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  • Writer's pictureEllie Rankin


Updated: May 22, 2020




Recently I'd been feeling rather uninspired and motivated to create work, and when I did I was never content with the outcomes. I partly feel this as a result of so far my work created for this project has been quite all over the place and disjointed, working with a somewhat undefined finalised concept. I have all the ideas in my head, but I feel like when visually creating work they aren't being successfully projected in order for the audience to understand what my intentions are. To get me back into the swing of making work and experimenting with alternative techniques and skills, I thought I'd experiment in the realm of camera less photography and alternative processes in order to make prints. Cyanotypes came to mind instantly when considering what would be an affordable and accessible method of doing this. Despite these specific prints not relating to my overarching theme of looking at our relationship with the digital image, and methods of display, I wanted to initiate this stage of my research and work by creating some simple prints in order to get me in the swing of making them. I used leaves, and everyday kitchen utensils in order to get these two outcomes shown below. I exposed the paper with the chosen objects on to direct sunlight for around 15 minutes, and then washed and dried the paper, in order to create the desired look.

Overall I feel these outcomes are very boring and uninteresting, however I am aware that these weren't created in order to push my work further, they were simply a point of realisation and experimentation to aid in my personal inspiration in this project.


Throughout this unit, (and any body of practical work) I feel as though regardless of what path we have chosen to go down in exploring in more detail, it's important to ensure you keep referring back to the overarching title of the brief. I strongly feel as though, despite this activity not relating to my theoretical side of investigation to date, experimenting within any creative realm will hope to inform and develop my skills and knowledge about the medium none the less. As a personal point of reflection, I need to ensure I am aware of this and keep reminding myself that in these stages it is completely fine (and essential as such) to branch off and try different things, as we never know what the outcome will be. Taking this on board, I went onto pose the question once again... 'what is photography? + 'what does it mean?'

-Creating Cyanotypes through the process of natural sunlight without a camera enables us to question this statement, and allow us to consider what in fact photography is in terms of creating visual outcomes. PHOTO-GRAPHY [drawing with light] Using natural sunlight to create prints and photographs.

-What constitutes as a 'photograph?'



Cyanotypes is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The process uses two chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide. The Cyanotype was first introduced by John Herschel (1792 – 1871) in 1842. Sir John was an astronomer, trying to find a way of copying his notes. Herschel managed to fix pictures using hyposulphite of soda as early as 1839.

It was in fact the Cyanotype print that birthed the concept of a 'photo-book'. This was achieved by an amateur botanist named Anna Atkins, whose work is straightforwardly described in the book’s title, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.




- 'What underlies the visible, rather than to show the visible' -SD

Water=birth..forming photography?

How did photography begin

Rethinking the history of the medium




-Photography being closely related to death.. absent moments that arent there

-Rethinking this, through water and photography - creating a juxtaposition ?

- 'Dissolution out of being' -SD

-Photography is always on the move, to explore/represent this changing state through imagery?

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