Re: Hello!

From: Marilyn ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 12/20/04-09:05:29 AM Z
Message-id: <003401c4e6a5$5ad494d0$b01c5142@happyk3tyje1sc>

Hello Trevor,

I'm delighted to hear you are working on an alternative printing process. Cyanotype, although a relatively easy method, can be very tricky; so many things make a difference in the outcome of the print.

The chemical makeup of your water (is your water alkaline?) can change the outcome of the prints, as can age of chemicals, type of paper, what you have used to size the paper - or if you size your paper - and on and on.

Were you able to sign up for the alt-photo list serve I sent you? The people on that list can be a tremendous help. I'm sure you are aware that there are many articles and books about the process, also. One of my favorite books is The New Photography; A Guide to New Images, Processes and Display Techniques for Photographers by Catherine Reeve and Marilyn Sward.

Are you using Ware's formula, or one of the original formulas?

As far as the intensity of the print you should allow time for the emulsion to saturate the paper. Are you allowing the paper to dry thoroughly? The following methods of intensifying color are controversial (introducing more chemicals to your print), but I have tried them and they work. You can use 4 drops of hydrochloric acid in 1 quart of water, or 1 ounce of household bleach in a quart of water, or a 10% solution of ammonium dichromate, or a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in a tray of water. Dip print in solution and wash again for 15 minutes.

Please keep PhotofForum informed on how you are doing.


Leave gentle fingerprints on the
soul of another for the angels to read.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: trevor cunningham
  Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2004 11:48 PM
  Subject: Hello!

  Hello everybody!

  I'm new to the group and alt processes as well. I've recently just started doing cyanotypes. I've come across some inconsistent results with the same materials. For all situations to be described, I'm working from the same batch of chemicals mixed (but not combined into sensitizer) a week ago. The solutions are 25g of ammonium ferric citrate to 75cc distilled, and 10g potass ferricynide to 80 cc distilled. The first print came out rather faint (paper only dried for a couple hours) after an exposure of about ten minutes. Actually, all exposures were around ten minutes. The next two came out very vivid and bright blue (paper dried overnight). The next two came out faint once again (left to dry over the weekend). And today's came out somewhere in between (left overnight). I'm assuming there is a correlation between drying time and intensity of the blue in the shadows. I've read that increased washing ca! n reduce the intensity of an image as well (however, the most vivid were washed the longest...may not long enough for the solution to react to the water?). How about volume of chemical on the paper?

  Cheers...Trevor Cunningham

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Received on Mon Dec 20 09:06:50 2004

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