Jan Bender is recognized for her traditional black and white photographs and unique plant photograms. She has exhibited her work for over 15 years in solo shows, corporate shows, galleries, and in many local and regional group shows.
Photograms are a way of preserving the artistry of nature. They are created in a traditional darkroom without using camera or film. Carefully selected plant cuttings and other materials are placed directly on light sensitive photographic paper and exposed to controlled light. Each plant creates its own image on the paper. The plant and flower images are produced on fiber based gelatin silver paper and developed in chemicals customarily used for black and white photographs. They are then sepia toned to create an earth-tone palette of color and to enhance permanence. Although these processes can be repeated, each photogram is made individually, so no two arrangements of plants and objects will be alike.
Jan creates her film based photographic images with 4x5 format view cameras that use sheets of film. She has exhibited black and white, color, and alternative print process landscape and still life photographs. Her black and white landscape photographs are hand printed in a traditional darkroom on fiber paper, then either selenium toned, or dual toned with sepia and selenium. These toners make the images very stable. She is currently working on a portfolio of studio still life subjects and will begin a new landscape portfolio this year.