Liquid Light

Throughout this project we have been experimenting with different forms of photography and printing processes. We experimented with textiles and embroidery, silkscreening, montaging and story boards, but my favourite experiment was printing using liquid light. Not only did I love the process of hand developing the images, I love the gritty textures you get and the control you have over how developed/what parts of the image are developed. I like the dark tones you can create and the way that the textures and brush strokes establish a certain mood within the image. It is also incredibly versatile, printing is feasible on nearly any flat surface.

The use of light emulsion is something that I want to do for my images in this project, due to this I tried to find artist and photographers who also use this process. This task was hard as I struggled to find artists that develop their images using light emulsion. I also found it difficult to find much on the history of this process. In saying this, I did manage to come across some liquid light images that inspired me.

Ceyda Hall- Digital Light Emulsion Print.
Kathy Tackett
JP Sutcliffe.
Pol Godelaine: Eve – Liquid emulsion print

To me these image show the ways you can experiment with light emulsion, they demonstrate the control you have over how many layers you use and how you apply the liquid light. I like that parts of the image are darker and have varying tones, and that you can see the brush stroke. The images feel personal and I think that light emulsion process make the images deeper and more intense. This is something I want to explore in my own work.

Chatham- Liquid Light. 5×4 neg. 

This image demonstrates my own initial experiment with liquid light and how I learnt the process.

When researching the process I came across I piece of work named ‘The Great Picture.’ ‘The Great Picture’ is a huge experiment that was created in 2006, and as of 2007 it hold the ‘Guinness World Record’ for largest photographic picture ever made. The piece was creating by a huge team of people including 6 artists and approximately 400 assistants.An extensive list of equipment was needed to create this image, including the world largest pinhole camera. The picture was created using an extreme version of the liquid light process. It took 24,000 square ft of six mil black visqueen, 1300 gallons of foam gap filler, 1.5 miles of 2 inch wide black ‘Gorilla Tape’, 150L of black spray paint to make the hangar light tight and 80L of light emulsion to coat and make light sensitive a seamless piece of Muslin cloth. The cloth was then hung from the ceiling 80ft from the record breaking pinhole camera, and an upside down, flipped, image of El Toro Marine Corps Air Station appeared. The image was then developed by 80 volunteers, and olympic swimming pool of developer and 4500L of fixer. The enormous process was then completed by washing the image with fire hoses, the finished print is 34mX9.8m.

I chose this extreme example to look at to express just how much you can experiment with this process and how versatile your prints can be. The experimental factor is something I will consider in my project. I will also my inspired by the textures and mood you can create within the images.


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