Photos without cameras

Who says you need a camera to take a great picture?

In the world of lumen print images, almost anything will get you a print you want to display.

“You probably did it in the second and third grade,” said Nadine Schwartz, whose sister Phyllis Schwartz will lead a workshop on Lumen Printing next week in Kilauea.

The art form seems simple, but the results can be varied and complex.

To set the image, one takes any item and places it on paper. It can be anything, flowers, fruit, things you find on the side of the street. After an hour sitting under the sun, the paper is bathed in photo chemicals. Produced is an artistic image that no camera can quite duplicate.

“You’re left with a burned image,” Nadine said. “Sometimes you can tell what the item was, sometimes you can’t.”

The workshop will be from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30 at Na ’Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculpture Park. It will focus on the concept of analogue photography as the pencil of nature. Botanists use it as a method to document their fieldwork. Lumen prints are both photographic and X-ray like, producing documentation of nature and artistic renderings of botanical specimens.

“In this hands-on workshop, participants will … discover how they leave marks and traces on photosensitive paper; the work will look like colorful X-rays,” Phyllis said in a release announcing her first Kauai visit.

Phyllis Schwartz, who graduated from Emily Carr University, in Vancouver, Canada, was the recipient of the Canon Photography Award. Her photography has been exhibited and published across Canada and internationally, and her works are in both public and private collections.

Items to place on the paper will be provided but people can bring their own. Two 8 by 10 pieces of paper will be provided, as well as chemicals to finish the product. Participants can take the prints home, of course.

And don’t worry if it’s a gray, rainy day. You don’t need a blazing, hot sun to get the image and plexi glass protection will be offered.

“Just like you can get sunburned on a cloudy day,” said Nadine, whose lived in Princeville since 2003 and helped coordinate her sister’s visit. “You still get an image burned on a paper.”

Cost is $15 and limited to 20 participants. Register through PayPal. On site registration is $20, cash only. The workshop includes a formal tour of the garden and sculpture park, 4101 Wailapa Road, Kilauea. Directions can be found on Na ‘Aina Kai website.

Info: (808) 212-9244


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