Monday, July 23, 2012

My Olde Photographic Workbooks

When I was a student of photography at University, I used to make my own workbooks. They were very rudimentary, but they held together well. I made a particularly large one once, and filled it with darkroom experiments with samples and results from my photographic pursuits in alternative processes. This is the stage I began to pursue my passion for botanical photography. 

I discovered and immediately fell inlove with the work of Karl Blossfeldt, which ultimately lead me to a new path. Then, when my 24-85mm Nikon Macro Zoom lens came into my life, a whole new world opened up to me. These images were made in 2002. I did not own a digital camera until 2007.

Here are a few pages, of this rustic olde book I made, which includes some of my notes and hand prints from the darkroom.

I don't think you'll find a book like this for sale in my Etsy shoppe... 
I clearly didn't know much of what to do. 
However, it was always my favourite book because of what was in it, 
and I love the sound the pages make when I turn them.

Here I included many influences, such as Karl Blossfeldt on the right hand side.

This is my own photographic work, darkroom prints on various types of paper. My favourite paper to print on of all time was the Agfa Multiclassic Fiber Based paper in gloss. It was a thick heavyweight paper that was floppy when wet like fabric and I dried it on large gauze sheets. It was spectacular for toning, which I regularly did with brown or sepia toner, and less commonly selenium toner. Sometimes I would bleach and just tone a little back in. I loved to watch the images change colour.

I made my images in the studio on a perspex table top with a large light projecting underneath. I layered olde letters from my Grannie, vintage paper ephemera, and pieces of nature that I had collected on my walks. I wasn't quite sure what my motive was but I loved the way it all came together. I'd enlarge parts of the images and make a new image out of the enlargement. Hours upon hours I would experiment, with wide eyes in the dark. I used to even eat my lunch in the dark as I didn't want to leave!

You can see now where my influences have come from - in the current work I am making.
More to come. x


  1. such a beautiful and fascinating journey thru the beginnings.......

  2. You're an artist after my own heart - a beautiful post. :)

  3. I love the glimpses you offer us into your creative past and present :)

  4. Wonderful to see the things that inspired you to become the photographer you are today. You have so much talent, Lou! xo

  5. Louise....what a wonderful post! I love the insight into your creative path. And Karl Blossfeldt is a certain favorite of mine as well. Your piece posted at the end is stunning! Love those beautiful, melancholy photographs of yours....keep up the wonderful work!

  6. I like the look of this book! It looks sturdy and generous. And some of those pages with the tint variations and saturated tones look just gorgeous.
    I've been following your blog for a little while now, and I really like that each of your books has a beckoning look when closed, a certain feel in the covers that promise exciting inners, and they never disappoint. I'd love to see and hold some of them one day.
    And you have a most interesting, beautiful handwriting! :)

  7. what a fascinating journey! the book looks precious, an object of art itself and the artist's soul seeking for beauty is mirrored on every page.

  8. Exquisite. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing a piece of your journey in following your bliss. Dawn

  9. Gosh, thank you so much friends and followers for your feedback on these olde visual journals. You know I have piles of these things? They became nicer over the years as I learned more how to make a book. I'll be bringing more to my blog! :)
    The joy of keeping a journal is always in the returning to it!

  10. Your photographs are absolutely stunning, and what wonderful insight into your beginnings.

  11. I love that book :-)
    Sometimes the creations that aren't perfect are the ones that we love most.

  12. Beautiful reminiscence full of interesting textures and the endless varieties of the'play of light' on paper. I love the notes and quotes and how all these pieces draw together to make a whole. The creative process is endlessly fascinating and you do it so well. xxx

  13. I'm late but so glad I made it! This was a mesmerising post and I loved every step along the way. What great journals as reminders; what beautiful images, what delights of inspiration. Totally wonderful - thank you!

  14. Thank you so much for your comments. Fiona, how you could be 'late'? the way I see it, the cyber world is on a nontime zone. (Maybe I am on my own there!) The posts are there when one is ready to read them. They never disappear unless I delete them. I so appreciate you stopping by.

  15. Wow that's so poetic ! :•)

  16. wow,this is absolutely incredible. i had no idea you did photography as well. i really love your style, you are like and old soul xx

  17. totally fascinated and enthralled by that dark room caging - wish i could have been there to share those moments - as is reading this backwards....

  18. Thank you for your lovely comments, Malika, Galatea & Alek. I loved this part of my life, I was in a constant daydream. Now, 10 years on, I can be awake and dream at the same time. :)
    I do plan to dust off my Rollei very soon... :)


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