Hello! My name is Caroline Fudala, and I am a Chemistry and Forensic Science double major with a Photography minor. My research project combines my passions for chemistry and photography through exploring the chemistry of mordançage, a historic photographic process. The mordançage process dramatically changes black and white photographs, creating ethereal veils that deposit on the print in interesting ways. And, although having used by artists since the 1960s, the mechanism and kinetics have not been examined from a chemical perspective.
Each week of the project is different, but a typical week starts with me making some prints in the darkroom to use in upcoming experiments. Then I’ll meet with my mentor and run trials on the prints in the chemistry lab. I’ll also typically scan my images after they dry, perform additional analysis, and interpret results. I have also been very fortunate to collaborate with other researches who have access to equipment that I do not, and they have assisted with performing different analytical analysis.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to pursue this research project, and I believe it has been beneficial for preparing me for graduate school research. Also, I plan on continuing experimenting with other alternative photographic processes, and this research has opened the door for many other creative processes.One thing I have learned this semester is how often research doesn’t go as planned! Many of my experiments ended up with completely different results than I anticipated, but this has led to many more unanswered questions that I am looking forward to pursuing.