Cyanotype Workshop

As part of the week six activities, I took part in Wendy’s Cyanotype workshop.Cyanotype is considered a very early form of photography, mainly used in victorian times. The process produces cyan-blue prints using a combination  ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide as a photosensitive solution, and then exposure UV light.

PROCESS- A combination of the chemicals are painted onto various papers and fabrics. This is left to dry in a dark place, and when dry found objects/ desired objects to be printed are placed on top of the painted paper. This can either be left in good sunlight or under a UV light bulb. How long the pieces are left will have a effect on richness, quality and crispness of the print. After being exposed the paper will turn a green/yellow colour. Once happy with the time of exposure the paper is rinsed in water, removing the chemical and turning a cyan-blue colour. The water acts as a fixing agent to stop the print developing any further. The paper is then left to dry and has produced a ‘photograph’.

I enjoyed learning a new process and am happy with the outcomes, although if I were to do this again would be much more experimental with choice of objects, exposure time, location as well as hopefully having a sunnier and dry day! My favourite thing about this process is its ability to mark a certain place and time and how it can se so subtle to leave just a trace of what was there, sometimes being very clear, but sometimes being unknown. For example you could leave a variety of papers all in different locations, indoors and outdoors and the final prints would all be unique and reflect where it had been. Some factors to take into consideration include; strength of light, shadows, dampness of the ground, if its raining, (the water would stop development in certain places on the print during the process), transparencies and time.

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