Some Cyanotype Questions

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by htmlguru4242, May 4, 2008.

  1. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Well, I started playing around with cyanotype the other day, and so far it's a lot of fun, and surprisingly simple. I do have a few questions tho; I'm sure they've been answered here at one point or another, so y'all can point me in the direction of previous posts, if that's the case, otherwise ...

    My first results look great (I'm amazed at the detail that the process can render), though a little underexposed - its overcast and really hard to gauge exposre.

    First off, about how far past "looking right" should the print get in the sun before it is washed? My first print looked fantastic, but proceeded to almost entirely wash away in the water - am I looking at maybe double that exposure?

    Also, about how long does the mixed sensitizer last? I coated sheets from the same stuff within a half-hour of each other, and it worked fine. Could I save it until the next day without issue?

    And, third, what do people think as far as toning methods go? There seem to be way more than enough of them out there - what do people find to work best?
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Try exposing until the edges begin t turn gray. Yes, yo umay be looking at twice the previous exposure.

    When mixed with distilled water to help prevent the growing of mold I have no problem with longevity of solution. I have had it last more than a year.

    As far as toning - what works best is the one which produces a color and effect you like. Just try a few and see which you like. Tim Rudman's book on Toning has good information on the effects of different toners and oads of formulas.
     
  3. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    Toning. Green tea makes a plum colour. ordinary tea goes darker. Coffee - black tones. can also bleach before re-toning in tannic acid.
     
  4. Erik Hartmann

    Erik Hartmann Member

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  5. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Thanks - I'll have to give that a try. It's nice and sunny out today, so I'll give it another try.
     
  6. Erik Hartmann

    Erik Hartmann Member

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  7. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    You need to expose the print until the deepest shadows solarize and take on a powdery-white appearance. The solarization effect is lost almost immediately when the print hits the rinse.
     
  8. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

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    I second the remark about the sun: good for first tires, but not for serious printing. You need a light source which can be controlled.

    Also, in my experience cyanotype, which immediately seems to yield acceptable results, and has a reputation of being quick and easy, in my experience, if you want first-rate results, is considerably more difficult a process than, for instance, platinum.

    For instance, the paper surface matters for the amount of density to be washed away. An, though nearly every paper gives an image, pre-acidifying is highly recommendable for most, but this influences contrast.

    You might think about giving Mike Ware's new formula a try: while somewhat more difficult to mix up, this gives a considerably longer tonal scale and needs shorter exposures.