Re: New Cyanotype

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/19/04-08:51:31 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Wed, 19 May 2004, Loris Medici wrote:

> Judy, happy for you but ... blue water is a standard issue for me (I double
> coat).

Loris, reading your comments, and Chris's, I doubt it's an act of genius
to see the water as a major variable... The first person I heard mention
the blue water was Mike Ware, so I thought maybe it was European... But
now it seems like it could be pH (?). I don't have a viable pH meter---
do you?

But here's something I have heard mentioned, though when, where and
exactly in what cause, I don't recall -- that doing the first
wash after exposure in distilled water was very helpful, cutting down
after shocks of whatever kind. And one other thing I did see -- although
apparently New York and Brooklyn water are impeccable in development -- I
was following an old formula that said a citric acid bath before
development would intensify. Instead it stained the paper blue.

Meanwhile, is it possible that a more absorbent paper would bleed less??


 That's why I'm overexposing my cyanotypes incredibly - I never
> understood the "expose for highlights becoming one - one and a half stop
> darker than what you want in the final print" suggestion... If I do it that
> way, I get empty highlights, highlight-like midtones and weak shadows. But
> if I expose the print until the shadows are completely reversed, midtones
> reversed but less than shadows and highlights blue (zone IV I'd say) then I
> get the print I want (after the print turning the first development tray
> dark green/prussian blue - 2 mins - and the second one very weak cyan/aqua -
> 2 mins - and clear in the third one - again 2 mins). The only case I hadn't
> blue water was when I was adding gum arabic (4 drops to 20ml sensitizer) and
> 10% potassium dichromate (2 - 3 drops to 20ml sensitizer) to the emulsion.
> In that case the shadows would look almost whitish in development and won't
> dissolve in the development water (in my case, it's mainly the dissolving of
> shadows that makes the water prussian blue) and sometimes it would convert
> to deep blue in peroxide bath only, not before. And yes, my paper's not very
> absorbent - I had best results adding 2 - 3 drops of ILFOTOL to 20ml
> sensitizer (that's a wetting agent similar to Photo-Flo) - but I don't see
> any puddling when I coat; the paper gets matte in one to two mins. BTW, I
> use 0.1% citric acid as developer (1gr to 1lt) in order to compensate -
> maybe - alkaline wash water (not scientific, I didn't even try to measure
> the PH of our tap water - what I know is it stinks chlorine!).
Received on Wed May 19 20:51:49 2004

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