Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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New Beginnings

Cures [Negative]

Original Photo: New Orleans 2002, Printed 2003. 
Cyanotype on cold press paper
Light filters through an apothecary's window display of abandoned medical panaceas

There are few sensations as exhilarating as a clean slate. Beginnings are fumbles in the dark, full of possibilities and pitfalls.

While sorting through boxes from the past, I rediscovered my first cyanotypes from 2003, made shortly before I moved to Asia. As I sifted through these prints on French, English and Indian cotton papers, memories come flooding back:

* Late nights printing with halogen and other lights, experimenting with angles and distance, melting negatives, reversing others, and overexposing most of the prints that made it that far.

* Entire afternoons spent at Kinko's making transparent negatives: enlarging, inverting and adjusting contrast on their copy machines.

* Days devoted to printing in Boston's feeble spring sunlight.

The images are from my travels through the UK, Cuba, Haiti, Morocco and more. Most of my experiments I destroyed, and some sold to casual collectors.

Click here to see the few early cyanotypes that made the final cut.

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