Have you ever imagined incorporating art and science? Vinodh Baluchamy, a photographer, has developed chlorophyll leaf printings by printing various images on leaves. “We need to print the digital negative of the required image in an OHP sheet and keep that on the leaf. Expose it in sunlight for a certain period and the image would be formed on the leaf,” says Vinodh, who runs Yaa Studio, an experimental space that focuses on photography, light.
An experimental leaf painting method, Vinodh teaches it to the students of Cuckoo Forest School. “Kids are mostly engaged in a digital world. We want to ensure that they get a break for a few minutes and connect with nature. Experimenting with the cyanotype or chlorophyll leaf printing process will enhance their creativity. Painting on leaves is a calming activity.”
Vinodh explains that it is not an easy method to get an image on the leaf. “We have been trying this process for a long time but only recently have the chlorophyll print on leaves come out well. Only after the trial and error method, we came to know the types of leaves that can be used for printing. Ponga maram, vazha maram leaves can be used for chlorophyll leaf printing. However, the duration of exposing it to sunlight plays a vital role. Understanding minute details such as the difference in timing of exposure of sunlight along with the type of leaf play a key role in ensuring that the printing is properly seen on the leaf,” explains the photographer.
Vinodh is using the images he has photographed while travelling or that his friends painted. “My students Arun and Sathish also have experimented with printing on leaves. Like leaves, we are currently trying to print images on turmeric and beetroot,” he sums up.