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BCA News: Spring 2017

Drawn by the Sun


Cactus flower bisection, (Dancing cereus flowers)

Drawn by the Sun, a show of botanical lumen prints by BCA member Charles Hedgcock, RBP, FBCA, is on exhibit at the Tohono Chul Park Gallery in Tuscon, Arizona.

Lumen prints are a highly experimental camera-less photographic technique that repurposes expired photographic paper that might otherwise be thrown away. To create them, botanical specimens were collected and the plants sandwiched between a sheet of photographic paper and a sheet of glass. This assemblage is placed in direct sunlight for a period of time ranging from 4 hours to several days. The prolonged exposure to bright sunlight causes the silver salts in the emulsion of the photographic paper to oxidize.

The interaction of plant enzymes and atmospheric conditions with the photographic emulsion, along with the sunlight oxidized silver salts, all combine to create subtle colors and a uniquely detailed, negative image of uncommon beauty.

To make the resulting image permanent, the silver gelatin photographic paper is fixed and toned in the darkroom then washed to archival standards. The resulting image is a one of a kind original print of unique elegance.


Amber and James' Front Yard, Denver

AZ (velvet) ash, Fraxinus velutina, Molino Canyon

Cereus cactus flower

Cottonwood Leaves, Imperial Dam, Colorado River

Tucson Yard Bouquet

Eucalyptus leaves, Lake Mead Nevada



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