discovers a surprise choice for gum printing. Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn “They are not long, the days of wine and roses: Out of a misty dream Our path emerges for a while, then closes Within a dream.” —Ernest Dowson After more than thirty years of gum printing, I am still dumbfounded by the perpetually … Read more

Your Alt Images: They Can’t All Be Good

Peter J. Blackburn gives tips on how to edit your work before showing it to the world. Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn All right, gather them up. Begin by sliding out the drawers and spill the contents on the floor. Drag out the piles from under your bed and then very slowly open that hall closet so it all cascades gently to the floor. Check the garage, the … Read more

When Alt Met Lomo

Peter J. Blackburn tells the classic tale of when boy meets toy, of gossamer wings, and love at first sight. It was just one of those things. Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn You see, it all started at the now and then camera show held in Dallas several weeks ago. I hadn’t been to one in years. Being quite satisfied with my current working assemblage, the accumulation of … Read more

One – Singular Sensation in Every Image You Make

Peter J. Blackburn deviates from the beaten path to briefly affirm the conceptual potential of the single, solitary image. Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn In a few weeks, I will have the pleasure of addressing a conference of educators on the topic of creativity in the classroom. It will come from the perspective of an artist, from my experience of creating art for thirty years. Creativity has been … Read more

Sublime Memories thesis: Cyanotype on bone

Writer and photography / Alexis Bernstein Alexis Bernstein has written a thesis on the process of Cyanotype Printing and Indigo Dye on the medium of bones. She shares her process and concepts. Bones as a medium for cyanotype printing and indigo dying; The strength derived from connection to the environment; And the power of the color blue. Honors Thesis, Advisor: Scott Murphy, Spring 2017 Abstract This project attempts to portray … Read more

Rainy Day Activities for the Sun Printer

What’s a sun printer to do when the clouds march in? Peter J. Blackburn provides a few ideas. Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn As a gum printer who depends upon cloudless sunny days to expose negatives, I am so thankful to live in Texas. More often than not, the sun is readily available here and I can print all year round. Of course, outdoor exposures tend to be … Read more

Tweaks and Twists: An Update Report to My Gum Printing, Part 1 of 2

Peter J. Blackburn updates us on his progress with gum printing  and his struggles with papers. Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn In the five or so years since I wrote an essay for Alternative Photography describing my own personal working methods for gum printing, it would be fair to surmise that significant aspects have changed. And, not surprisingly, many of those changes have come as a response to … Read more

At the Corcoran Gallery – Taking His Time

Writer and photography / Nancy Breslin Among the work on display by students graduating from the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design are wet plate tintypes by Sebastien Arbona. This week has seen the opening of NEXT, the annual show at Washington, DC’s Corcoran Gallery of Art of work by students graduating from the Corcoran art school.  This year is the first time the show has happened under the new … Read more

An Afternoon of Alt Photo on Vashon Island

On a visit to Vashon Island, Washington State, Nancy Breslin visits Linda Stemer of blueprintsonfabric and sees demonstrations of wet plate collodion and tintypes by Victoria Anderson.

Sunflower

Making practice your praxis

Peter J. Blackburn argues the case for doing a bit of casual printing in-between more serious alternative process work.