Tag Archives: Silver Photography

Artifacts Unplugged

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Art has many levels many ways a viewer can experience the objects… but for the artist  some art is part of a metaphysical journey, a way to transcend life.

Peace… Happy Friday!

( DVD rec. LOVEJOY first season a antiquing sleuth – no fav yet just picked up toady!)

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Weekly Gallery Chat – Cyanotypes

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Cyanotypes were used in the early days of photography, they are a blue (cyan) based form of  photography common in the 1800’s. The process today, is sometimes used in blueprints for architectural /engineering purposes.

Using blueprint paper and an ammonia ( very toxic) fume process you can produce stark images. I  have used the technique and it is easy and fun although the fume issue is not to be taken lightly. 

Using the sun as your source of light that will strike the emulsion on the blueprint paper, (when I work with this process I do everything outside), you get a shadow image but with detail in and around the object.

Below is a series of prints by Anna Atkins, a pioneer in this technique and photography,

Have a blue tinted night!

From Wikipedia below,


Anna Atkins algae

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print. The process was popular in engineering circles well into the 20th century. The simple and low-cost process enabled them to produce large-scale copies of their work, referred to as blueprints. Two chemicals are used in the process:


The English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered this procedure in 1842.[1] Even though John Herschel is perhaps the inventor of the cyanotype process, Anna Atkins actually brought this to photography. She created a limited series of cyanotype books that documented ferns and other plant life. By using this process, Anna Atkins is regarded as the first female photographer[2].


Images Courtesy of Google

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Wednesday Night Flash Story (“Blonde and sweet,” Just take your coffee Sam, and next time, ask for cream and sugar will ya, please?”) For All The Workers Of The World.

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”


( A serial flash story)




” You have fifteen minutes,” Sandra said.  ” Before the soiree begins… then they will be all over us  like a monarch butterfly on a milkweed pod.”

Artell didn’t know who she feared most, the impending military brigade, or the strange ships gliding into the valley.  She scanned the area making sure to keep herself hidden.

The two largest ships were long and shaped like a tube, resting on legs that protruded from the craft.  Adjacent to them were three traditional looking saucers.  They were shaped like a mexican sombrero with pulsating lights of green and red circling counter-clockwise.  The last three ships were triangular with blue flashing lights skirting the lip of the ships.  Two of the triangular ships hovered above, while a third ship remained stuck.  Mild waves were being released from the base of the hovering ships, producing slight vibrations in the ship below.

Sandra pointed to the right side of the valley.  ” Look over there.”

Artell saw a group of figures.  Some were tall and thin with yellow skin, others had short bodies and small heads covered with blue-grey skin and gills with a reddish tinge.  The rest were similar to the creatures they encountered in the forest.  All were engaged in discussions.  She raised her camera and checked the adjustments.  The eyepiece slid against moist skin settling into her eye socket.  Searching for the best view, she stumbled over the rocks until she found an opening that encompassed the developing scene.

Artell lay on her abdomen and started filming.  The whirring of the camera matched the volume of thoughts that folded into her head.  Time was flickering  in and out of reality.  She thought deeply,  maybe for the first time in her life.  ‘ Would the human race be able to face the challenge, or was this the cusp of life as we know it?”  The camera whirred.

” Artell, let’s go.”

The thumping of boots against mud filled the air.

The camera kept filming.

Artell could hear her friend fighting and yelling.  The camera filmed.

Gloved hands grasped her shoulders.  Artell pushed the digital send button on the video. ‘ Neil will be getting quite a surprise when he opens his email,’   She thought as a cloud of black descended over her vision.



to be continued…






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Friday Night Gallery Chat – Irving Penn – Photgrapher

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”


Good Evening,

Tonight I want to talk about a photographer who died recently.  His name is Irving Penn, He was 92 when he died, he left a serious and engaging body of work.  You cannot really understand the difference between digital and silver photography unless you go to a gallery or museum and look at photographs produced in this fashion.  There is beauty and  luminosity in silver photography that is lost in the flat computerized imagining of digital photography.

Because of the silver halide crystals that are the base of silver photography and the light that reflects through them to create the image  – your eye sees a layered somewhat mystical presentation.

In the NY Times obituary it stated that Mr. Penn used a turn of the century technique employing rare chemicals mixed with platinum not silver and that he hand coated each print using a single hand made piece of paper.

His work is exceptional, taking the shot is just the beginning of what a photograph can become.


Here is an example,


Have a bake a few cakes weekend! 


  Irving Penn from Google Images

Early career – FROM WIKIPEDIA

Irving Penn studied under Alexey Brodovitch at the Philadelphia Museum School from which he graduated 1938. Penn’s drawings were published by Harper’s Bazaar and he also painted. As his career in photography blossomed, he became known for post World War II feminine chic and glamour photography.

Penn worked for many years doing fashion photography for Vogue magazine. He was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop and used this simplicity more effectively than other photographers. Expanding his austere studio surroundings, Penn constructed a set of upright angled backdrops, to form a stark, acute corner. Posing his subjects within this tight, unorthodox space, Penn brought an unprecedented sense of drama to his portraits, driving the viewer’s focus onto the person and their expression. In many photos, the subjects appeared wedged into the corner. Subjects photographed with this technique included Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, W. H. Auden, Igor Stravinsky and Marlene Dietrich.



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