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#PrintParteh – In review

On January 25, I announced the #printparteh hashtag and the associated print party that was to take place on Twitter from March 5 to April 1, 2018. In this post, we will have a look at the outcome and summarize what people contributed and learned. What better way to summarize a bunch of Tweets than a curated set of Tweet? I have embedded the originals below, so feel free to click and read the entire thread back on Twitter. In my opinion, this set provides a nice — but far from complete — overview of all the contributions. If you are reading this and cannot find your own, don’t worry! Unfortunately I cannot show everything, but your contribution is very much appreciated.

Header image by Juan Cabezas de Herrera

Newbies and gurus attended alike

The party saw printers from all levels come and go. Some had never printed before and had to start from scratch. Some of them didn’t even have regular trays yet and had to make due with tiny prints in tiny trays.

For some of the new kids to the block, #printparteh was a good reason to buy an enlarger, and build their own darkroom at home, or to finish it in time and finally have an excuse to use it. More often than not, a bathroom or laundry room was converted into a workable darkroom, with windows blinded off and gaps in closets made light proof.

Others were more advanced, and focused on the more detail oriented tasks, such as spotting prints before sending it out to a show. Although a tedious task for most, you get to wear sexy head wear as demonstrated by @ClickErik:

Or as in my case, to matting prints:

Failures and triumphs

Printing is riddled with failures and triumphs, no matter whether you have 25 years of darkroom experience or have just started out. Julo for example, had lamps blow, and sometimes images barely showing.

Ashley was caught by a print losing it sparkly due to the dry down effect

Monika, on the other hand, had to beat a print into submission after plaguing her for a while.

Alternative printing techniques aplenty

A bit surprisingly, #printparteh saw its fair share of alternative printing techniques, and cyanotypes in particular. It makes for nice prints without the need for an enlarger, and gives plenty of opportunities for experimentation.

Joe Cunningham was one of the people leading the charge, and went from

via this

to this, in a matter of a few weeks:

Joe was not alone in his journey with cyanotype, and was quickly joined by for example Monika, David and Ben:

To me the brush strokes and uneven edges give an extra touch to these portraits. Toby showed us you don’t have to limit yourself to a paper base either. Tiles seem to work just as well:

Andrew Bartram didn’t quite jump on the cyanotype train, but made salt prints instead:

And it is not just monochrome either. Although not really an alternative process, Chi seems to be the only one in the party to try her hand at it again:

Very successfully so, I may add.

Do-it-yourself mentality

Perhaps motivated by the lack of sunshine in some parts of the world, the do-it-yourself mentality blossomed and resulted in the construction of several UV light boxes. Where these traditionally use UV gas discharge lamps, @martinfoot, @benhigh and @blaurebell took it upon themselves to make UV boxes using UV LEDs. A bit of soldering can give you a more than adequate box to make cyanotypes or other UV sensitive prints.

Lilly took the DIY a few steps further than most people would, and even worked on a LED powered multigrade head and f/stop timer.

For the entire account of how the head and timer came to be, I recommend you check out her feed. She has been posting updates from the start.

DIY is, however, not restricted to just light sources. With a bit of tape and a box, you can also make a nice contact printing box, as demonstrated by Paul Glover and Alexis:


Want to read more?

The hashtag is still in use, and we encourage people to keep using it for tagging their wet print experiences. To have a look at what people are posting, check out the twitterfeed here:

One last song

#printparteh was all about sharing the love for making prints, to show what it is that we do, and how we do it; to motivate others to try it, or try it again; and to show that an image does not solely have to exist on a screen: it also goes nicely on your wall.

To conclude, I want you to read this parody song by Martin Foot. I believe it summarizes well what print making is all about.

Edit, 2 july 2018

Some of the curated tweets have been removed because the links broke. This mainly affected the work by Julo Péter. Sorry for this, Julo.

Published in Miscellaneous Prints