Re: New Cyanotype

From: Christina Z. Anderson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/20/04-09:08:08 PM Z
Message-id: <004701c43ee0$f1381f40$193ead42@oemcomputer>

     If it ain't broke, don't fix it :)
     I've been thinking about the whole cyanotype comparison, and in order
to use the traditional effectively, all I would have to do is expose longer
than Ware's and be more careful with my coating and drying process to make
sure it sinks well into the paper, whether by adding Tween or by my brushing
technique or letting it sit longer. The mold doesn't bother me at all. And
an extra minute or two of exposure isn't a problem. I do mind the citric
acid wash because it turns my bathtub blue so cleanup is a pain in the popo,
but I suppose I could mix up a tray of that separately and finish washing in
the tub (I don't have running water in my "dark" room).
     What I think happens is someone gets used to working with one or the
other (me, Ware's) and when the switch occurs, it presents a need for
adjustment, which most people don't like to do. If I had started with the
traditional formula I may prefer it to Ware's. Ware's is just so darn
     I do think the reasons Ware developed the new formula are inherent in
the old for sure, but people adjust for it so it is not a bother.
     Ware's is deep and rich but some may call it "harsh" by comparison to
the traditional. That I suppose could be adjusted thru the negative curve.
     I do want to retract one statement I made: yesterday I said I would
prefer the traditional formula under a gumover. I finished my gumover
comparisons yesterday, and I have to say that the dark navy of the Ware's
looks very appealing, more dramatic than the traditional cyanotype, even
overexposed. I thought the overexposed ones would be throwaways, but the
gum worked to soften and add detail. So I can't say I prefer one over the
other, as both have their own look.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Retzlaff" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2004 8:43 PM
Subject: RE: New Cyanotype

> Boy, now I'm paranoid. Here I was, happily using my water from the tap
> without thinking too much about it. I must be lucky. I do get quite
> consistent results with a very high maximum density (bordering on black).
> do use the citric acid (approximately 2% solution) as a preliminary wash.
> do get a lot of blue in that wash water and I normally don't use it for
> than four or five prints (12 by 18 in.)
> I expose until the shadows are white and the medium tones are slightly
> reversed. I use a very dense negative.
> Anyway, that is my two cents.
> Regards, Rick Retzlaff
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ryuji Suzuki []
> Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2004 2:11 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: New Cyanotype
> From: "Gordon J. Holtslander" <>
> Subject: Re: New Cyanotype
> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 23:15:12 -0600
> > I've always suspected thay cyanotype is very sensitive to the pH of
> > Is there a standard way of checing the pH of paper. I don't have a pH
> > meter, but I have plenty of litmus paper.
> It's sensitive to the pH of the coated layer, that is very likely.
> For primary photochemical stage of cyanotype-type reaction, see
> Abrahamson, H. B., Rezvani, A. B, and Brushmiller, J. G. 1994.
> Photochemical and spectroscopic studies of complexes, of iron(III)
> with citric acid and other carboxylic acids. Inorganica Chimica Acta,
> Volume 226, pp. 117--127.
> On top of this, you have the issue of ammonium ion from the ferric
> ammonium citrate, and also the pH dependency of the secondary process
> to form Prussian blue. My guess is that the optimal pH is shifted or
> widened upward. If I were a regular cyanotype printer, I'd do a couple
> of hours of search for a good buffering system that doesn't interfere
> with the process, and use it. (That's probably just me. I hate
> mysteries and I don't like continual attention for the too many little
> things during ongoing work...) But guessing from the fact that this is
> not customarily done, there is some technical difficulty that I don't
> know about?
> About the measurement of pH of paper, according to my paper reference,
> there's such thing as ISO6588:1981, and other standards, but I don't
> know much more.
> --
> Ryuji Suzuki
> "You have to realize that junk is not the problem in and of itself.
> Junk is the symptom, not the problem."
> (Bob Dylan 1971; source: No Direction Home by Robert Shelton)
Received on Fri May 21 09:07:49 2004

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