Uttermost perversion

An idea I had long time ago was to switch back to black and white film photography.

I started with film photography in the 70th, mostly black and white.

At university I developed film on glass plates in the spectroscopy lab.

Later I met Michel Medinger while at a holiday job at the Laboratoire de Santé (service des eaux directed by Josy Barthel)  in Luxembourg . He made me dive into artistic photography.

As a teacher in chemistry I offered courses in black and white photography, joined the local photo group Flash.

With the coming of digital photography, the difficulty to get chemicals and paper and access to a darkroom I moved somehow away from photography.

What brought me back to photography was my activity at the print museum in Grevenmacher where among the printmaking I got in charge of making plates for relief printing. This leaded to photography in combination with printmaking . This again brought  me to investigate alternative photography as I didn’t need a darkroom.

The latest and I think the most perverse idea is to shoot on film as I did in the 70th and 80th, but being in lack of a darkroom to digitize the negative and from thereon to proceed on the computer.

This offers several advantages.

It us less tiresome than printing on paper, especially retouching. The darkroom work is simplified by using Gimp and Rawtherapee (or any other software).

I still may print on traditional paper (which s fun).

I can produce digital negatives/positives to continue in alternative processes, in printmaking or on paper.

My digitizing set-up:

Top –> Down

  • camera
  • mask
  • glass plate
  • milky milar plate
  • whute diffusor
  • Mcoplus Pro Series LED video light

For digitizing I use a Lumix DC-FZ82 with exposure bracketing -1 0 +1.

The 3 images are combined in GIMP using G’MIC-Qt filter Layers-Blend [Average All].

Adjustments and inversion are made with GIMP.

Classic paper print (probably Ilford RC grade 2)
Digital printout

The picture at the top is the digital file. Looks more or less OK.

If one compares the two print outs there are a number of differences. Comparing the digital to the paper print there are to noticeable differences which one is able to redress: the contrast for the digital is somehow less than for the classical print. Also the digital shows some tint (printed on home printer with no colour management). Both I think may be adjusted by tweaking a little.

The major difference which can’t be corrected is the difference in sharpness. There is a tremendous lack for the digital print compared to the classic print.

To give a idea I put both under a 10x magnifying glass and one notices the difference.


Whereas for the classic print the borders are clear and sharp they are smeared for the digital print.

Cyanotype: toning experiments


Cyanotype which after development was toned with black tea (Ostfriesentee).


 Bleached with borax and than toned with black tea (Ostfriesentee).


Cyanotype  bleached in diluted Rodinal solution and afterwards toned with black tea (Ostfriesentee). (–> Black)


Same negative, same paper (Boesner LineArt224 ) and same sensitizer solution  (J. M. Eder: Rezepte, Tabellen und Arbeitsvorschriften für Photographie und Reproduktionstechnik, Verlag von Wilhem Knapp, Halle (Saale), 1942, 18.-19. Auflage, p.225).

Exposure times vary:  4′, 2′ and 5′ .

Experimenting: encaustic intaglio

The origin is an older (2009) intaglio plate (Zn). The plate produced was from a photography of a lane in Grevenmacher. The plate had been covered with photopolymer,exposed and etched.
The original print was intaglio and relief (2 versions, no edition).

I got the idea to print an encaustic intaglio using this matrix.  Encaustic monotypes/monoprints are well known:






Intaglio encaustic is some technique which I haven’t seen yet.

The idea was to fill up the grooves with wax and to transfer to paper, the way you do it with normal ink.


By heating the matrix too much the wax liquefies and spreads over the whole plate making it difficult to remove  the surface wax. So heat less in order that the wax becomes soft but not runny. Scrap the surface wax away with a plastic spatula, be careful not to scratch the plate.

A further problem shows up when transferring to the paper. Again too much heat prevents the crisp transfer of the wax. Although I don’t think that it is possible to get the neat lines of an intaglioprint. Heating has been done not on the hotplate but by ironing the back of the paper.

A first result from my experiments:


One plate, two faces

My favourite chinese restaurant has several dishes on it’s menu card called “one plate, two faces”. These are dishes with two flavours on the same plate. Experimenting with gelli printing, monotype from stencils, regular acrylic coulors and fluo acrylic coulors I produced these images. According to the light conditions, natural light or blacklight they look different.

natural light                                                           blacklight