Cyanotype photogaphy

Cyanotype photography is a method in which chemical process meets the suns rays to fix an image into place on a surface. it primarily has a blue look and feel to it. one of the most famous photographers to harness and develop this process is Anna Atkins. originally she was a botanist in the early 19th century she used cyanotypes to document her botany work and is believed to be one of the first female photographers and is certainly one of the first to make a book of her photographs.

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We remember Anna Atkins, the first photographer in history

a cyanotype is achieved by applying a chemical dye to an alkaline based surface such as watercolor paper or cotton and then applying sunlight to expose the surface. now the question comes in which way would you like to block light to achieve your image. well there are a few ways such as photograms which is where you place objects such as organic material like Atkins did , or you can use acetate negatives or just plain old negatives however they do need to be fairly high contrast to achieve the kind of shot you want.  i decided to try an acetate based negative i originally used a negative of myself as it was quite high contrast and it worked pretty well, however it came out a little too washed out and i cannot show the example as it disappeared during the drying process so i decided to try again and expose the paper for another few minutes in the sun. below is my final example of cyanotype

cyanotype

‘lands end first and last’, 2014. Paul johnson Photography

in total this print was placed in the sun for 7:30 seconds and i feel came out absolutley perfect for me it even shows the cloud detail that i was sure i would loose.

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