In one word, the surrealism to me means ‘dreamlike’. The concept of Surrealist automatism I find interesting. Fellow photographer, musician and artmaker friends have shared the similar experiences, where the work seems to come from the unconscious or even something external. I took this photo last week, and it was one of those moments where the photo seemed to take itself..



Pinhole Camera

I’ve had this pinhole camera kit for months and as we had a public holiday today, I had a bit of time to spare. I thought it would be a fun project to assemble the camera tonight. A project like this combines two of my main interests- photography and crafty things. I’d allocated half an hour to this task but it, ahem, took slightly longer πŸ˜‰

Macguyver would have been impressed by the artful use of gaffa tape to reinforce the cardboard joins. It really does resemble a camera. Next thing I need to do is get some film. ISO 200/400 35mm is recommended.

I anticipate trying out different cameras will get me out of comfort zone and that’s where the real fun and learning happens πŸ™‚



Whilst I’m researching different genres I’ve had them in mind when I take the camera out.Β  On a recent trip to Victoria I stayed across the road from this abandoned building. Has a bit of a haunted vibe, it’s a wonder I got any sleep that night with something that spooky across the road. The sepia tone and out of focus nature of this photo are my attempt to think like a pictorialist πŸ™‚


More Fun in the Sun

I did some more experimenting with my sun sensitive fabric paints on the weekend. I used a test photo negative supplied the sampler pack. More observations and learnings today;

– I wasn’t completely satisfied with the shadow detail on the printed fabric. I had an idea that placing glass on top of the negative might help keep it in place without interfering with the process. I looked online and saw this as a suggestion on a help guide, with a note to use a longer exposure time (up to 15mins) when using glass

– I would have liked to use another fabric, but used calico again as I didn’t have any other fabric handy.
I have since bought thinner fabric in 100% cotton and a silk cotton blend for my next samples. Look forward to see how the dye behaves on different fabric

– I really need to buy more ink as it is being used up fast!

– I also did a photocopy of a silhouette and made a negative using my home printer. My first attempt didn’t result in a successful print. I realised it was due to not having any blacks in the print. My second attempt was much better, and I’ll keep in mindΒ  for next time, another hint I saw on a help guide for this product. Two identical negatives could be used together to get the darkness required for a good print contrast.

-Another note, about the sun! Daylight saving has just ended, so I neced to be more organised for future printing. I thought about uv lights, but the print process is so fast in the sun and I enjoy sitting in the sun and watching the colours appear.

I do need to work on my own images but I’m happy I’ve made progress πŸ™‚Β 


Things to do on a Sunny day

The inks were delivered weeks ago, finally I did some experimenting today. Objects were placed on fabric painted with ink dye and left out in the sun for the colour to develop.I am still saving my negative sheets as there’s only ten in the pack.Β 

Here’s what I learned;

My sampler pack won’t last me long. At full strength I’d expect to go through a bottle to do one T-shirt. My pictured sample is with dye diluted with water 1:1. The result is more pastel than solid colour, so if I want more tone and vibrancy I think I’d be best off not diluting next time.
Also the type of fabric makes a difference. My pictured sample is calico, which is meant to be 100% cotton but felt a bit waxy, as though it had a treated surface. On another sample I did with a cotton knit fabric, the colour result was much deeper.
I also tried one sample with regular indoor lighting to see if anything happened. Nothing happened. A bright sunny day is the major factor in this process!

I also worked out that in future for the best result the objects (or photo negative) will need to be firm against the fabric with no gaps for light to leak in.

I’m pleased to say this process does feel straightforward and also feels suitable for my project.

My next step is some more research into cyanotypes and inversing my images for printing.

Fun times πŸ™‚


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