Easy Anthotype - alternative photography made from flowers | Ben Panter | Skillshare

Easy Anthotype - alternative photography made from flowers

Ben Panter, Alternative Photography & Game Making

Easy Anthotype - alternative photography made from flowers

Ben Panter, Alternative Photography & Game Making

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6 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Coating Paper

    • 4. 4

    • 5. Evaluate

    • 6. Bonus

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About This Class

Anthotype photography is a historical alternative photographic process that's easy for you to do with no special supplies and it's a great way for you to experiment with hands-on photographic techniques.

In this class, you'll be making your very own simple Anthotype photograph, which is a form of contact print that uses the properties of plant pigments reacting to sunlight. 


In the introduction, I reference the Cyanotype Process and Chlorophyll Printing, both of which I offer courses on.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Panter

Alternative Photography & Game Making


My name is Ben Panter and I am an artist, professor and game-maker. My art is photography based and I enjoy experimenting with and combining new and old media. I've been honored to have several artist residencies through the National Park System over the past few years, including Rocky Mountain National Park and Acadia National Park.

I've also been designing board games for about a decade now. Like many in the field, I started out very casually, but have more recently committed to creating a more steady flow of games. I especially believe in helping others enjoy game design as a hobby unto itself, and through my classes on skillshare I hope to make it accessible for more people.

You can view more of my photography work on my website, benpanter.com, and follow me on Instagr... See full profile

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1. Welcome: I been painter and artist and professor and welcome to easy anthem type photography. And the type photography was an early experimental form of photography that was deemed successful but not commercially viable. And so it was relegated to alternative photography, and it's still practiced today. In this course, we're gonna take that process of Anthony type and adapt it for our modern kitchens to make it really easy, step by step and even family friendly. This is a great, fun way to get the whole family involved in hands on photography for a quick look at what we're gonna be making. We're going to making something like this about postcard sized print, as you might see by looking at that point, it's very close related to science type, right, because it's, ah, contact print, and so you end up with a silhouette of whatever objects you put on there. It's even more closely related to a chlorophyll print, which I have another video on where that was putting directly on a leaf and using the properties of light and plant pigment. In this case with Aunt A type, we're removing the plant pigment from the plant and putting on a piece of paper to make the print that we want again. This is going to make for a really simple, hands on, step by step photographic process that you could do right in your kitchen, looking forward to see what you make. So let's jump in, see in the next booth. 2. Supplies: on. Welcome back to this video on Easy and protect photography In this video, I'm gonna talk about the supplies that are needed for this process and we keep it really simple. And in fact, I'm gonna give you a few options of what you could try because I want to make this as accessible as possible. The first thing we're gonna talk about is the watercolor paper. I cut mine to about four by six size cards. You can cut yours to whatever size you want. It just needs to be smaller than the frame, which we will talk about in a little bit. On DOF course, watercolor comes in all different grades and varieties. Any of that will work for this process. Typically, the more expensive you get, the flatter it will be able to dry. But I think this is an experimental process, so anything you can get your hands on will be good. If you don't have watercolor paper, you can still try this. The paper might just not hold up quite as well, but I have done it without it before. The next thing we're gonna talk about is the object you're going to print This is the thing that you're going to end up with a silhouette of after we make the print. In the case of my example, I chose some leaps make for great subject matter. They have an interesting silhouette, and they're easy to find anywhere. So that's what I would recommend. Go out and find some leaves you like. One caveat is that they should not be too wet. So if you've just had rain, make sure you dry him off or even ones like these air getting a little bit dry. Actually, uh, that's even better, so they're not giving off any moisture. The next thing you're gonna need is a contact printer of some kind. And the easiest way to do that is just a standard frame, Ah, cheap frame that you can get from any store that you can pop out the back and put it together. And so the idea is, we're going to be sandwiching the paper and the leaves together and leave this outside in the sun to print. And so it just needs to be something that you don't mind of. It maybe gets a little wet or warped on DSO. Just a cheap frame from like the dollar store. Something tends to work really well. The one caveat with the frame is that you do not want to use one that has U V. Glass. If you're using a cheap frame, it definitely won't have you be glass. But if you're using just an old one from your house somewhere, there's potential for that to be the case. So you just want to make sure that you're letting that UV light through, because that will help the process. The next thing is, we're going to need some type of brush. This really can be any type of brush it all. There's no special requirements. If you don't have a brush on hand, you could just use some wadded up paper towels or something like that as well. We just need a way to spread to the pigment around on the paper and last, we're going to need some pigment on, and I have some easy suggestions and then some more advanced suggestions, and you can pick what you want. So traditional anther type uses pigment from crushed flower petals. That's the if you go and look online for anther type photography that would be most of the examples you find, and that works great. It can be fairly labor intensive Andi, just to find enough flower petals that you can crush to get enough pigment to coat a piece of paper on DSO. There are some alternatives, and in this class I'm going to focus on one alternative, which is beet juice. You could go to the store and for way less than a dollar by a can of beats and inside that can. There's a lot of juice. You can just open the can pour out the juice, and so I've already used the several times and I still have a ton left, and that beet juice has a ton of pigment in it. Of course, if you've dealt with beats before, you know it can stain your fingers and close permanently. Eso is the perfect pigment to coat our paperwork, so that, to me, is a really easy way to get a strong pigment that's gonna make for a good print without having to go through the work of getting flower petals and crushing them, either with a mortar and pestle or with your blender. Maybe we'll make another video later on with the specifics of doing that process. But right now we're trying to make this easy and accessible some other things I've heard of people using that I haven't personally would just be blended up Berries. So if you have blueberries, raspberries, those types of things with lots of pigment in them, you could grind them up into a slurry and then just you want to use just like the liquid part. You want to strain out the solid as much as possible and use the liquid. I've even heard people using wine dark red wine would brush on and hypothetically would have the same process again. I haven't done that personally, but if you have them on hand, you might want to give that a try. Could be interesting in the next video, we're going to look at how we put all these pieces together into the process of anther type , so I'll see you there 3. Coating Paper: there. Welcome back in this video, we're going to be taking the supplies we just looked at and actually walk through the process of using the pigment Coker paper and prepare all those pieces. Let's take a look. So the process of coding paper is really pretty straight forward. You're just gonna take your brush, dip it into your pigment and then coat a clean cut piece of watercolor paper. Ah, and really, the the choices to make here are how neat or messy you want to make your brush strokes. Personally, I like to show brushstrokes quite a bit in my finished prints, and so I don't try real hard to make these perfectly flat areas of perfectly straight edges . But some people like doing that, So it's really personal preference as faras what you would like. And once you have all the pieces of paper coated that you want to use, then you simply need to let all of them dry in a relatively dark area because obviously we're going to be exposing these the light later on. So if they're exposed the light right now, they're going to get to light to see you wanna keep them in a dark area and let them completely dry before we move on, actually building a print. Okay, now that we've prepared a paper, we need to let it dry, as I said, And in the next video, we're going to look at how we actually put together our print so that it is ready to print out. 4. 4: they're in the last video we looked at how we prepare the paper. And now we're going to look at how we actually build our contact print so they were ready to play outside. Let's take a look. So to get your print ready to expose, the first thing you're going to do is to flip over your frame and open it up so you can get to the inside. Now, this could get a little confusing because we're building everything upside down, But essentially, we're going to be placing whatever it is you want to print a shape of down. First on my case, this would be leaves, and you're placing that down and trying to compose it the way you want. But you have to kind of keep the size of your paper in mind. When you're doing that, the next thing you're gonna do is to actually take your paper your coated paper and put it face down. And depending on the size of the paper you have on the size of the frame, you might be able to get to on one frame. You might only be able to get one, Um, but you're trying to compose the object you're printing with the paper, but you can't necessarily see it that easily, so it might take a little practice. And once you get everything in place, the way you think that you want it, you just place on the back of the frame and seal that up nice and tight. That's gonna keep anything from moving around. And then, of course, you're gonna want to flip it over and see how you did composition wise on this might be a back and forth thing where you have to flip it over and put it back and undo it and rearrange. But eventually you'll want to end up with a composition you like. Then it's ready to go outside. And once you're outside, you're just gonna place it in an area that will get full sun and exposure comtech from one day and fill sunup to as long as a week. It kind of depends on where you're located in the world and how much son you've been getting. So you'll know your print is done when the outside colored area has faded significantly on , and depending on what plan to use significantly might look different. But that's what you're looking for. The outside is faded because what's underneath the leaf won't have faded. So once you think it's done, all you have to do is pull it inside, open up the frame and admire your print. There's no development or any washing or anything like that required. One protest is Make sure you keep an eye on the weather because if it rains and your frame and the papers get wet, the results are not going to be nearly as good. So make sure you keep an eye on the weather as well. All right, we're ready to print and hopefully you have yours outside somewhere, getting lots of sun in the next video. We're gonna take a look at the finished product and talk about how we can analyze what we did good and what we could fix in the future. 5. Evaluate: there. Welcome back. Before we jump into the content of this video, I wanted to tell you that after this video there's one more video that I've called a bonus this past summer. I got to do some anther type, kind of spur of the moment. And so I created that into a little project I thought you'd be interested in. So make sure you check that out after this video. Okay? So now you have your finished and the type, and it's always worth looking at them and talking about the things that you like that you don't like things you would do differently if you do it again, eh? So that we can analyze our work on DSO. I'm gonna look at the ones that I made. I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. I think I left them out in the sun just about the right amount of time. I don't think the background would have faded any more than it did. And the color is still nice and strong in terms of composition. I mean, the maple leaf is fine. I like that. You can see the silhouette really clearly, but it's not all that interesting. Personally, I'm liking the one over here that has the two different leaves. I have some pine needles on one side and kind of just the bush leaves on the other. If I were to do this again, I would probably go for a a larger sheet of paper so that I could more carefully arranged things. As it was. There wasn't that much face to really compose things in a very particular way. And I think having larger objects or just a larger composition would allow people to look at it more to get in closer and see detail. As it is, It's a little too small, I think. Eso that's my take away. If you look at yours, you can think about is it to light to dark? Maybe you want to just try something that's a different color. I don't mind the pink that this came out with, but if you're not gonna hang something pink on your wall, then maybe you need to try a different type of plant that's gonna yield different types of colors. So I guess, to sum up, that's really why I love these types of processes. They're completely experimental on dso anything that you see that you're not a fan of, you can try to adjust and change. That's all I have for this video. Thanks so much for joining me and for doing this anti process along with me. I hope it's kind of opened your eyes to see how fun hands on experimental photography can be. Remember to comment with your project in here. I'd love to see what you are able to make through this process. If you have any questions I'd love to answer them into. The rest of the class would love to see what you made as well. Remember, at the end of this video, there's a bonus video, and you can kind of see at a little bit of, ah, anthem type experiment that I was able to do this past summer just for your enjoyment. Thank you so much for joining me. I'd love to hear anything you have to say. Any feedback or questions I'll see in my next video 6. Bonus: - way .