I’ve never had much of a green thumb but I was the daughter of two fabulous gardeners who maintained beautiful gardens. I used to photograph the flowers with my little Brownie camera and eventually progressed to my film and digital SLRs. Since I discovered lumen printing, it has become my favorite form of photographing botanical material. The process enables me to capture the essence of the subject matter as something that sometimes resembles it, but quite often produces an image that is abstract. The end result seldom resembles my original plan, which can make the process magical and frustrating.
This page showcases a small sampling of my traditional and alternative printing art.
- In my studio, you can purchase:
- Original lumen prints; print sizes range from 5×7 to 16×20
- Lumen reprints: 5×7 prints of selected pieces; enlargements available upon request.
- Hand-printed black & white prints on fiber-based photographic paper; print sizes range from 8×10 to 16×20.
- If you don’t live in the Houston area or cannot visit the studio, you can purchase black & white reprints in a variety of sizes on archival fiber paper from my SmugMug website. To purchase original works or limited prints that you find on the SmugMug website, or this website, contact me.
You can also purchase some of these prints on note cards.
Lumen Print Photography
Lumen print photography uses the sun or similar light source to create a print of the subject matter on semi-matt, glossy, art, or other fiber photographic paper. The print is then processed in a traditional darkroom where the image is made permanent by immersion in a photographic fixer. A 30-minute water bath then clears the fixer from the print, and then the print is hand-toned in a selenium or gold solution.
I’ve posted low-resolution samples of my lumen prints here, but you can view more of them prints in the lumen print section of my SmugMug website. To purchase an original print, contact me at MelodyLockeArt@gmail.com.
Gelatin Silver Print Photography
The gelatin silver process was developed in the 19th-century shortly after the Civil War and is a monochrome imaging process based on the light sensitivity of silver halides.
An enlarger projects light through the image of a negative onto photographic paper, which produces a latent image on the paper. The image is processed by immersing the paper in photographic developer, halting the development with a stop bath, and fixing the image in a photographic fixer. The print is then washed to remove the processing chemicals.
At this point, there’s a photographic print. However, following the wash process, I immerse the print in either a gold or selenium solution to increase its tonal depth and archival quality.
You can find more examples of my B&W and infrared gelatin silver prints in the film section of my SmugMug website.