On the Art of Photography

Last semester I had the privilege of taking a class with Thomas Neff (www.thomasneffphotographer.com) on Alternative Processes. Ever since my first photo class at LSU when I saw some students with images that had beautiful brown and blue brush strokes I had been DYING to take that class! Finally I was able to take it and it was all that I had hoped for, plus so so much more. I could not have possibly foreseen how much I would fall in love with the handmade organic nature of all these processes. Each and every print is unique.
Before I get too carried away, let me explain what “alternative processes” means so we can all be on the same page. Alternative processes are the processes that were used in the beginning era of photography to produce prints. There’s a bunch of them out there, all ranging in difficulty level and expense. The ones I used to produce my images involved me painting light sensitive chemicals onto plain white paper and exposing it (with the negative on top) in the sun or a UV light.
Salt Print
From the very first print I produced, which was a cyanotype, I was hooked immediately. There was just something about the brush strokes on the outside of the image that drew me in. The brush strokes I created with my hands, not in photoshop. When I printed my first nude alternative process, my love grew even deeper. I loved bringing in the historical aspect of photography and coupling it with the timelessness of the fine art nudes.
This semester, my very last semester at LSU, I will be challenging myself to produce 13″x19″ Salt Prints of fine art nudes. In perfecting my skill of producing salt prints, I will not only be creating artwork that will last for years and years to come, but I will be honing a new skill to offer clients and keeping handmade fine art in my work.
Salt Print


4 thoughts on “On the Art of Photography

  1. Jen, I love these! As a photographer and painter, this seems to be the perfect project! Wish i could get my hands on those products and do this sort of work as well! You’re a great artist! I love your work! Keep being awesome! : )

    • Kristin, I’ll be doing this all semester (and probably for forever after). I would be more than happy to show you how it works. I’m planning on setting it up to be able to do it at home so that I can work around my own schedule instead of the school’s darkroom schedule. I’m also going to be writing a blog on the process for other photographers.

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