Sunprints Blog

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Discover great ways to use and display activities. Become inspired to make your own creations.

Natural Shadows

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Time: As short or long as you want
What you need:
•    Sunprint paper
•    Acrylic
•    Cardboard
•    Duct tape
•    Black bag the sunprint paper comes in
•    Object to prop print paper with
•    Tub of water

This was one of my favorite projects so far, and could be done alone or with others, especially as a class or group activity.  On three different days, I took several sheets of sunprint paper (in the black plastic bag), a piece of acrylic, cardboard, and tape, and went for walks up in the hills around the Lawrence Hall of Science.  My goal was to take advantage of some of the beautiful shadows that are cast naturally outside.  I found all kinds of things, from grasses and flowers, to cattails, to fences and screen mesh, to shadows from trees and bushes.  The prints can be done by setting the acrylic/paper/cardboard unit directly on the ground,

ground

propping it  to get another angle,

propped

or taping the paper to walls to collect upright shadows.

upright

If you bring the black plastic bag that the paper originally came in, than you can stick the finished prints into it and they’ll be shielded from the sun until you get back to your tub of water.  Different amounts of cloud cover, different times of day, and different angles of propping the paper offered a lot of possibilities for the sunprint results. The vast amount of shadows that exist outside mean that this project is virtually endless, and can be done absolutely anywhere.  I learned that the prints work best and faster if the objects are closer to the paper; it can definitely work with shadows that are cast from greater distances, but it takes a little longer to print, and there is a wider spectrum of blues, instead of cleaner white/blue lines.  Also, windy days, while challenging, create some surprisingly beautiful prints, with more abstracted shapes.  I’ve posted some of my prints below, but this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as possibilities go.

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