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I’ve been having fun this summer making cyanotype prints and refining my ‘technique’ along the way. Since last summer’s basic-as-possible efforts, I’ve:

  • Bought a proper developer tray (works much better than the kitchen sink)
  • Worked out a way to make digital negatives in Adobe Lightroom (in short: convert to B&W; increase contrast; tidy up stray background highlights; flip horizontal; reverse the tone curve to make the blacks white and vice versa)
  • Printed the digital negatives on clear overhead projector ‘paper’ (film?)
  • Acquired some much beefier bulldog clips (or ‘fold back clips’ as they seem to be called now) – these are key to a nice crisp print (if that’s what you’re after), and make drying the prints much easier.

It’s a great, low-tech way to experience the magic of an image appearing like magic, and get the satisfaction of having made something. Below are some pics of the prints I’ve made, and the process of making them.

Cyanotype ‘studio’, ie the back garden.

Digital negative, printed on to overhead projector film through a cheap laser printer.

Print being washed after exposure. A small flow of water from the hose helps get the remaining chemicals off the paper.

Pre-prepared paper, bought online.

Print being exposed in the sun. The blue plastic sheet came with the kit, and helps keep the print flat. A similarly-sized sheet of hardboard for the back would help keep a more even contact across the paper for a crisper print.

Tunnel Refineries print drying.