Chlorophyll Prints, a.k.a. Natural Photography.

Chlorophyll Prints, a.k.a. Natural Photography.

“One summer, I was motivated to experiment with photosynthesis and its pigments after watching the lawn change color due to a water hose that was placed on it. Soon after that observation, I was making chlorophyll prints. Photosynthesis takes place in plants as carbon dioxide, water, and light energy is converted to sugars and oxygen. Photosynthesis is the main route by which free energy in the environment is made available to the living world. In my work, photosynthesis is used to record images onto leaves. The leaves are then cast in resin, like biological samples for scientific studies. The images were made into negatives. Then exposed onto living leaves, by placing the negatives onto the leaf, and placing that into a contact printing frame. The image formation was all due to chlorophyll, light, carbon dioxide, and water: the life source of plants and, consequently the Earth. This process deals with the idea of elemental transmigration: the decomposition and composition of matter into other forms.” -Binh Dahn, Vietnam. Inventor of process.


No ink or chemicals were used in this process, only sunlight.







I changed a few things around when I did my own prints. Instead of using a negative I used a positive image on transparency paper. I first applied these transparencies on small leaves but upon critique we felt that the message wasn’t working. Also upon suggestion I should try finding larger leaves. The only issues I found with finding larger leaves was finding one large enough during winter. I decided to take a chance on frozen banana leaves and surprisingly it worked amazingly. I figured that since banana leaves are native to Vietnam, Dahn must have experimented on these leaves as well. Also instead of using resin to fix my leaves I used a acidic free glue and water combination to mount and fix the leaf. This was done after days of applying the leaf between paper to absorb the water within the leaf.