Oxford Summer School

Cyanotype and Phytogram Printing

Saturday 5th August 2023 for 1 day — Cost: £52

Tutor: John A. Blythe

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What does a plant-based photography practice look like?

Through this one day workshop we will walk through two separate processes that explore a conceptual relationship between photography and plants and then combine them together.

Though the predominant view of photography may be one of technology and machinery, in fact early photography was much more in tune with the natural world. From William Henry Fox Talbot’s photograms of leaves and Anna Atkins cyanotypes of algae and ferns to Sir John Herschel’s anthotype of a “Scarlet Heath” (Erica cerinthoides) there has been an ongoing dialogue between photography and nature.

Using plants and flowers both as our subject as well as a key ingredient in our process, we will investigate a more sustainable approach to analogue photographic practice. We will explore the Cyanotype process from raw materials to completed exposure, and combine the Cyanotype process with the Phytogram process on photographic paper using our own plant based chemistry, developing an understanding of each medium and exploring the overlaps and creative possibilities they present.