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  1. #1

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    Cyanotype Question/Problem

    The cyanotypes I have been making latly seem to take much longer to expose (two to three times) than they did when I started about eight years ago. Does the dry chemical break down after a few years and not work as well?

    Also, what can I do to decrease or increase the contrast?, use more or less of one of the two chemicals?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    The Ammonium Iron Citrate does go off. It seems some microbes find it tasty - it must contain enough trace impurities to sustain life.

    You might want to try the "New Cyanotype" - it uses Ammonium Iron Oxalate - and is reputed to be more stable. It is, however, a bit of a PITA to make when compared to plain-ole-cyanotype. Contrast can be increased with P. Dichromate.
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  3. #3
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin klein View Post
    The cyanotypes I have been making latly seem to take much longer to expose (two to three times) than they did when I started about eight years ago. Does the dry chemical break down after a few years and not work as well?
    Global warming.

    Also, what can I do to decrease or increase the contrast?, use more or less of one of the two chemicals?
    Here ya go:



    Different ratios of parts A & B on two different varieties of Crane's Kid Finish paper using the traditional cyanotype chemicals (ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide). I don't recall which iron salt is 8% and which is 20% solution, but at 1A+1B it is the normal recipe. The strips are arranged 2A+1B, 1A + 1B, 1A + 2B, and then 1A + 1B again (labelled "citric").

    It has been a long time since I tested this, so forgive any memory gaps. It looks like this test was done with a NuArc exposure unit at 1120 units for all! Citric acid speeds it up but it bleeds. (Can't remember if this was a pretreatment, addition, or all rinses using 2% citric acid solution but I suspect the latter.) The faint penciled arrows indicate the step to which the exposure solarized before processing. Though I'm not completely sure, I would suspect these were all coated and dried, then exposed and processed together 'cause that's how I roll.

  4. #4

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    Thank you. That helps alot.



 

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