Laptopograms: Contact prints from your computer

Craft & Design Photography & Video
Laptopograms: Contact prints from your computer

This looks like fun- this maker has been using the light from a laptop screen to expose photographic paper, creating what they call a laptopogram:

Laptopograms are images made by pressing photosensitive paper onto a laptop screen and flashing an image in a manner not unlike contact printing or photograms. The name ‘laptopogram’ is a misnomer – I reckon they can be made with pretty much any monitor. Perhaps ‘Luminous Screen Emulsion Transfers’ is a better name. Here, however, the negative is a digital image – and is flashed for a little time onto the paper before developing the image in a darkroom.

These prints were made with an IBM R51 Thinkpad running Lucid Lynx with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. All prints were developed on Ilford Ilfospeeed RC Deluxe 5 Glossy paper using Tetenal Neofin Blau with water as a stop bath and a fixer of unknown provenance.

One of the best parts is the code to control the shutter:

vbetool dpms on ; sleep 2.0; sudo vbetool dpms off

If the contrast ratio could be made high enough, this technique would be great for directly exposing circuit boards or screen printing masks! Anyone know if this is at all possible?

[via kottke]

6 thoughts on “Laptopograms: Contact prints from your computer

  1. mtbf0 says:

    aren’t screen printing and pcb emulsions uv sensitive? if my laptop’s putting that stuff out my dermatologist is gonna be rich.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      You are correct, but I think that the CFL backlights used in most LCDs do emit some amount of UV radiation. I don’t actually think it would work, though.

    2. Alan says:

      No problem, just expose a piece of large-format (4×5 or 8×10) film on the laptop screen first, develop it as a negative, then lay it over your photosensitive PCB and expose to UV. That probably wouldn’t be particularly cheap or simple compared to other PCB-printing options, but it should work.

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