Cullinan Photographic Alchemist Prefers Old Ways – Ridge Times

Gerrit de Lange from Mooiplaats began his keen interest in photography, primarily the darkroom, when he was just 16 years old.

Fast forward 40 years later, old habits die hard and Gerrit continues to draw inspiration from those old photographic methods.

“My interest in old photographic processes is how slow it is to get beautiful, handmade results, unlike the modern digital environment of instant gratification,” De Lange said.

The process he primarily deals with are the well-known gelatin silver media using photographic films and papers already sensitized (light sensitive) and packaged for use, but his real interests are in the older processes where it takes coat and sensitize your own paper support. with light-sensitive chemicals.

“Most of these processes are sensitive to ultraviolet light and require long exposures to sunlight or under a UV lamp,” De Lange explained.

Some of the processes he deals with are cyanotype, kallitype, Van Dyk Brown and gum bichromate process which is a polychrome process.

For most processes, he has to manufacture the necessary chemicals from scratch and also prepare the fine art papers to accept these chemicals, making it a time-consuming and tedious process.

De Lange is one of the few people in South Africa who still dabbles in this alchemy.

If you would like to find out more about what he does you can contact him on 083 299 6696 as this is real art that has been long forgotten.


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Michael E. Marquez