2 | Beetroot anthotype

Photography made with beetroot

UPDATE: the original anthotype of this composition is featured on the book Anthotype Emulsions, Volume 2 by Malin Fabbri, and also on the database of Alternative Photography website (see it here)!

Anthotype Emulsions volume 2
Book page 31 Alba Cid

Find this anthotype on page 31

This anthotype was created with beetroot diluted with water and exposed to the sun for about 36h. The final composition preserves part of the digital negative I used – a picture of the Sensō-ji temple (Tokyo, Japan, February 2023) – and a harvested flower.

Beetroot anthotype

Artistic intention: I chose beetroot as it gives pink/fuchsia results to evoke the Japanese sakura (cherry blossom). The original intention was to add flowers from the cherry tree, but as they have not been preserved properly, I added a flower with violet tones from my region in Spain. I decided to keep some of the photographic transparency in order to preserve details of the photograph that are lost in the anthotyping process, and also to produce the effect of an X-ray of the temple.

This work also seeks to recover and preserve the technique of anthotype (invented in the XIX century), nowadays very much in disuse, and to give it a contemporary look through interventions after the results obtained from exposure to the sunlight.

I am particularly interested in this technique because it’s environmentally friendly and involves the search for a suitable natural pigment. I am looking at the differences involved in creating pigments for photography (highly sensitive to the sun) and painting (stable pigments), in order to address the limits and confluences of these two fields.

You will find more information on alternative and sustainable techniques in photography in this article from the blog.

The cherry-blossoms having fallen,
The temple belongs
To the branches

Hana chirite
Konomano tera to

Haiku by Yosa Buson, translated by R. H. Blyth