Alternative Photography Processes You Can Try


The non-traditional method of capturing and printing photos called Alternative Process Photography is a broad field. Familiarize yourself with the different techniques of this genre with these tips below.

1.    Infrared Photography

The infrared process can capture hues that our eyes fail to recognize. They’re like invisible colors that you can only see with the use of a particular lens or special film. 

You can do this process with the aid of an infrared lens when using digital cameras while a colored infrared film will do the trick when using analog cameras. This type is the cheapest and easiest way to try out alternative photography.

2.    Wet Plate Photography

It was in 1848 when they invented the wet-collodion process in photography. This technique is still widely used today.

The method involves covering a piece of glass with collodion and other chemicals. Place the glass in the camera while it is still wet then take a photo of your desired subject.  Develop and print the picture in the darkroom. The technique will give you a clear and ethereal-looking image.

3.    Gumoil Printing

Only a few photographers make use of this process as it is a very complicated one.

First, turn a positive image into a negative one by placing it on a gum bichromate. Next, apply oil paint on the print. After some time, remove the paint with the use of chemicals and cold water. Some parts of the photo will stand out because of the hardened gum while your overall photo will appear high-contrast.

4.    Van Dyke Brown Photography

This analog process of printing does not require a darkroom and only needs a few ingredients.  The term comes from the color you will get after the printing process: Van Dyke brown.

Cover a canvas with ammonium ferric citrate, tartaric acid, and silver nitrate and lay it bare under ultraviolet light. 

To preserve the print, use a hypo solution to clean and overlay it. 

5.    Cyanotype

In the past, engineers used the cyanotype process to easily and quickly replicate drawings. At present, they are used to produce haunting blue-tinted photos.

You can do cyanotype in several ways. One doesn’t need a camera, while another involves digital negatives.

First, varnish a piece of paper with potassium ferricyanide and ammonium ferric citrate. The chemical combination will give you a faded yellow hue as a result. Cover the paper using a printed digital negative or any object. Most photographers use plants. Expose the prints to UV light. You can use UV machines, car lights, or even the sunlight for this part. As soon as the print turns blue or green, wash it. The covered parts will come out white while the rest of the print will be tinted blue.