Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A farewell to...Ljubljana

Time is passing so quickly...but the light falling through your camera lens is even faster. The past year passed with an unreal speed and I am feeling thankful that I have been able to capture some of this moments as photographs. 

The time spent in Ljubljana made me pick up analog photography and I immediately got stuck, diving deeper into the subject. My work allowed me to learn old photographic processes, experiment in the darkroom and enjoy trying various aspects of analog techniques. I feel blessed getting such opportunities.

The flicks below are from the last 35mm film I shot and developed in Ljubljana. Some of this places were very important to me during my stay like the center for alternative culture, Metelkova city, or the DIY skatepark in the former ROG bike factory. Streets of Lublana, I am gonna miss you!

a strange sculpure in Ljubljana: faces swimming down the stream

speak out the truth

table decoration in Slovenia

legendary DIY skatepark: the former bike factory ROG

culture corner: museums, galleries and a wallride

the most unique place: Metelkova, former anarchist squad now turned into concert, culture and nightlife hotspot

the all seeing eye

trash talks

photos & text: David Tiefenthaler

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Psychedelic dreams

My most recent experiment with the Lomo Konstruktor cam included a strange film called Lomochrome Purple. The thing is too fucking expensive (about 11 euros), so probably not your average choice of film. Anyway, it is worth trying it at least once and the results dont disappoint at all. 

The above mentioned film is one of the few autochromatic films still being produced and available. In fact, autochromatic means that the film changes certain kinds of light spectres into different ones. In the case of my film, it changes green to yellow colours to purple and pink colours.

This type of film was originally invented by the US army in the 60s, to detect Vietcong camps in the jungle during the Vietnam war. Due the sensitivity of the film to warmth (and warm spectres of light) they could easily see the camps when making photos from planes. The areas appeared red on the resulting pictures of the military, but there were all kinds of autochromatic films for various spectres and colours. Sadly, this films are not produced any more, if you coincidentally find one in your attic you can sell it for quite good money on the internet. Or you just shoot that beast yourself!

Most of the following flicks were shot on a recent stay in London, where I was kinda overwhelmed with all the impressions, but still managed to press the shutter a few times...

balcony in one of London's suburbs

an abandoned power plant in the heart of London, now containing a big ass museum for modern art, the Tate Modern

Southbank, London

the Hyde Park bathing in sunlight and turning purple

Portobello Road, London

a little bit of chaos in the perfect world of the City of London

by far the best place when meeting all the homies in Coburg, Germany

his guitar wasn't pink when I saw this guy the last time!

one of the coolest boroughs in London: Hoxton, full of old brick story buildings, little stores and art galleries

photos and text: David Tiefenthaler

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Beyond the blues: Van Dyke brown printing

Some time ago I wrote some words on the blog about the Cyanotype printing process, one of the oldest photographic processes. Well, as one dives deeper into the world of alternative photography the discovery of other chemical processes is almost inevitable. A contact printing technique quite similar to cyanotypes concerning the chemicals and procedure is the Van Dyke brown printing process.

Invented shortly after John Herschel showed the world his deep-blue prints in 1842, also this process was discovered. Using a solution of ferric ammonium citrat, silver nitrate and tartaric acid, it produces beautiful dark-red, brown and black light prints. All you need is a big format film negative or digital negative printed on some overhead transparency, high-quality paper, the solution, fixer and some sunlight.

Like the cyanotype process, also here the workflow isn't the most complicated one. Coat the paper with the solution in a dim room, let it air-dry, put the negative on the paper, use a glass plate as weight and expose the whole sandwich to sunlight (or other UV light). Immediately when exposed, the coating starts to change its colour: from light green to a strong brown. After exposing the print has to be washed and fixed with normal photographic fixer for 2 minutes.

A lot of parameters are influenting the resulting picture: the negative, the chosen exposure time, the thickness of the coating and the type of paper used. It is almost rocket science to set all these parameters perfectly. But actually this is not the goal, it is more about experimenting, changing the setting, adding other chemicals and playing around with the whole process in general.

Have a look at some of my personal experiments:

Four mid format negatives with shots from Ljubljana

Print from a digital negative, about 10x18 cm

Contact print from an 6x9 film negative/sunset in Vienna

Print from digital negative enlarged to A4 format

Digital negative from a mid-format shot/doors to hell

I hope that somebody is going to pick up this printing technique, it is not that expensive at all, leaves enough room for extensive experiments and is highly addictive. Sounds good, eh?

photos & text: David Tiefenthaler