Presentation on theme: "A Tutorial on Cyanotypes By: Jonathan Wheeler. Some facts about Cyanotypes Cyanotype is an alternative form of photography that was discovered by John."— Presentation transcript:
Some facts about Cyanotypes Cyanotype is an alternative form of photography that was discovered by John Herschel in 1842. Cyanotype’s introduction into the world of photography as a form of art was attributed by the photographer named Anna Atkins. Her use of the process documented her specimens for botany using a style known as a photogram (simply placing an object between the UV light and the paper/cloth to be exposed). This process was used widely for the process of photogramming for blueprints of buildings and other types of plans. With the current technology, we are now able to use transparencies in order to take a digital photo or a photo scanned in from a negative and create a stunning image on many different types of mediums such as t-shirts, blankets, and water-resistant papers just to name a few. This allows so many different possibilities to express one’s self with the art of photography!
Things to know about Cyanotypes This process has many variables! That means it can take a lot of trial and error to perfect this process. Here are some issues to keep in mind… The type of chemistry you are working with can be a very big variable. There are two types that are available for purchase, which is a two part A and B solution that you must mix together (when you are working on prints, but do not mix if one will not be using it immediately because it goes bad shortly afterward), and a one part process that involves creating the chemistry one’s self. (Note: when using the one part process, wear appropriate handling gear such as rubber gloves and a paper respiratory mask. One should always be cautious working with any type of chemicals.) Here is a google link to the two types of chemistry. https://www.google.com/search?q=two+part+cyanotype+chemistry&oq=two+pa rt+cyanotype+chemistry&aqs=chrome..69i57.10567j0j8&sourceid=chrome&es pv=2&es_sm=91&ie=UTF- 8#q=photographer's+formulary+cyanotype&tbm=shop Or type in “Photographer’s Formulary chemistry” into the shopping section of Google. *The one part process is usually referred to as the “new” formula.
Things to know about Cyanotypes continued… The item that is desired to be printed on must be able to grasp the chemistry, so be sure to keep that in mind. If one will be working with cloth, one must make sure to wash the cloth BEFORE applying the chemistry. ALL fabrics need to be of a natural material such as cotton. Synthetics usually do not allow the chemistry to grasp onto it and will result with a weak to no image. The paper you are using must be able to absorb water without falling apart and have a good tooth to hold the chemistry. In order to develop this process you must rinse with water so keep that in mind. There are always other materials that can be printed on, so one may never know unless they try.
Things to know about Cyanotypes continued… Sunlight or a source of UV light is one of the most important factors to the variables one may face. The sun is a free and easy source of UV light, however weather conditions could change the outcome of the success of one’s image. The best sun conditions are days free of cloud cover. UV tables are a great option to control the variables of one’s prints. ALWAYS make sure that one has test stripes to practice on with any type of medium one wants to apply cyanotype to. ALSO record the times of exposure and conditions.
Things to know about Cyanotypes continued… The negative that will create the desired image is a very important variable to the whole equation. There are two main options to create an image with cyanotypes which are to photogram or to use a transparency that is a negative that will be the size of the printed area. The next section will discuss how to use Adobe Photoshop in order to make a digital photo or a scanned in negative into a transparency that one can use for cyanotypes.
How to create a Transparency for Cyanotypes When one is picking out an image to create into a transparency, one must try to find an image that isn’t intricate with detail, because cyanotypes tend to lose strong details compared to other processes. Mid-tones are one of the hardest things to get perfect with this process. Keeping this in mind, look for images that have clashing contrasts as these will result in stronger success of the prints.
The image size is important because rescaling to auto fit on a printer may make an image’s proportion distorted. It is best to make the setting appropriate for printing to make things smoother and faster for one’s self. Also this is a portrait orientated image so the 8 inches should be on height for a landscape orientated image.
Some Additional Information to wrap up the Presentation One can also use orange and red tones for their transparencies,but this is a matter of preference. Both will achieve results inorder to expose an image on a coated area. If one is going to a printing service to create the transparency,make sure that “photoshop manages colors” is selected duringtheir printing process or the previous material will becomeirrelevant. Office Depot has a great printing service and thetransparencies are incredibly cheap to purchase. One may want to create a couple different transparencyoptions (levels section) to get printed of the same image just tobe on the safe side and also save a trip back to the printingservice. In the water that one uses to develop the print, add a littlehydrogen peroxide to help enhance for deep blues.
Always research more into the process of cyanotypes, because there is plenty of additional information on the internet to help one out. This a great site with a lot of information on different toning options, and help on what there is to know about cyanotypes http://www.christopherjames- studio.com/materials/The%20Book%20of%20Alt%20Phot o%20Processes/SAMPLE%20CHAPTERS/CyanotypeProces sSm.pdf (if you type in “christopher james cyanotype” in google search, one will be able to find this specific site’s pdf)
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