CitraSolv & Photography

Fog in BackyardFuji NYC September 14-19 Raw5933


I am late posting this week because I was in Pennsylvania the entire weekend shooting some great abandoned places.  I hope to have something to show from at least one of the areas next week.  I work really long hours during the week as well as having a long commute so I get backed up on everything when I spend the entire weekend shooting.  A sacrifice I’ll gladly make anytime.

I heard about this process of making paper for textured backgrounds through a Creativelive workshop I watched with the wonderful photographer, Jennifer Hudson.  She talked about using an old National Geographic and a natural cleaner/degreaser called CitraSolv to create textures that she uses on her photographs.  I looked it up on the web and there is actually an artist gallery on CitraSolv’s webpage.  What you do is take an old National Geographic (I purchased 164 of them for $32 from a very nice man on Craigslist), you tear out the advertisements and either working outside or inside at a table that is covered (I had an old shower curtain that covered my kitchen table) you pour or brush the Citrasolv on the pages of the National Geographic and the CitraSolv reacts with the ink and paper and creates this:

National Geographic 022National Geographic 8011

I scanned the paper into my computer and I used them on my photographs.  The image above was taken in my backyard on a foggy morning with my Fuji X-Pro1.  I used a Topaz Filter called Clarity, then converted it to B&W in CS6, ran it through Nik Color Efex Pro at least twice for contrast  and tone and then brought in one of the CitraSolv pages  to bring in a little tint of color and mood.  The image also has a cloudy sky that I photographed in traffic up in Mt. Kisco, New York.  My sister Pat was driving and I looked up, whipped out the camera and shot this great moody sky. (Always, always, carry a camera or a camera phone).  I used two textures by Shadowhouse Creations.  I love squeezing everything I can out of those pixels!

This image below was photographed at Angler Park Preserve in Somers, New York.  I again used one of my CitraSolve/National Geographic textures on it.

Angler Fly Tree NG

Another CitraSolv/National Geographic texture below.  I added a texture by  Shadowhouse Creations which has writing on it.  When I had looked at the paper the CitraSolv created I just had this feeling of a Middle Eastern village, Sanskrit and this bowed woman (me by the way).

If you are interested in learning how to create your own paper for texture, art journaling, wrapping paper, anything you can imagine, here is the link to the video by Cathy Taylor that I followed.  You can purchase CitraSolv in Whole Foods, Mrs. Green’s, Amazon or any Natural Food Store.

In the Desert




8 thoughts on “CitraSolv & Photography

  1. (late post? Tell ME about it…)
    This is lovely! I like everything that has to do with image, print, type…and i also paint and always try to use different technique. So this is great! To combine a manual technique with a digital process, I think it’s proof of an unbridled creativity.
    It’s also always very interesting to see how you apply a technique (or a filter) in different ways, or with a completely different outcome. The last image: citrasolv, national geographic, shadow house, and your finest linen…artists will be artists!!

    • LOL! Thank you! I’m really starting to get into working with my prints. I just downloaded a ton of information on working using the encaustic process (beeswax and resin) on a print. It is amazing how it adds depth to a photograph. The CitraSolv is so quick and easy. 10 minute wait for the ink to dissolve and then I let the pages dry overnight. I’m totally into beating the heck out of my pixels and then icnorporating whatever I can get my hands on!

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