PetaPixel

Photographer Makes “Chlorophyll Prints” Using Leaves and Sunlight

Photographer Binh Danh observed one summer that there was a difference in color between grass under a water hose and the grass directly exposed to sunlight. He then began to experiment with combining photography with photosynthesis, and came up with what he calls “chlorophyll prints” — photographs printed onto leaves using the sun.

Here’s Danh’s process according to NPR:

From start to finish, his technique is this: Binh Danh begins by picking a leaf — often from his mother’s garden. To keep it from drying out, he fills a small bag with water and ties it to its stem. He places the leaf on a felt-covered board, and puts a negative directly on the leaf (he has an archive of images he’s collected from magazines and purchased online). He places glass over the leaf, clips the glass and board together, and puts the assemblage on the patio roof.

Binh Danh will check the image periodically to see how it’s “baking.” The process can last days or weeks. Four out of five times, he’s dissatisfied, and throws the leaf away. But when the chlorophyll print is right — whether precisely rendered or eerily vague — he takes the leaf, fixes it in resin, and frames it.

You can find more of Danh’s work over on his website.


Thanks for the tip, Micah!


Image credits: Photographs by Binh Danh and used with permission


 
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  • http://twitter.com/oshaughnessy Bob O’Shaughnessy

    “he has an archive of images he’s collected from magazines and purchased online”

    This isn’t photography and this doesn’t make him a photographer.

    He’s just using a fancy photo printing method for other artists pictures.

  • http://twitter.com/JackCallum Jack Kennedy

    I’m a photographer. I also juggle. Does this mean I’m not a photographer? Danh is a photographer, he does ‘fancy photo printing’ too. Conclusion: you can be more than a photographer.

  • http://twitter.com/zfny zf

    This is creepy even if you print a funny picture in that leaves, yet they print these…

  • Flgraphics

    makes for striking art

  • Flgraphics

    makes for striking art

  • Flgraphics

    makes for striking art

  • Flgraphics

    makes for striking art

  • http://twitter.com/zfny zf

    Or you can be juggling photographer..well you get the point. It’s a lot easier to print your own work, and it would be a whole lot better too. It feels like it’s 100% your genuine idea. This doesn’t have originality feel in it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T4K6QA6QFOGGLPIZT2ERCBJIYQ Marschal Fazio

    I have seen something similar in a biology film I show my students. Only there the leaf and negative are exposed to light and then the chlorophyll is removed with a solvent. The leaf is then stained with a iodine solution. You can find several similar protocols on the internet or in science lab books.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T4K6QA6QFOGGLPIZT2ERCBJIYQ Marschal Fazio

    I have seen something similar in a biology film I show my students. Only there the leaf and negative are exposed to light and then the chlorophyll is removed with a solvent. The leaf is then stained with a iodine solution. You can find several similar protocols on the internet or in science lab books.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T4K6QA6QFOGGLPIZT2ERCBJIYQ Marschal Fazio

    I have seen something similar in a biology film I show my students. Only there the leaf and negative are exposed to light and then the chlorophyll is removed with a solvent. The leaf is then stained with a iodine solution. You can find several similar protocols on the internet or in science lab books.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=50613147 Joshua Neate

    So what if he isn’t a photographer. What would photography be without printing? I can’t imagine you frame your film.

  • http://twitter.com/zfny zf

    What’s the point of photographer printing someone else’s work?

  • http://www.flickr.com/avaviel Avaviel

    So he’s an artist.

    You people are acting like you have a stick shoved somewhere. Once you’ve removed said stick, I’m sure you’ll see this in a better light. What he did here required quite alot of skill and persistence to accomplish. I think it’s a great achievement, even if he is ‘just’ printing what what photographed by someone else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mauricio.munuera Mauricio Munuera

    This guy should study a little bit more. This is called Anthotype and was discovered in the 1800s. He’s not doing anything new.
    Freaking pseudo-artists…

  • Dave

    So what if someone discovered it first?  He didn’t know about it, made an observation, conducted an experiment, then discovered it for himself.

    Freaking pseudo-intellectuals…

  • Dave

    So what if someone discovered it first?  He didn’t know about it, made an observation, conducted an experiment, then discovered it for himself.

    Freaking pseudo-intellectuals…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mauricio.munuera Mauricio Munuera

    Yes, he did experiment and he did accomplish great results from clever observations. 
    All I’m saying is that if he stopped for 5 minutes to research about what he was doing, he wouldn’t have to call that “clorophyll print”.
    It’s like rediscover the light bulb and call it “shiny glass ball”.

  • Dave

    That’s ridiculous.  If someone lived in an area without light bulbs, then created one, why would you care if they called it a “shiny glass ball”?  Focus on the work done, not on the fact that someone did it before, and called it something different.  I prefer to admire the accomplishment.

  • http://twitter.com/nickforneris Nicholas Forneris

    and anyone that knows a thing or two about art will tell you, everything has already been done. i think this stuff is great. have fun.

  • Rrebold

    I also agree with the comment about admiring the accomplishment.  I think we all “steal” things from other artists and remake of improve them; it’s almost unavoidable.  Beyond this, he has natural street creds for the topic and something to say.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tomas-Hernandez/1143219601 Tomas Hernandez

    hermano esto esta buenisimo  de verdad me dejo loco

  • Anon

    He’s my photography teacher for a grad level photo class. He’s a photographer, whether or not you consider that art. It’s called a contact print, a process developed in the 19th century, and if wasn’t for it we wouldn’t have photography today.

  • D.Cervantes

    It’s is called appropriation. Before you accuse this man’s work of not being photography, you might want to look up the meaning of photography. He is writing with light, whether the images are his and belong to him may be up for debate, but whether this is photography or not can not be debated. His process is not “fancy” he’s using the sun and a leaf as a result of what photographers do–observe so if experimentation and observation are what discredit him as a photographer than you obviously have no real sense of the history of photography, science or language.

  • Jim Holmes

    Getting ideas and using techniques from others is fine. Using their actual images is not. You can’t copyright an idea. You can copyright an image. If he uses his own work he would be better off.
    Nice to see him being creative, not just use his own work or get permision from those who own the rights to any other images he uses.

  • Harry

    it should probably have been said that these were photographs of a genocide that occurred in Cambodia and that he couldn’t have taken those images, i think a lot of people would take a different tone to his work looking at the comments saying this isn’t impressive or special…