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March 15, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Lumen Prints – First Attempts

IMG_6758A couple of months a go I was lucky enough to see some very fine Lumen prints, I have to admit I had no idea what I was being shown. They were beautiful and because of where I was looking at them I was certain that they were part of a photographic process. So I feasted my eyes, smiled and nodded and made a mental note to do some further research.

As far as I could gather the process involved exposing black and white photosensitive  paper to UV light. The paper reacts to the light and any objects placed on the paper leave an impression. To make the image permanent you need to fix the paper in the same manner as making darkroom prints. I had read that the fixing process can alter the colour of the paper so in a effort to preserve the initial results I took photos before and after fixing.

I used mostly Ilford MG fiber paper and a couple of sheets of long expired Kodabrone II RC paper to see if I got different effects.


Ilford paper during sun exposure I had it sitting in a window for about 30 mins. The image at the top is after fixing and the paper has a purple hue to it.


The ilford paper is a dark gray prior to fixing but still retains details.


Ilford Multigrade Fiber again here, the bottom image is post fixing.


The Kodabrome RC II had a much greater difference before and after fixing, the warm blue cast from just sun exposure turned to a reddish gold after the fixing process. 40 min exposure.

IMG_6757Finally, just because I had a strip of negatives sitting in front of me I decided to see if I could make a lumem contact print from a colour negative shot using my pinhole camera. Well it turns out that pretty much anything is possible in my magic darkroom.

I will re-vist this process again soon. It seems like a nice way to spend a morning when the sunshines so bright to make the darkroom seem like a foolish way to enjoy the day.




Leave a Comment
  1. Moni / Mar 15 2014 5:09 pm


  2. christian harkness / Mar 15 2014 5:10 pm

    Hey Brendan – congratulations on giving it a go! I have been meaning to but never did get around to it. I think there is a wonderful world out there to be explored via this technique. I have a friend, Diane Kaye, who does them & she does fantastic work. Here is her site:

    • Aware of the Void / Mar 15 2014 5:21 pm

      Thanks for that link those pictures are fantastic and will give me something to strive towards.
      It is a very interesting process and I think there is a whole world of creative options.

  3. Damien / Mar 17 2014 5:19 pm

    Never heard of this technique before, I know about photograms but this one seem very interesting. Thanks.

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