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moon, one day away from being full

was SPECTACULAR!
(98% visible, tonight it will be full)

Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

another good walk

sand lace & jellyfish, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

sand lace  |  pink jelly

oystercatcher & wave rainbows, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

african black oystercatcher  |  wave rainbows

moon & wave, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

tidal

fisherman's grave & oystercatchers, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

fisherman’s grave marker  |  roosting oystercatchers

strandroos & sunset, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

strandroos (or sea lavender)  |  sunset colours over the ocean

These snaps were taken on another good walk, over the rocky outcrops and along the beach at Paternoster, during what photographers and cinematographers apparently refer to as the Golden Hour – the last (or first) hour of sunlight during the day. A time of day that is indeed very aptly named, producing wonderful, dreamy qualities of light. As it’s a grey and chilly winter’s afternoon here in Amsterdam I’m enjoying revisiting these ‘golden’ images (taken 18 December 2012) from my recent travels in South Africa…

sunset, Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa

golden sunset
(and the cape columbine lighthouse)

cyanotype

I took advantage of my time spent recently in the powerful and abundant South African sunshine to experiment with some ‘Sunography‘ paper I’d bought several years ago at the MoMA museum shop in NYC. The paper is a beautiful heavy-weight cold-pressed cotton watercolour paper treated with photographic chemicals which make it (sun)light sensitive on both sides. Sunlight sensitive paper (the cyanotype) was a forerunner of modern photographic processes – invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel and popularised by one of the first female photographers, Anna Atkins, in her very beautiful series of cyanotypes depicting British algae, ferns and other plant-life.

The process is wonderfully simple:

on a sunny day…

cyanotype process 1 - gathering interesting objects

gather interesting objects
(whatever you have close at hand)

cyanotype process 2 - arranging objects and exposure to sunlight

arrange them on sheets of sunography paper
and expose them to sunlight

(I exposed mine for between 71/2 and 81/2 minutes in very bright sunlight. The longer you expose the paper to the sunlight the deeper the resultant blue, but bear in mind that exposure time will impact on the detail achieved, which will also partly be determined by the transparency/opacity of the individual objects used. Cover flat objects with a sheet of glass to keep them in place on the paper during exposure – this is especially important if there is any wind about)

cyanotype process 3 - rinsing exposed prints in water

rinse the exposed prints
(using ordinary tap water)

cyanotype process 4 - drying exposed print

hang up to dry

et voilà!… sunlight immortalised!

cyanotypes

The results are infinitely pleasing, and the simplicity of the process makes it a very rewarding way to spend a lazy, sunny, summer holiday afternoon.

Hmm, now I think I’ll have to start planning another trip to NYC to get my hands on some more Sunography paper ;)

Botanical gardens, with their rich diversity of plant habitats conveniently brought together in one place, are fertile (no pun intended) hunting grounds for colour, texture and pattern inspiration. Although Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus is tiny compared to other botanical gardens I’ve frequented (namely London’s Kew and Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch) it is historically significant as one of the first botanical gardens ever established (founded in 1638) and is no less fascinating than its bigger counterparts (size isn’t everything!).

These are some early experimental shots taken there recently with my ‘new’ macro lens – oh, how I love it!

Twilight, the ‘blue hour’, is arriving earlier and earlier these days.
It’s a beautiful, painterly time of the day…

some of my work, available on etsy
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A couple of weeks ago, during a particularly stressful time, we were asked by our neighbours to kitten-sit while they were away for a few days... turns out kitten therapy was just what we needed #purrs 😺 Today I downloaded these pics off my SLR and thought I'd share 'em here... because everyone can do with a bit of kitten therapy in their lives! #kittens #kitten_therapy #grey #sansa #british_blue #black #jax (scroll right for Jax!) Summer solstice sundowner, 22h05, 21 June #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #sundowner #brouerijtij #beer #ijwit #thirst_quencher #sandy #beach #parnassia #north_sea #ocean #netherlands Last night’s summer solstice sun sinks slowly into the misty North Sea #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #soft #mist #north_sea #ocean #beach #parnassia #netherlands Jellyfish silkscreen print detail… #screenprinting #silkscreen #screen_printing #printmaking #ink #work_in_progress #drawing #handdrawn #stippling #jellyfish #cnidarian #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined -o- https://tinyurl.com/yclpowve Detail of a recently completed screenprint, entitled ‘forest fauna’, on Fabriano’s beautiful ‘Blu Notte’ (Blue Night) Tiziano pastel paper #handmade #screenprint #silkscreen_print #printmaking #fabriano #italian_paper #texture #ink #white #blue #forest_fauna #bat #bird #graphic #pattern #intertwined #organic #flora Jellyfish ascending... #work_in_progress #screenprinting #screen_mesh #film_positive #exposed_screen #printmaking #drawing #handdrawn #jellyfish #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined

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