Hello! August, September, and October have been and gone along with the majority of my semester, so that means that I have a lot of projects to share. This blog post is all about cyanotypes.
Cyanotypes produce a monochromatic blue print with a variation of blues referred to as Prussian Blue. The variation of blue tones can be played with chemically during the combination of the active ingredients, caused by paper choice, or purposefully toned after development. I did not play at all with toning after development, but I did experiment with different paper choices. I probably even accidently messed up the 1:1 ratio of chemicals a time or two. I may be used to a lab environment from my science past, but working in the dark beneath red lights adds a whole new set of challenges. Also, with almost a decade between me and my precision measuring days, I was a bit rusty.
My favorite paper ended up being a hand-made watercolor paper that I already had lying around. The texture of the paper practically grabbed the chemical from my hand and produced really rich, blue prints. I do have a really crisp print that I made on a fine tooth paper, but the chemicals didn’t engage the paper as nicely so it was a bit more difficult to work with. This process was a truly enjoyable start to a semester where I am learning numerous alternative photography and printing techniques. It also helped me better understand what these types of prints actually are when I see historical images like those of Anna Atkins, which I was first introduced to in a History of Photography course. Now I have process knowledge to attach to visual knowledge, and any increase in knowledge is always helpful.