Re: old vs. new cyanotype

From: Robin Dreyer ^lt;>
Date: 06/13/04-02:10:07 PM Z
Message-id: <>

This is not about chemistry, but just a user's comment. I love the new
cyanotype formula for these reasons:

1. I work with it intermittently and the stuff lasts for at least a

2. It's really nice not to lose much density in the water.

3. I find in practice that you get more contrast out of this formula,
so it will accommodate a less punchy negative. I've made beautiful
prints right from Polaroid 55 negatives (which were shot in the full
sun for maximum contrast, but still don't achieve an "optimum"
cyantoype contrast range).

4. This is a big one: it seems much easier (possibly because of reason
2) to get a very little bit of tone in a not-quite-white highlight area.

Robin Dreyer

On Friday, June 11, 2004, at 07:14 AM, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

> A while back we were discussing the two cyanotype formulas. I
> reported this
> weird thing happening with the new cyanotype: the print would look
> perfect
> but all highlights would be lavender. I thought my solution was
> fogged, so I
> ordered a new batch from Photographer's Formulary.
> I mixed up the solution yesterday. I do say it is way more work to
> mix than
> the traditional formula, but still, manageable. The Formulary kit is
> so
> wonderful because everything is measured out in packets for you. $20
> for
> 100ml.
> You have to heat distilled water, add the green crystals of ferric
> ammonium
> oxalate, pour in the bottle of dichromate solution, and then (the only
> putzy
> step) grind up the potassium ferricyanide crystals to a yellow powder.
> This
> I do by leaving it in the bag it comes in, and rolling it with a
> rolling
> pin. No mess, no dust. Then you have to add this to the mix and let
> sit in
> the dark for an hour. Then pour it thru a coffee filter and add water
> to
> make 100ml. Not bad, but still, one vote pro traditional.
> My old (very) solution was not fogged, because I still got the lavender
> highlights. I figured out what it is, too. Luckily I was making
> salsa.
> Not having my photo chemicals here, I squeezed some lime juice onto the
> lavender highlights and presto, they turned blue. Thus, the lavender
> is
> exposure, but in an alkaline environment. I feel like the Martha
> Stuart of
> kitchen photography.
> Hence, Fabriano Artistico is probably not a suitable paper for the new
> cyanotype unless you dink around somehow. I tried coating it with
> oxalic
> acid before printing, and that did not work. One more vote for the
> traditional.
> Other than this, still no wash off, still deep blue, still looks
> perfectly
> fine under tricolor gum, because the acidity of the dichromate in the
> gum
> layers must do what the lime juice did, takes care of the lavender.
> Chris
> PS BTW, Tom Ferguson, even with the paler nickel titanate layer in the
> Wang
> process, as opposed to the cadmium yellow, I still did not need to
> reprint a
> yellow layer--it was plenty yellow.
Received on Mon Jun 14 06:01:49 2004

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