Cyanotypes

A while ago I wrote a blogpost about learning how to print during my analogue photography course. During that same course, I also learned how to make cyanotypes. Cyanotype is an old way of printing photos, using a mixture of two chemicals that will react to UV light.

If you are interested in this technique, I can recommend a tutorial I found online. It describes the process very accurate. I bought the chemicals online, and mixed them at home. In an arts and crafts shop I bought watercolour paper, and put the emulsion I made on it. I made negatives by inverting black and white images in Photoshop, and printing them onto transparent sheets.

At a thrift shop near my work I found a very cheap but working face tanning UV light. I made a work station at home, by putting the tanning device upside down on two crates, with space underneath to put the prepared paper and negative. I placed the negative on the paper, and put a glass plate on it, before turning on the UV light. The exposure time was guesstimated. The emulsion, which is a bright yellowish green at first, turns to greyish green when exposed to UV light. After exposing it, I rinsed the print in water until the yellow emulsion was gone. 

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I enjoyed making them. It is possible to tone them with things like tea, baking powder and peroxide, and I'll experiment with that in the future.