Cyanotype and Photograms Workshop

I had another workshop today with Mal in Photography, where I would be learning about Cyanotypes and Photograms.

The Basic Cyanotype Recipe hasn’t changed very much at all since Sir John Herschel introduced it in 1842. However, some advances have been made by Mike Ware in what is referred to as the New cyanotype process. Ware’s cyanotype formula has less bleed, shorter exposure times and a longer density range than Herschel’s, but it is also slightly more complicated to mix and uses more toxic chemicals.

The cyanotype is made up of two simple solutions. My print didn’t come out successfully due to the print shop in the main building being too busy to put my image onto acetate to use for my cyanotype, so I ended up using my film from the Film Photography workshop. Due to them being very faint, the images did not come out after they were washed. It left a comic like strip feature on a blue background.

  • Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric ammonium citrate (green) are mixed with water separately.
  • The two solutions are then blended together in equal parts.

    Preparing the canvas

  • Paper, card, textiles or any other naturally absorbent material is coated with the solution and dried in the dark.
  • Printing the cyanotype
  • Objects or negatives are placed on the material to make a print. The cyanotype is printed using UV light, such as the sun, a light box or a UV lamp.
  • Processing and drying
  • After exposure the material is processed by simply rinsing it in water. A white print emerges on a blue background.
  • The final print is dried and admired.

    My print didn’t come out successfully due to the print shop in the main building being too busy to put my image onto acetate to use for my cyanotype, so I ended up using my film from the Film Photography workshop. Due to them being very faint, the images did not come out after they were washed. It left a comic like strip feature on a blue background. I was not happy with my outcome and I intend to use the process again next Friday, as I want to develop images in different ways for my Archaeological Artefacts project.

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Author: lawrenceaaronmaker

Studying a BA Hons in Artist, Designer; Maker at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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