washing cyanotype washes out the blue

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Willie Jan, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Best/The Net
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi,

    i use the cyanotype II from www.alternativephotography.com and have a qs.
    Last weekend i did my first cyanotypes and found out that when washing the picture looks very beautifull blue, but after an hour of washing it turns more to light blue while the area around it where no negative as still is much more blue.

    Do i have to overexpose the image so that after washing i get the beautifull blue?

    I did with the washing at some wetting agent for 5 minutes and after that 30 minutes of normal water wash. Could this be the problem?

    thanks,

    Willie.
     
  2. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

    Messages:
    992
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Athens
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Maybe you need more exposure. Why don't you try it ? Maybe a thinner neg will do the job, too.
     
  3. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    Manila PHILI
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Perhaps more exposure? Or your wash water may be too alkaline. Try adding a bit of vinegar to the wash.
     
  4. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Best/The Net
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    i want to know if it is my way of developing. The water here is not very alkaline. But I'll try it with adding some vinegar.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    It could be your paper, as well. Cyanotypes work on "anything", but gives different results based on anything, too.
     
  6. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Best/The Net
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    i use frabriano aquarel paper,arches and bergger cod 320
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I use the back side of Canson sketch paper... :smile:
     
  8. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Using Strathmore Bristol (Smooth and Plate) and traditional cyanotype formula 1:1, I expose until the darkest parts of the print turns light grey, sometimes refered to as 'reversing'. Then I lay the print face down in a pan of cool water from the tap (no wash aid) and every 5 minutes I change the water without ever allowing the running water to directly hit the surface of the print. After 4 changes of water I let the print dry.

    I am no expert, but I have seen where water hitting the surface of the print will remove the emulsion and result in a lighter print, and where overwashing will give the same results. You might try cutting out the washing agent, adding a little vinegar to the wash water, reducing the washing times, or trying some different papers. Whatever you do, do one thing at a time and compare the results. Changing too many variables will not allow you to narrow down the problem(s).

    - Randy
     
  9. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

    Messages:
    895
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I had the same thing happen to me and traced it back to two things, paper and water. The next time I'll only use Platine paper and make sure my water is acidic. The experience was the most fun failing I've had in a long time :smile:
     
  10. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Best/The Net
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    in my case the water is coming on top of the image, just like i wash baryta based papers. So this could be the case. besides that i wash for an hour.

    thanks, i will try it out.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,315
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think an hour wash for a cyanotype is too long. If you can at all avoid it, have the water enter the tray beside or below the print, not directly on it. That should help the color retention immensely.
     
  12. psvensson

    psvensson Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Flyingcamera is right - there is no need to wash cyanotypes for an hour. The excess sensitizer washes out very easily. Ten minutes should be enough. Also, an acid first bath will mean a lot more of the image is retained.
     
  13. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I read that cyanotypes will oxidize over time and turn a richer blue, so you may not be out of luck on the ones you have made already. Alternately the book said to put it in a peroxide bath to bring up the more intense blue. Anybody here seen that and tried it yet?
     
  14. DBP

    DBP Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Alexandria,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That would make sense, if the object is to oxidise.
     
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,315
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You're fighting a battle between oxidation of the cyanotype deepening the blue and sunlight exposure fading the blue. Fortunately, from what I have been given to understand, if you have a faded cyanotype it is possible to re-develop it and bring the blue back. I don't recall what exactly this entails, however, so the best advice is to store/display them where they get minimal direct exposure to sunlight.
     
  16. psvensson

    psvensson Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    After light fading, they are redeveloped by exposure to atmospheric oxygen if kept reasonably dark. This happens in a matter of hours or days.
     
  17. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Best/The Net
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    what i found in the description is that using peroxide brings immediately the end result after wash of the picture. It does not harm or infuence the picture but is a method to show you directly the end result.

    I will try a wash of 10 minutes and a prewash with vinigar for 1 minute in a different bath.

    Thanks.
     
  18. cjarvis

    cjarvis Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Five minutes is plenty. Preview the final color by adding a dash (a few ml) of hydrogen peroxide to the wash water.
     
  19. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Best/The Net
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format