This week, I’m going to depart from traditional film photography and post about my experience making Lumen prints. Lumen prints are similar to photograms and solar grams in that you take a sheet of unexposed B&W photo paper and expose it sun light with objects placed on top. Typically the objects are organic materials so that not only does the object shade the paper, but the organic material also chemically reacts with the paper resulting in interesting colors. The results will vary due to exposure times, the type of objects used, but most importantly, the type of paper. Exposures can vary from half an hour to days. The image is not developed, but can be fixed or toned. Doing so will change the colors, so typically you would record the image with a camera or a scanner to preserve its initial appearance.
The first image shows the start of the process. A collection of organic items, here a flower and a leaf, are pressed onto the paper by use of a frame and a sheet of glass.
On the day we made these it rained soaking the edge with rain water, which resulted in a rust colored border on the edges.
My second attempt used more light sensitive paper and objects that expressed juice when crushed. Here’s what it looked like when first being exposed.
The final image has very different coloring due to using a different type of photo paper.
My final attempt, on yet a third type of paper, looks different still.