What else can be done

The phytogram technique can also be combined with camera footage by processing the film following the standard reversal process. Instead of re-exposing, the film is taken out of the darkroom into the sunlight and is rolled out on a large table or other flat surface. Pre-prepared plants (soaked in the same solution as described) are applied to the filmstrip, replacing the second developer. The result of this is a combination of camera images and phytograms; plant structures intermingling with filmed images.

Also, several iterations of plant application can be done, resulting in a more layered and complex composition. To make this work the first layer should not be heavy and dark, leaving enough silver-halide to darken during the second application. Thinking about composition, the possibilities are endless, starting from a completely random distribution of plants, to highly intricate and frame dependent patterns. Any form of direct animation on film is time-consuming and requires dedication and patience on the side of the filmmaker. However, spending time with the plants is rewarding.

Phytograms can also be made on sheet-film or on photographic paper. Both expired and fresh stock will work, when the film is many years old it might be difficult to flatten it as the emulsion dries out. Also fixing might take longer. In the worst case expired film can be so fogged that it is impossible to clear those parts of the film unaffected by phytogram staining. But phytograms can be made on most expired film, producing beautiful images on a material that would be thrown away otherwise.

Figure 4
Karel Doing, Plant/Human (16mm film still) 2018