Lumen images are created without a camera. Objects are placed on photosensitive material and placed under a light source (the sun generally works best) and exposed - yes... they are "Just contact prints."
This gallery consists of diptych images created with 8x10 black & white paper. Each set consists of two separate pieces of paper placed 1/4" apart and exposed. The prints were then scanned and adjusted to reflect the original image as closely as possible (generally adding 10-15 points brightness and 10-15 points contrast due to scanner fog). There has been ABSOLUTELY NO COLOR ENHANCEMENT or Photoshop filters used on the 8x10 images. However, dust and spot removal was done, and 16x20 mats were created digitally for the diptychs to be presented here.
As much as I would love to experiment with altering these original images, I have not done so yet (perhaps a project for the future). The colors (or lack thereof) result from the plant materials reacting in different ways with the chemical makeup of each individual paper.
The image is not permanent until fixed, but that reduces color saturation so I will soon begin toning with gold chloride and selenium, to produce archival images which can be viewed in direct light.
I am also currently creating galleries using 11"x7" images, 8x10 color printing paper and a series using smaller vintage photographic papers. I hope to have these up soon.
I would like to give credit to the following image makers for their work. They have been very inspirational to me and hopefully you can gather some additional information about this process from their sites.
John Fobes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/with/9953523036/
Jerry Burchfield: http://www.jerryburchfield.com/techniques.htm