Student Spotlight: “Lumen Prints” by Claudia Wornum

In 2005 California  photographer  Jerry  Burchfield published “Primal Images, 100  Lumen  Prints  of Amazonia  Flora.”  In  it  are  page  after  page  of  stunning, saturated  prints.  He  collected  plant specimens  from  the  Amazon  rainforest and contact  printed  them on to expired  black  and  white  photo  papers on the  deck  of  a small  motor  boat.  He called the results  Lumen Prints.  Once  I  understood  his  process,  and with the generous support of  fellow  experimenters, I  was  ready  to  try  my  own  variations.

Everything appeared  possible  for  this  process:  films,  papers,  color,  black  and  white  formats, intimate  seedlings and  whole   branches. Plants that  had  formerly  seemed  to  be nondescript  scraggly  weeds – a  step  removed from  litter –  suddenly  became  stunning  objects to  me.  Placing organic materials directly onto large format color film, then placing them in the sun under glass – resulted in the melding of organic juices with often expired, unwanted film. The, after development of the film, I  made traditional color enlargements onto color print paper and  processed in  it RA-4   chemistry.

Mr.  Burchfields  botanicals  are  a striking  array  of Amazonia,  as  exotic  and  compelling  as  the  jungle  around  him.  My  subjects  are  the  common findings from background  cityscapes  and  local  parks. For  me,  this  project has underscored the  simple  yet  profound  truth  that  there  is  really nothing  in  nature that is not a microcosm  for the  entire  universe  once  it  is  fully  seen.

Claudia Wornum
CCSF Photography Student
PH67 “Digital Negatives for Contact Printing”

3 thoughts on “Student Spotlight: “Lumen Prints” by Claudia Wornum

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