Making the Cyanotype Blues

Living the Cyanotype blues means getting up early to catch the morning sun but even before that requires some planning.

Preparation, preparation is the solution for making a weekend full of alternative photography whichever process you engage in. When you find yourself stuck inside on a dreary cold evening then it’s time to get the papers out. A selection of papers, paper tape, a hake brush and some A+B Cyanotype solution.

Paper tape to frame the size of the print you hope to make soon. That’s exactly what I did last Wednesday. Now I’m  pleased the past person I am had the foresight to see the future weekend would be full of sunshine. Presently I had also printed off some negatives too for the occasion. Just images I wished to print.

The ‘makes’ of the weekend

Hauptplatz, Graz - BMX Biker
Hauptplatz, Graz – BMX Biker

The simple story is, I was hanging around the main square – hauptplatz in Graz wishing to try out my vintage filters (see post blog), then a couple lads were messy about on their BMX bike doing stunts and what not. I used one of my glass filters to make the image stutter a bit give the idea of movement.


Klanglicht, Graz 2019
Klanglicht, Graz 2019

The Klanglicht festival happens every year in Graz where streets of the city are turned into an exhibition.  A visual temporary installations in different points for a few days. This was one in the main sqaure. To be honest it’s pretty awesome. I really admire  the Klanglicht it captures the spirit of Graz.  I say more arts and artists,  thats what the world needs and of course trees!.

Stairway to nowhere
Stairway to nowhere

Stairways to nowhere, I find this somewhere in Ramsau many years ago. I’m not even sure what it’s suppose to be. But the sky and ladder into it seems so how important. What do you think ?

Cyanotype at the Mountain Cabin

From the previous weekend when I was making all those Anthotype and was secretly making Cyanotype. Producing them at the cabin hidden in the woods.

Those days are spend walking back and forth to prepare, sit the print in the sun and washing the exposed print in the small stream. It is an idyllic way to enjoy the mornings.


When I feel the negative and prepared paper has been exposed long enough in the sunlight. I open the teal wooden contact frame by loosening the wings nuts and swinging around the battens. The paper is remove and brought face down to the spring for washing. Usually the print at this stage is metallic dark blue and unexposed parts yellow greenish. I submerge the entire sheet in the water and agitate the water across the surface to wash away the unused chemicals. Then I leave the print face down in the slow flowing water. After 10 or maybe 20 minutes I inspect the result. If there isn’t any yellow left on the paper it’s ready to hang and dry.

Hauptplatz, Graz - BMX Biker


Once the print has been washed it’s hung by wooden pegs on twine to dry in the open under the shelter of the roof’s eves.


While in the evening under low light from battery operated led lights, I paint the next batch of Cyanotype paper for first light. The papers lay to the side of the rustic wood stove. This ensures they dry thoroughly.


If you enjoy this post and work let me know.

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