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Cyanotype printing

 
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1339
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:05 pm    Post subject: Cyanotype printing Reply with quote

I decided to get back into film photography a few months ago although I've been shooting medium format for quite sometime. I just finished restoring a 4x5 and 8x10 camera. I've also been reading about and experimenting with Cyanotype printing lately too. I still haven't perfected it yet but getting closer. I'm sure things will improve once I start using better paper. I thought some of you might like to see a couple of Diatom "test" prints. Naturally there's room for improvement and a better exposure.

https://squattingdog.smugmug.com/Diatoms/i-MHG3zZr/A

https://squattingdog.smugmug.com/Diatoms/i-LSwXmsS/A

https://squattingdog.smugmug.com/Diatoms/i-n6g46fD/A

https://squattingdog.smugmug.com/Diatoms/i-FvMT5pG/A

-JW:
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:39 pm    Post subject: Cyanotype Reply with quote

One trick I learned in cyanotype printing is while the paper is still wet after being "developed" you can selectively intensify areas of blue by brushing on a Clorox solution.

Mike
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iconoclastica



Joined: 25 Jun 2016
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Location: Wageningen, Gelderland

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting path you are venturing on. It had never come to me to use LF with microscopy, even less when combined with cyanotypes. It is fun to do, isn't it? Although admittedly I haven't printed any cyanotypes for about two years. At the workshop where I learned how to print them they also demonstrated gum prints. But contrary to cyanotypes, I never had any sucess printing those at home.
Last months I frequently used my 5x7, loaded with x-ray film. But not for microscopy - how do you project the image on the film?

Wim
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1339
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Cyanotype Reply with quote

Olympusman wrote:
One trick I learned in cyanotype printing is while the paper is still wet after being "developed" you can selectively intensify areas of blue by brushing on a Clorox solution.

Mike


Thanks, to my knowledge you reduce the intensity by bleaching the print with Clorox and to increase the blue you use hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice.
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1339
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iconoclastica wrote:
That's an interesting path you are venturing on. It had never come to me to use LF with microscopy, even less when combined with cyanotypes. It is fun to do, isn't it? Although admittedly I haven't printed any cyanotypes for about two years. At the workshop where I learned how to print them they also demonstrated gum prints. But contrary to cyanotypes, I never had any sucess printing those at home.
Last months I frequently used my 5x7, loaded with x-ray film. But not for microscopy - how do you project the image on the film?

Wim


I have tried placing a Cyanotype coated watercolor sheet in a 8x10 film holder without much success. It took outrageously long exposure times even with a large aperture. I'm not saying it can't be done. I also think that the emulsion degrades with super long exposures like that.

I've been using a digital image created and manipulated in Photoshop (converted to monochrome, a curve adjustment in PS using the eye dropper blackest black and whitest white, invert the image and flipped). Then I make a transparency. I coat the paper and once dry put the emulsion sides together, then place in a contact printing frame. I also made a step wedge in Photoshop to get the exposures somewhat correct. I also tried that with a Diatom test wedge (see pic). Soon I will try some better paper. The really good paper is to expensive (for me).

I plan on using a 8x10 'camera' negative soon which was the main reason for experimenting with this in the first place. I just thought I'd try a few Diatom prints using negatives I created . Oh, I too will be using x-ray film (Carestream) when I get to that point.



-JW:
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WalterD



Joined: 06 Jul 2015
Posts: 514
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very interesting project, James. I had to google cyanotype but understand it's like a blueprint. I like the cyanotypes that show a lot of contrast in particular. Diatoms with their "graphic" structure may be good subjects for this technique. You transfer the digital pictures to large format film to cyanotype? Looking forward to see more.

Best regards,
Walter
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1339
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WalterD wrote:
That's a very interesting project, James. I had to google cyanotype but understand it's like a blueprint. I like the cyanotypes that show a lot of contrast in particular. Diatoms with their "graphic" structure may be good subjects for this technique. You transfer the digital pictures to large format film to cyanotype? Looking forward to see more.

Best regards,
Walter


Yes, if you look at the last pic I posted I have a A4 size Diatom test transparency inside that contact printing frame. Originally I made the image from a Diatom slide I have with my 50D. Anyway I could have placed the transparency and Cyanotype paper in between two pieced of glass with clamps on each corner instead of using the contact printing frame. I was just testing for exposure and the reason for the horizontal lines and the 1 to 6 minute divisions. Here's a little darker example (different Diatom of course).

As I said before I plan on using 8x10 negative taken with my camera once I experiment more. Of course that won't be of a Diatom.<g> If I get the process nailed down to my satisfaction I plan on printing with better paper (which unfortunately is quite expensive).



-JW:
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iconoclastica



Joined: 25 Jun 2016
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Location: Wageningen, Gelderland

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a beautiful subdued hue of blue, by the way. Nothing like the vivid blues I got. Toned to brown it turned to the better, but still it was the first reason I tried the gum types.
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Robert Berdan



Joined: 18 Oct 2017
Posts: 143
Location: Calgary

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 7:30 pm    Post subject: Nice Cyanotype prints Reply with quote

Nice to see you experimenting with cyanotypes. I did some many years ago then I found I could simulate it with photoshop - in fact one can simulate almost any technique except the effect of a polarizing filters.

If you might be interested in how to simulate cyanotype digitally - I describe my technique here: https://www.canadiannaturephotographer.com/cyanotype.html

Not suggesting anyone shouldn't try the original technique - but if you gave up film - it can be simulated digitally. Folks told me photoshop could never simulate Infrared film - and that's not the case either.

I like the old techniques, but prefer the convenience of digital more I suppose.
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