Cyanotypes

Over the past few weeks I’ve worked on a project to produce some cyanotype contact prints. I had the idea mostly because of the FSC’s holiday print swap. I needed to do an actual print, not an inkjet print and I haven’t had a wet print setup for quite a while. I enjoy alt photography processes anyway, so pulling out the cyanotype chemicals seemed like a good way to accomplish the print and have some fun. I won’t spend time walking you through the process though, since that is well documented on the Alternative Photography site. The process dates from the 1840’s and the exposure is made using some form of UV light. The most common approach is to use the sun, although I also have a grow light in the correct light spectrum rage as well. For the contact print, you also need some good, large negative with a range of densities. I use negatives shot with my 4X5’s and I also make negatives from the scanned film files on transparency film with my Canon Pro-10. Both methods work fine, and it’s nice to be able to contact print shots from medium and small format as well.

Here’s a selection of the prints, scanned after development of course. They do lose some of the dramatic impact when scanned, but you’ll get the idea anyway. I will also put up 3 pairs showing the traditional version and the cyanotype at the end.

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