World Cyanotype Day and Weathering the Blues

I’ve being working with Cyanotype for just a couple of years on and off usually during the summer months. Nothing too serious, it’s more about discovery and understanding the medium. Learning how to fine tune the exposure and getting the paper to play along with the chemicals can be daunting.

Halseralm Qink! on Cyantype
Halseralm Qink! on Cyantype
During my discoveries, I’ve found that overcast days work quite well too especially for very detailed prints. The exposure naturally takes a heck of a lot longer. UV light or the blue part of the light is always stronger in the mornings. The blue light is what the chemicals in most alternative process is susceptible to. Keeping the morning light in mind and an overcast day will help very much to control the highlights in a Cyanotype or VDB image.My exposures are typically under these conditions are about 20 – 90 mins depending on depending on how miserable the sky is.
The overflowed path, Ysperklamm - Cyanotype
The overflowed path, Ysperklamm – Cyanotype

World Cyanotype Day

I found out about WCD on Alternative Photography’s website Malin had interview the organisers. To take part one simply creates a flag with motif that celebrates our beautiful planet.

Cyanotype print on cotton

Pretty much a first for me to print on cotton. Now I thought I needed quite an amount of chemicals to achieve this. Well, not really. A 30 x 30 cm cotton material will happily absorb two caps of A and B solutions so about 20 ml. Being my first attempt of using cotton, I’m quite delighted with the results. (Tip: next time I’ll need to trim the frayed edges a bit better. So the white swiggles don’t appear around the image.)It’s important to use a natural material – in my case 100% cotton. The sensitizer can also work on silk, wool, hemp, linen, canvas, leather and wood. It’s best to avoid manmade materials such as polyester.

Make the negative

I had printed out my negative with a contrast curve, horizontally flipped, orange tone filter in Photoshop. If you wish to know how to print negatives for alternative process check out my previous post on tips for VDB and Salt Paper.

Make a border

To decorate or make a kind of framing I drew with a permanent black marker on top of the negative to make the border and the title below.

Squeeze out the little guy - Cyanotype on cotton
Squeeze out the little guy – Cyanotype on cotton
To participle in this event get your skates the deadline is September 16th, 2019 – World Cyanotype DayAs someone who also likes to sew from time to time, this brings new possibilities for me. I’ve learned something new today by trying out this process with something other than paper.I hope you have enjoyed this post. Please share and use the comment below.

Leave a Reply