Cyanotype touble

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by kevin klein, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. kevin klein

    kevin klein Member

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    How long does it take for most of you to expose a cyanotype in the sun? mine have been taking over an hour or two. They used to take only a little longer than an albumen print. Does cold weather have anything to do with it?
    I might just get rid of the chemicals and buy new ones.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,657
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I always noticed a difference between winter sun and summer sun (and minor differences based on time of day) more than temperature differences. But the exposure difference should not be a matter of minutes versus hours.
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,144
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Either your negatives are over-exposed and over-developed or something is amiss with your chemistry. Yes,cold weather can have an influence because all, or at least most, chemical activity slows as the temperature gets below a given point, but I wouldn't expect it to be this great. Do you buy your chemistry as a kit, or mix your own? I suggest mixing your own fro raw chemicals if you are not doing so. Immensely cheaper over the long term and you have control of what is in them. I keep my cyanotype chemicals separate and only mix the "A" and "B" to together prior to printing. I have never had a batch go bad.
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,657
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ... and which cyanotype formula are you using - traditional or new?
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,301
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Papers make a difference, too. Same paper?
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,657
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not intending to derail the original question/thread, but seeking to clarify -- I know there are differences between paper and sizing, but would it result in exposure differences of that magnitude? I have limited experience in that aspect due to paper/sizing standardization.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,301
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    A heavily alkaline sized paper might cause problems when teamed up with a dense negative, etc. I think the OP needs to determine all the various variables that may have changed between printing sessions. Time of day, time of year, any differences in negative density, paper changes, water changes (might be season differences in alkalinity of the water supply), etc etc etc.

    Also the difference between an hour exposure and a two hour exposure is only one stop...not much, really. We were not told how long an albumin print took to expose properly. If it was 30 minutes, then we are only talking one to two stops difference.
     
  8. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Issues to consider:

    - Same negative, same film? Some films have a coating that reduces the amount of UV that reaches the paper.
    - Buffering agents in the paper?
    - Have you accounted for dry down? Cyanotypes darken considerably as they dry. You can simulate (to a degree) what the image will look like when dry by adding a cap full(ish) of hydrogen peroxide to your rinse out. The temporary oxidation should give you a reasonable guestimate.
    - Bad chemistry (either due to age or cross contamination)

    Good luck!
     
  9. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,707
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    20 minutes in direct sunlight.
     
  10. hermit

    hermit Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Idaho USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Unless your negative is extremely dense -- as in black, that is way too long. Junk the chemicals! Doing some every day when there is Sun. NONE over 15 to 18 min.
     
  11. mossbloom

    mossbloom Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yep: chem problem

    I can't add much to what's been said. This looks like a chemistry problem. If you're using the original formula, you shouldn't be much over 20 minutes. Mike's new formula is a whole lot faster.
     
  12. kevin klein

    kevin klein Member

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Thanks for all the input. I am using the traditional formula, the chems are over 10 years old, and it is cold outside. I thaught too the paper might have something to do with it, using coldpress water color paper. I also used the strathmore 300 series scetch paper with the same results.

    What is Mike's new formula?
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,707
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Cyanotype coated paper does not keep and I should imagine this is your problem.
     
  14. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,657
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format