Success!!! - Cyanotype & Van Dyke Brown

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by fhovie, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Well -

    The Van Dyke process worked great - I made some 8x10 negs and a bunch of 4x5 from my files. Good ones were high contrast simple images and images that had an antique feel to them already. Same notes on the Cyanotype are that they look a lot grainier than the Van Dykes. Although they both looked great - I was more pleased with the Cyan - great contrast and sharpness - The blue on Cranes 8111 is very dark and it really brought out my negs. Selenium tone worked well (at the right dilution) and now I am ready to try aubumum. Making a contact interpositive of the neg and then blowing that up to 8x10 worked well - I got a little too much contrast on one - I'll probably need to use weaker developer on the 8x10 ortho (Arista) to get all the highlights.

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  2. roy

    roy Member

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    A great start. I like the flower image which would be improved were the base of the vase to be made clearer. You must feel encouraged.
     
  3. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Sorry for the bad scan Roy - the base is there - at about zone 2.5
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Hi Frank,

    Congratulations. Great start.

    Just a word about image permanence. Cyanotype is one of the most permanent of all processes so you don't need to worry at all about it. VDB, on the other hand, really should be toned for greater permanence. I recommend gold, platinum or palladium toning before fixing, but selenium after fixing would also provide greater permanence. Just in case you are interested the toning formulas that I provide in my article on kallitype at www.unblinkingeye.com would also work for VDB, and at the same strength.
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  6. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Thanks Sandy and Aggie:
    I am not sure what caused the spot - I used the fixer formula in Sandy's artical for Kalitypes - I could try upping the does a little of Thiosulphate - it is at 50g / liter. The info on Unblinking eye gave me a lot of confidence to try this stuff and it was actually easier than I thought it would be. The woodland photo has a lot of detail and my not be such a good one for a process without a smooth emulsion. - I am ready for eggs now! I will be trying some bigger ones - I need to get a 12x15 contact frame. This is too much fun.
     
  7. rogein

    rogein Member

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    With VDB and Argyrotype I too get this 'spot' - usually happens when too much sensitizer has gone into the paper from uneven coating. Some papers are worse than others - Lenox has been problematic for me in this regard. Two 'light' coats sometimes helps.

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  8. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    We had a VDB (and Cynotype) demo at camera club a while back and I inherited the left over chems. It's been sitting in my cupboard (in mostly darkened darkroom) for months and the other day I finally got around to trying it out.

    In our CC demo, we used a UV cooker (box with UV lamps) but I used the sunlight and when doing the VDB in sunlight I noticed something wonderful... I got to watch the reaction... After about 15-20secs the emulsion started changing colour from a light cream/brown to a dark tan. Not knowing what I was doing, and having read a book which mentioned 6-8 mins where required, I left the 1st one for about 5mins but decided that it was grossly overexposed as the image was disappearing, not getting better. The next one I cut back to about 3 minutes and it was much better although my inkjet enlarged negative had defects that showed up in the print. However, overjoyed that I could see something... I decided to stop exposure a bit after I could see that the reaction had taken place (all the emulsion changed to the dark tan colour... this happened in a bit over 1min) This produced the best image, although it's a tad light, especially the 'blacks' I might read up on the toning article mentioned above to see if I can improve it a bit.

    Overall though... what a great way to spend a couple of hours :smile:
     
  9. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  10. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    hehe! I never thought of that! ta :smile:
     
  11. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Great cyanotypes! I have done some and they can be a bit trick. Especially to get "the right look". Whcih you have done very well here. Great job.
     
  12. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Thanks Robert. It really was a lucky first try. I have made a number of them since and have been trying to make enlarged negatives. I am about to go digital on that - I found some good templates (Dan Burkholder)- now I need some special ink jet neg material from Pictorico. I may have to buy a new printer. After doing the interpositive thing and spending several days and wasting lots of money in materials in the darkroom - I think it will be photoshop for enlarged negs. Cyanotype is very nice - it is the cheapest and easiest of all alt processes. I recommend using peroxide in the wash - it really makes the blues go dark. It has great contrast and a sharp look that is hard to beat. I think Kaalitype is my next favorite - it seems much denser and quicker than Van Dyke brown. I have meterials to do aubumum and will try that soon as well. I also have some amidol and AZO on the way. My enlarger is not getting much work these days - I have been looking at all the good artilcals on light sources - I may have to build one of those too. - I don't know when I'll have time to work!
     
  13. Aurore

    Aurore Member

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    I just posted my first Cyanotype in the critique gallery :smile: I also use Arista ortholith for enlarged negatives, although in the posted cyanotype the neg was a 4x5 of Arista 400 from a pinhole camera. I had lots of fun combining photogram techniques as well... placing 'found objects' with my negative. I plan on using the direct negative technique in the future (soon as my darkroom is functioning again).

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/NbyR/nbyr.html

    I do think arista works best for cont tone in very dilute dev, like dektol at 1:20. I also once tried a suggestion to add baking powder (or was it soda?) to decrease the contrast. I seem to recall it working fairly well, but probably the same as heavy dilution. I haven't tried van dykes yet, but plan on doing some gums in the future. I live in FL so I use the sun... might as well, huh? Kinda fun sitting out in the grass watching my image emerge :smile:. Only problem is I don't have a contact frame... I use a large hardcover book and an 8x10 piece of glass! Makes it hard to check exposure, but it works. I think your first attempts are great! Getting the exposure right can be tough... mine was just slightly overexposed (too dark). My cyan was grainy because I used Fabriano 'rough' texture paper. Didn't notice significant graininess otherwise.

    Well, looking forward to seeing more!! Hopefully soon I will have more to post too. :smile:
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My first one's in the gallery too :smile:.

    I used one of my increasing number of 5x7" negatives - this one was FP4+ developed in Pyrocat-HD. Prints nicely on "ordinary" sliver halide paper too - must have done something wrong in mixing the cyanotype chemicals. Can't imagine what - unless it's the smigeon of oxalic acid I decided to put in? :wink:
     
  15. jangus

    jangus Member

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    I have just started doing alternative processes and found Dan Burkholder's book "Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing" a life saver. It has all the information you will never need as well as plenty of useful items on the CD.
    After trying various makers transparencies I found that Pictorico outshone everything else out there.
    Good luck with your future processing.
     
  16. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    >>>""I have just started doing alternative processes and found Dan Burkholder's book "Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing" a life saver. It has all the information you will never need as well as plenty of useful items on the CD""

    ... Been there and done that. I made some nice VDB and Cyanotypes with them but the curves really are for pt/pd and there is a loss in the tonality with these digi negs. I will still make some digi negs but now will try to make 8x10 in-camera negs if I want to contact print. I have never gotten enough density on any Pictorico film to do AZO correctly or make a Kalitype that looks as good as one made with a good pyro neg. I am not so concerned with the resolution as with the densities although when I jump into Aubumum, it may be a consideration.