Cyanotype

Another alternative printing process I have been experimenting with is cyanotype. This is one of the oldest photographic printing processes, and remains virtually unchanged from it’s invention by Sir John Herschel in 1842. The Prussian Blue color of the cyanotype doesn’t work for a lot of images, and I had to search hard to find photographs from my library which would be appropriate. This is one of my early attempts at contact printing and I think that it’s mildly successful. Since making this print, I have been concentrating most of my effort on perfecting the Van Dyke process because I feel it offers more potential across a wider range of image types. However, I have no doubt that I will soon return to the cyanotype process once I have fine tuned my technique.

Also, take note of the really poor coating technique on this print. The coating is almost as important to the aesthetics of the finished print as the image itself. Contrast this with the coating of of the Van Dyke print I shared a few days ago. There is about two weeks worth of learning separating these two prints.


3 Responses to “Cyanotype”

  • carson zullinger Says:

    Jim:
    An old friend, Tony Romano developed an interesting technique using van dyke brown and cyanotype to print images that had a pretty wide range of tones. I think he did pin registration and 2 different contact negatives for the 2 processes. I’ll see if i can find info about how he did it. ( He died 20 years ago)

    • Jim Says:

      That sounds interesting, Carson. I’m working on a parallel track in which I am trying to do these processes over pigment (inkjet). Early results are not ready for primetime.

  • Ronny Says:

    I’d create my own set of prmaotionol items on really nice watercolor paper, produce cool, 2-color show posters, and essentially just experiment with all of it’s capabilities (possibly selling them at craft fairs). As a designer, I’ve actually thought about this quite a bit. I’ve even gone so far as to check them out at several used estate sales, etc. Every time i get excited about the idea, reality comes crashing down and I realize 1) I don’t have the space to house such a magnificent machine 2) while I’ve worked at small print shops throughout my career, I don’t want to manage the thing (order inks, clean, maintain dies, etc), and finally 3) I’m afraid it’d sit around not getting used while I try to think of cool projects I could use it for.Maybe my ambitions are too lofty and I should start with a hobby type kit. I don’t know. Very neat idea though. Better (it seems) to find a local co-op that has the proper equipment that I can borrow when I need to or just hire a professional who knows the ins and outs better than I would .

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