Anyone try Ware's "New" cyanotype?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by psvensson, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I mixed it yesterday for the first time, and I'm a bit worried that I goofed. The solution is still strongly green, and I think it's supposed to be yellow. Could the room lights have been too strong? I did it under ordinary bathroom lighting, only realizing afterward that it might be too bright.

    The one way to find out, of course, is to coat some paper and try it, but I won't have the opportunity to do that for a while.
     
  2. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Coat your paper and print! The proof is in the pudding!

    Your solution sounds okay.

    Don Bryant
     
  3. nze

    nze Member

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    Hi,

    you may filter it and th filteer will keep some blue particles and leave a yellow green solution.
     
  4. madmaz

    madmaz Member

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    It is very important that you filter it well to remove the residual crystals and sediment.

    Michael
     
  5. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I've filtered it twice. I just tried to wash out some coated but unexposed paper, and it won't clear fully. So I've got fogging going on, but I don't know if it's due to light or the chemicals...
     
  6. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Well, I got in touch with Dr. Ware, and his guess is that the ferric ammonium oxalate may have been exposed to light. He suggested adding more dichromate to counteract that. I helped to some extent - the fog is a little less noticeable, but the paper is still fogged as soon as the sensitizer is dry. Also, blue precipitate keeps forming in the sensitizer even though it's stored in the dark.

    Bostick & Sullivan shipped the ferric ammonium oxalate in a white plastic bottle that obviously lets through light. That doesn't seem like a good idea. According to Ware, the solid salt is sensitive down to green light. I've written to B&S about that, but haven't heard back yet.
     
  7. nze

    nze Member

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    Hello svensson,

    The fog may come from the paper.
    I use to coat my ware cyanotype under a 15 watt tungsten light. I let it dry 5 minutes without air and then 5 minutes with cold air. I found that long drying or to hot dring could create fog with the paper I use (Arches platine, Buxton platinotype or cappelades). so I just coat the sheet I'll use ten minutes after.

    I only mix 100 ml of solution at time and filter it before each session as you I got some blue precipitate even if I kep the bottle in the dark . I got 2 ammonium Ferric oxalate , one came in a dark box and the other ( BS) come in the white plastic. They both precipitate.

    I prefer to over expose a little and to use a solution of 1% Hcl to clear instead of the citric acid solution. The citric acid solution is safer for the highlight but a little weak for the clearing.
     
  8. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    That's interesting. I've tried both Crane's Kid Finish and 90 lb cover, which I believe is sold as "Platinotype" under another brand. I've coated under an even weaker bulb than yours, practically in the dark. I've tried hot hair dryer and overnight air drying with the same results, but I haven't tried cold forced air. Time to see if the hair dryer will do that...

    I thought the purpose of acidifying the clearing bath was to prevent excessive clearing of the blue salt? If you want more aggressive clearing, wouldn't you just let the water be?
     
  9. nze

    nze Member

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    Hi,

    The acidfying of the first clearing is here to help the unused ferric salt to clear out of the paper. You need one acid bath to help clearing but at the same time it is also a little aggressive to the image.

    I am lucky enough to have soft water at home ( not hard water). SO I can let my cyanotype all the night without any clearing. but if you havehard water it will bleach the print which is different from clearing.

    Bleaching make the image less dense
    Clearing take out the unused salt.

    Any acid bath will help to get a more brilliant cyanotype and any alkaline bath will bleach the cyanotype.

    Cyanotype may also bleach if you use a alkali matt board .
     
  10. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Thanks, Christian. That clears some of the confusion from my mind!

    This morning I did as you suggested and dried a coated strip in cool air, then exposed it as soon as it was dry. It cleared out fine, so I guess that's the way to go. Thanks again! The d-max was light, but I think that's because I couldn't leave it out long enough in the weak morning sun.

    Have you tried other cyanotype formulas? I got some pre-coated paper from blueprintables.com which I assume is the traditional formula. It printed fine a month later, but the picture is grainy and the gradation is harsh, two things I'm trying to get away from with Ware's formula.
     
  11. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Ok, I give up. The clearing problem worked out, but the sensitizer keeps deteriorating. Every time I use it its contrast has declined. I add dichromate to counteract that, but I can't keep up. Right now it needs a neg contrast range of 2.5. I think I'll try Bostick & Sullivan's "improved" two-solution formula instead.
     
  12. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    For you other cyanotypists out there: I first tried the traditional sensitizer with only ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, but found the shadows bled into the highlights despite an acid first clearing bath.

    I then added oxalic acid and ammonium dichromate as per the formula on Bostick & Sullivan's site (it's also cited in Mike Ware's book). It has no bleeding and seems satisfactory in all respects. My one problem now is that I get some solarization of the shadows when I overexpose, but I'll simply have to avoid doing that.
     
  13. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Let me know waht you hear on this. I bought a bottle and am awaiting my scale.
     
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  15. Gustavo_Castilla

    Gustavo_Castilla Member

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    is this the same as Photographers' Formulary FORMULARY LIQUID CYANOTYPE 07-0091
    if so I love the stuff
     
  16. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    The "Ware's" Cyanotype is what Formulary calls the "New Cyanotype" -- the kit has about 1/10 the material at the same price as the "Traditional Cyanotype" kit. The difference is said to be cleaner whites, much higher sensitivity, and a single solution rather than needing to be mixed immediately before sensitizing. I'm not at all sure it's worth 10x the price, but I'm on a budget...
     
  17. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Sorry, I have to correct my previous post: adding oxalic acid to the "traditional" solutions does nothing for me. I still get the bleeding. It's not visible when the print is wet, but once it's dried it shows. I can only surmise that it's the insoluble Prussian white that gets shaken loose in the acid bath and spreads through the paper. It doesn't happen when I skip the acid bath and wash the print in running water, but that takes most of the image with it as well. I'm going to try putting the exposed print in a film tank with acidified water, then agitating vigorously. If that doesn't work I'm on to other processes..

    According to their tech sheet, Photo Formulary's Liquid Cyanotype is the traditional formula, sans oxalic acid. Hm... looking at their tech sheet, I see they say a first wash with a little potassium ferricyanide will increase contrast, but it doesn't say if that's because it will clear the whites or deepen the blues. Maybe that's worth a shot too.
     
  18. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    My (very limited) experience printing in cyano is that I need to overprint a bit to compensate for the loss in development, but I don't find I lose a large amount of density due to "washing out" unless I hold the print in one place under the faucet. If I use running water in a tray, I can wash out the yellow unexposed sensitizer without much loss of density at all, mostly compensated by the deepening of the blue as Prussian White from overprinting converts back to Prussian blue.

    I've never used an acid bath of any kind, or added oxalic acid to the chemicals, and I haven't seen anything I'd call "bleeding".
     

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  19. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I've run more tests, and it's pretty clear that my water causes massive loss of density unless acidified. It might have to do with differences in our water supplies.

    I still haven't managed to get rid of the bleeding, but I just realized that adding just a little bit, like half a teaspoon, of potassium ferricyanide to the first clearing bath (along with 1 tbsp citric acid for 1.5l water) deepens the D-max tremendously. It's the kind of blue that you have to look twice at to make sure it isn't black. It also makes the paper almost more contrasty than enlarging paper.
     
  20. Gustavo_Castilla

    Gustavo_Castilla Member

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    Not bad what paper did you used? and exposure time?
     
  21. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    This is what I'd expect with an alkaline water supply. Acidifying the wash water as you've done is the simple way around it. Unfortunately, cyano requires too much water to use distilled for the development/wash, at least if you have to buy your distilled water -- if you have a distiller, it might be practical to wash in distilled.

    Now *that* is a neat trick. I suspect, however, that it's equivalent to peroxide treatment -- that is, it's just oxidizing the Prussian blue to its maximum density. Have you tried the bath in very dilute hydrogen peroxide as a comparison with your ferricyanide additive?
     
  22. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    This is Crane's Kid Finish, at about 4.5 minutes in slightly hazy sunshine exposing through 5x7 FP4+.
     
  23. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    The acid prevents density loss, but it doesn't prevent bleeding. I wonder if there's some other difference between our processes. What paper do you use?

    The effect is quite different from peroxide and aerial oxidation. It gives a much deeper tone. It's possible that it's the equivalent of increasing the amount of ferricyanide in the sensitizer.

    It's almost TOO good - my girlfriend looked at it and said it doesn't even look like cyanotype anymore. It looks almost like someone loaded an inkjet with very deep fountain-pen ink. If only I could curb the bleeding.
     
  24. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    The paper I've used is what was cheap at Fred Meyer (a local everything store when I lived in Seattle area): ProArt (made in Malaysia, company address at a PO Box in Beaverton, OR, a suburb of Portland), acid free, 140# (300 gsm) natural white cold pressed. It appears to be fiber reinforced (it doesn't wrinkle when wet) and came in a wire-bound book of 15 sheets, 7x10 inches. I've been getting as many as four 9x12 cm prints from a sheet.

    My chemistry is the Formulary Traditional Cyanotype dry chemical kit; I haven't ever used the arrowroot starch sizing, but simply coat the paper directly. I have sometimes used one drop of the 2% potassium dichromate solution in 2 ml of mixed sensitizer, but mostly I get better results without it. And I haven't attempted a print in several months; since moving to North Carolina last fall, I haven't even opened the chemical bottles to see if the ferric ammonium citrate has gotten moldy.

    It's very possible the ferricyanide in the first wash is acting like more ferri in the sensitizer, but it might also be reacting with unexposed sensitizer and causing or contributing to your bleeding. Seems to me there was a ferricyanide based "ink'" formula as one of the experiments in the chemistry set I had when I was in about 5th grade. I seem to recall that increasing the proportion of ferri in the original sensitizer would tend to make the print faster, which could cause fog you'd see as bleeding.
     
  25. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I get bleeding with or without ferricyanide in the bath. Its main negative effect is that the highlights don't clear as well.

    The ink experiment in your chemistry is probably Prussian Blue, same as the cyanotype! It's used as fountain-pen ink etc.
     
  26. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Resurrecting this thread because I think I've figured out the mechanism of the bleeding. The mystery to me was always why there was no bleeding visible after washing - it always showed up during drying. I thought this was because invisible Prussian white, bled out during washing, became oxidized into Prussian blue during drying. It turns out that it's actually Prussian blue diffusing through the paper during drying!

    I found this out by bleaching out the bleeding around the edges of the print. When I washed the print and laid it to dry, more bleeding appeared.

    Obviously, drying the paper faster might help. Does anyone dry their cyanotypes with a blow dryer or oven?

    I'm using Crane's Kid Finish and Crane's 90lb cover.