Cyanotype printing

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by ShiftyBagLady, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    Has anybody got experience with this?
    I'm about to start experimenting with his so I'd like recommendations on what I'll need to buy (I may have missed something obvious) and also what materials are most effective.
    I've got old negatives and X-rays I'd like to use but I'd really like to know in advance if the process damage them as they're quite precious.
    Any tips and advice gratefully received :)
     
    SheilaNaGig and wayward bob like this.
  2. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    no damage from what i dimly recall :thumbs: are you using pre-sensitised material or are you coating things yourself? that's the really messy bit, but nothing needs to get anywhere near your negs unless you're as sloppy as me :oops:

    i <3 cyanotypes
     
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  3. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    It won't damage the items, you just shine light through them onto the surface.

    I've never coated the paper myself (I only did a workshop a while back) but you can buy it pre-done like bob says. Silverprint have a load of different products and kits - Silverprint Photographic Supplies - including cotton as well as paper.
     
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  4. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    There is a good list of all you need here...
    Cyanotype – the classic process

    However, they make no mention of fixing. Cyanotype printing is relatively easy, good fun and affordable. It also opens up a path to new ideas. It uses iron rather than silver halides. You don't need to know this, but it explains why it is cheaper and not as good. Don't expect the finished results to be totally light proof without a good fixing process. A lot depends on what you want to print on.

    Also, without an enlarger you need some imagination and know how to vary the size of your prints from negatives, or x-rays.
     
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  5. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    You don't need to use a fixer apart from water. You just wash it for five minutes or so.
     
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  6. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    I guess my approach would be OTT for most needs. They will fade if you only wash and they are displayed unprotected.

    I would love to try printing onto a large slab of rough cut limestone. The other idea I had for making cash whilst walking Camino was prints on pebbles. Proper Jesus magic that even today.
     
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  7. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    Sweet :thumbs:
    I've got some pretreated paper to play about with but I imagine I will want to use proper, big, watercolour paper?
    I mean, because I'm playing with images of the body (and because I'm grandiose) I would like to use fabric and dreams a Turin shroud type thing...
    Really, I want to make images like this one [removed] of my six year old skull, but not on my bedroom window (going to delete so don't quote please).
    But I've got so many good images to use.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  8. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    Yes, I hadn't thought of fixing but I should definitely do that.
    While looking though some of the X-rays I found a full length X-ray of my body at age 9 (I think), over the top the surgeon has drawn lines, angles and degrees of all the surgery he was going to do. It's amazing. The lines are drawn in chalk so I'm so relived they have survived their storage.
    Is there any way to fix chalk to the X-ray film? I hope so. Where do you go to ask these kind of questions?
     
  9. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    do you have (access to) a darkroom?
     
  10. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    run a test with generic spray fixative? (most likely a wax-chalk pencil?)
     
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  11. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    questions questions! (btw i fucking love that pic :cool:)
     
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  12. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    Hmm.... maybe. I have a friend at art school and I'm sure he'd sneak me in somewhere
     
  13. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    when you coat your own materials it goes on as a liquid and has to be left to dry *in the dark* which is where i had difficulties. i tried using a wardrobe but had a lot of fogging from light leaks so in the end i waited until the kids were away and used kid2's bottom bunk overnight :D
     
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  14. Edie

    Edie Well-Known Member

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  15. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    Oh, I see.... I could block out light in my bathroom quite easily and (thank god, now I know it's useful for something) there's no natural light whatsoever in my hallway so I can get that really dark...
     
  16. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    the quality of a crisp cyanotype on watercolour paper is magic - esp compared to the sun paper you buy for kids. dunno if there's a middle ground in terms of materials ready-to-use? (eta: oh yeh just followed fridge's link :thumbs:) and the magic of watching the colours change is like indigo dyeing :cool:

    also - you can apply it to any absorbent surface, i've done a load of different fabrics. oh and you can get fabric dye ready-made in other colours: Sun Painting (with Setacolor) i'm guessing that could equally be applied to paper :hmm:
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  17. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    the most useful thing to have is 1 or 2 sheets of glass the size of your largest image, the tighter the sandwich the clearer the (contact) print. clip-frames can be v handy but a bit fragile...
     
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  18. UrbaneFox

    UrbaneFox Reviewing the situation

    You won't damage the negatives as long as the paper is dried after coating. Have you got a kit? I made some years ago, but we mixed our own chemicals.

    I don't remember fixing them, just soaking them to lift the unexposed / unhardened emulsion.

    Some Anna Atkins cyanotypes
    anna atkins - Google Search
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  19. UrbaneFox

    UrbaneFox Reviewing the situation

    You could use a hairdryer. :)
     
  20. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    I'm going to mix my own chemicals and get some nice quality paper. Haven't bought them yet but I'll get there!

    Just read about Anna Atkins, thanks to your link :cool: :thumbs:
     
  21. UrbaneFox

    UrbaneFox Reviewing the situation

    I tried to buy some chemicals for another photo process, but they were suspicious in the chemists, and wanted to know more. In the end I just shoved off.

    I thought I might be arrested for trying to make my own bombs, but that didn't happen.
     
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  22. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    Dark web?
     
    UrbaneFox likes this.
  23. UrbaneFox

    UrbaneFox Reviewing the situation

    Cyanowebs
     
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