is a contact printing process that can make use of aged and badly fogged silver gelatin photographic papers***. In this case regular photographic enlarging paper is sandwiched in contact with objects, and exposed in full sun for a length of time (usually 20 min. – several hours).
The finished image does not require ‘development’.*** It is simply ‘fixed’ in photographic fixer chemistry and may be toned. Botanical specimens generally work best, because the plant juices can locally dye the paper, and induce formation of penumbra. Extreme over-exposure to ultra-violet light can induce surprising colours from normal black and white photographic enlarging papers!
Prior to ‘fixing’ a print, one can ‘paint’ an image with normal print ‘developer’ to create local detail in the print* (as was done here with Laced Banana). Finished Lumen print may also be toned, as is done with normal B&W prints.
If the photographic paper is ‘painted’ with fixer, prior to exposure to the sun, you can achieve a ‘liquid emulsion’ look to your lumen print*.
Normal darkroom printing, can be combined with lumen….to achieve interesting combinations of B&W with colours of lumen, on the same paper*.
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.
cyanotype – preparing your own papers/materials*
cyanotype-printing – process for making print*
Summary of history – Wikipedia*
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.