Cyanotype

This gallery contains examples of my experimentation with cyanotype process. Images made mainly from large format film negatives, also incorporating various objects as photogram elements. Beyond the basic cyan colour, images may be toned with coffee, tea, wine tannin, and other substances. ****All are digital scans  from original prints.

 

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cyanotype – preparing your own papers/materials*

cyanotype-printing – process for making print*

Summary of history – Wikipedia*

paris_065

Cyanotype process was once a relatively cheap and easy way to ‘proof’ negatives.

xray_neg043

X-ray film can be a way to make large negative for contact printing. Unfortunately the exposure time can be very long (an hour or more), likely due to base material of the film.

making_exposure

Here is image made from x-ray negative onto cyan coated water-colour paper. Exposure strips made at 15 minute intervals. Final image made with 1 hour full sun.

paper_neg

I have also tried printing a negative with an ordinary document printer, onto ordinary white paper. The exposure time is also very long (over 90 minutes), but did result in good image*

bleach_teatone

Here is original classic cyan print, and same image after bleaching with household AMMONIA and re-developing/toning in cool brew of BLACK TEA.  Although almost any alkali may be used to bleach out cyan colour, I’ve found ammonia to give best result when you intend to tone image.

If you do not ‘bleach’ out the blue cyan, before toning, the blue is tinted by the tea/tannin. Also the base colour of the paper is tinted* Tea tends to make cyan blue more muted like faded blue jeans, with white paper becoming a beige tone. Wine tannin will tint cyan blue to a deep purple and stain paper base a pale pink.

img039

In addition to using film or digital negative, cyanotype process can be used for photogram. This image made from steel coils onto classic cyan prepared paper, then bleached with ammonia and toned with wine tannin. I’ve used commercial wine tannin for deepest red tones.