HOW TO – Print on leaves

Craft & Design
HOW TO – Print on leaves

Rad, here’s how to create photographs on living leaves through a process called Chlorophyll photography… [via] – Link.


  • MAKE 07 – Volume 07: Backyard Biology. Hack your plants, extract your DNA, 70’s soapbox saga, build a videocam rocket, and head-mounted water cannon. Don’t have MAKE yet? Get it for $29.95 (that’s an additional $5 off USA) – use code CMAKE, just for /blog readers :)

7 thoughts on “HOW TO – Print on leaves

  1. Cathaholic says:

    So, this isn’t permanent. Is there any means of sealing this image into the leaf and then letting it dry? I’m almost certain that if you were to think long enough and hard enough on this then you should be able to find a way to make it permanent. Anybody have an idea? Perhaps if you were to remove it from the fluid and quickly dehydrate the leaf to keep it from losing color, that might do something.

  2. Cathaholic says:

    Here’s an idea. I know that everyone out there has a slide projector so this might not be of use to anyone. Haha, just kidding. Anyhow, rather than using a slide projector you might be able to use a method of contact exposure as you might use with blueprint photography, in which case all you need to do is print off the image on a transparency to the size neccesary and then to put it on top of the leaf and expose to a light source, maybe as simple a source as your window. Then continue from there. I don’t know if this would work the same but if anyone tries it out before me then say something.

  3. Cathaholic says:

    Turns out I was right, here are images taken by a man named Binh Danh
    Also,I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone has ever done this with flower pedals instead.

  4. haramsuci says:

    You can find the same method of chlorophyll print in the notorious “The Book of Chemistry Experiments” (New York: Golden Press, Inc., 1960).
    I’ve also tried other types of leaves, such as guava and mango (both are tropical fruit), by contact printing them with 135 B/W negatives on direct strong midday-sunlight — really strong, since I live in tropical Indonesia — right through after I pick them from the trees.
    Unfortunately, I still can’t show my images here, because they brake down during my experiments to attain the images.
    My method created brown tone image on leave, just as of Binh Danh, but with very low contrast.
    I also guess — haven’t try this yet — to develop the image, such in tutorial above, with hydro-sulfate acid (H2SO4) — from battery acid — since this acid reacts with sucrose (sugar cane) to form black carbon.

  5. Marius Manastireanu says:

    the link doesn’t work

  6. Marius Manastireanu says:

    the link doesn’t work

  7. Donna Pearson Johnson says:

    Would love to try this for a family reunion idea if I could go to the link to learn how to do it-  can you please repost link?



Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

current: @adafruit - previous: MAKE, popular science, hackaday, engadget, fallon, braincraft ... howtoons, 2600...

View more articles by Phillip Torrone