A very unusual use of Kodachrome

‘Painting with light’ is a term often used by photographers.  But John N. Cohen used his own invented form of ‘Painting with light’ (a very different and original ‘special effect’ technique), without any computer, to create his international award winning transparencies.

One of his top award winning pictures was titled ‘Spirit of Spring’, this was the first ever picture (it was taken on Kodachrome transparency film) that included both a negative of a tulip and a positive image of a girl’s portrait, all on the same emulsion!!!

No one knew at the time, how this could be possible as it was created well before anyone had the use of computers.

This technique is pure photography on film and has nothing to do with moving lights to make light graffiti, or of lighting specific parts of a dark scene with a long exposure.  What it does involve is the photographing of projected images on to other things.

John’s free publication titled ‘The Magic Lantern’ fully describes this form of ‘Painting with Light’ and explains exactly how anyone can do it, without any computer, darkroom chemicals, or expensive equipment!

Digital camera users could also use many of his techniques as they have certain qualities that are a little different from those achievable by digital manipulation.  Please have a look at ‘The Magic Lantern’ http://www.jncohen.net/photmagi/cg030001.htm

‘Spirit of Spring’ won The London Salon Trophy in 1967; this was then the first time a colour picture was deemed worthy of this much-coveted trophy, for it had only ever been awarded before for Black and White studies.  John was also the youngest member to have won it.

Reference: Wikipedia about John’s ‘Painting With Light’

There have been over 20 One-Man Exhibitions of John N. Cohen’s photography (many were sponsored by Kodak) at major venues; 2 were held in New York, 4 in London, The Edinburgh Festival and many other UK & USA Cities.

Favourable reviews and comments were received about John’s photography from; Cecil Beaton C.B.E., Sir William Russell Flint R.A., Lady Clementine Spencer-Churchill, Sir George F. Pollock Bt., M.A., F.R.P.S., F.R.S.A., ‘The Times’ and ‘Arts Review’ to name a few!


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