Simple Lumen Prints

How to Create a Lumen Print

For this you will need:

  • Darkroom black and white photographic paper; I’m using Ilford multigrade resin coated*
  • Photographic fixer; I’m using Ilford Rapid Fixer
  • Sunshine or UV light
  • Running water to rinse
  • Glass and board to put it all on, or a contact frame
  • Plant material or something to block light that you want a photogram image of. I’ve used a fern. You could also try a contact print using a negative the same size as the image you want to produce. You can make these yourself, see the bottom of this post for tips on producing a negative at home.

The process here is very simple. Take your paper, put the plant material or negative onto it and add glass on top to stop it all moving about. Take it outside on a sunny day and leave it from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Rinse in water and then put in fixer for 30 seconds to a minute to make the image permanent. Rinse with water again.

That is it. Simplicity. The most difficult bit is mixing up the fixer and that’s easy and can be made easier if you buy a pre-mixed pouch. Of course, like cyanotypes you can take this process further. But in essence that is all there is to it.

*Open your paper in a darkened room to avoid exposing it to light. If you want to use the paper for darkroom printing too, then always open under darkroom conditions.

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