– Contact Printing frame. Clip frames will work too or any piece of glass + pegs to flatten transparencies against the leaf.
– Sunlight. You can’t use a UV lamp
– Plant leaf
– Copper sulphate
– Distilled water
– Scale
– Plastic teaspoon
– Measuring jug
– Developing tray
– Digital Transfer film.
– Printer
– Gloves


Aspidistra (Normally called cast iron plant, and it will take about 3 weeks to print. However, it’s the most archival plant)
Colocasia (Exposure times of about 4 – 6 hours on a sunny bright summer day)
Hosta (Exposure times of about 4 – 6 hours on a sunny bright summer day)
Alocasia (Exposure times of about 4 – 6 hours on a sunny bright summer day)

Use: green flat leaves from shadow tropical plants with no patterns. Araceae normally works very well.

Avoid: Evergreen plants and variegatas and some of the families described below.

Spathiphyllum- Also known as Peace lily. This plant belongs to the Araceae family, which is often very appropriate for chlorophyll printing. Its big green flat leaves, which might occasionally turn yellow, made me believe this lily was perfect to work with. However, the outcome was really disappointing. First of all, it takes a lot of time to get any outcome with this plant,  and then, the resulting prints, lack of contrast and definition.

Philodendron imperial- Philodendros are a dysfunctional family. While some of them are absolutely fantastic for this process such as philodendron selloum and philodendron giganteum, the royal branch from this family are terrible for chlorophyll printing; avoid using philodendron imperial and pink princess.  Climbing philodendros are also pretty bad, including scandens and elongatum.

Devil’s Ivy –   Ivy tends to work very well for chlorophyll printing.  You might be able to get a quite good print in 2 Summer sunny days. Its green flat leaves are very convenient. It is very easy to source Ivy leaves from the streets and I used to think Ivy was the most convenient plant for the process until I came across the Devil’s variety. It just doesn’t work at all!




This blog post is about 2 things that didn’t work. Realising that I could cook the leaf instead of forcing a pigment change had a very strong impact on my research.

I hope you enjoy my archive of failures and that it saves you some time if you decide to practice this process. Enjoy!


UV lamps

UV lamps release very little light compared to the Sun, and they mainly release UVA light. In order to force a pigment change on a leaf, one needs UVB light mainly as well as large amounts of visible light. If you use a UV lamp, it will cook your leaf, as these lamps release much more heat than light!

Black back printing frame

The majority of the photographers working with printing process use printing frames with black backs.  It doesn’t work for this process as it helps to raise the temperature, and again it will cook the leaf in your printing frame rather than bleaching it!

I hope sharing my research journey with you was useful and encouraging :)


Yesterday’s workshop was attended by 300+ people. 226 people view the workshop on Facebook and 90 people view on Instagram!

Thank you all, I hope it encouraged you to try this organic photographic process!

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