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  1. #1

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    My first Cyanotype :D

    Hi all,

    I thought I would finally put in practice what I have been sorting out over the last few months, just made a batch of the solutions up, here is my setup:

    Watercolour paper
    Phillips UV face tanner
    Currently used printed image which is then oiled and dried

    Exposure is around 30-40 minutes using poundland box frames as contact holders

    I don't currently have any inkjet transparencies but its next on the list but it shows you can simply print out an image and oil it to get a good enough negative to use for printing - would just take slightly longer to expose, but much cheaper than inkjet transparencies.

    Contact frame:



    Print (note that this is taken on my DSLR, the lines you see on the background are due to the printer needing a clean!)


  2. #2
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Looking good! Which kit are you using? Those dark blues and overall contrast look great!
    K.S. Klain

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    Looking good! Which kit are you using? Those dark blues and overall contrast look great!
    No kit, I have sourced everything myself, here is a list of things:

    Chemicals - ProcessUK in London, cost around £25 for the chemicals, I have used around 10% of 1 chemical but made enough for 50 8x10s lol so £25 is good for 500 8x10s!
    Used a cheap jewlery scale to measure the chemicals, brushed on using a cheap 'art wash brush' to some basic cold press water colour paper (I think it was something like £16 for 100 A4 sheets)
    'Contact frame' - Poundland box frame which has 2 bits of glass which sandwich in the middle, don't have anything larger yet, just wanted to try 1/4 A4 sheets
    UV source - Phillips face tanner (its a bit too overcast at the moment)
    Negatives - simply printed on plain paper and oiled to be more transparent, kinda like waxing paper but quicker and much cheaper than inkjet transparencies!

    Exposure time of around 40 minutes within around 3", developed in water and normal bleach then washed in tap water.

    The image taken is of a building next to Euston station, I took it on my D3100, tweeked it in lightroom, then inverted it, printed it, oiled it, exposed it, developed it, dryed it lol

    I also find it quite ironic that I have made a cyanotype of a building considering that a the word 'blueprint' is from the cyanotype process used on building drawings lol

    What I am impressed with is the level of details in the mid-tones, you can also see that the above Cyanotype isn't 100% covered correctly as I think it was one of my initial coating attempts, but its fine as I don't like things to be perfect, the look of tintype got me into photography but its a bit too dangerous chemical wise for it to be easy. Cyanotypes are great as they are simple to do and unlike silver based processes, you are ok to work under normal light lol

    Here is the original image I took and converted as a reference:


  4. #4
    Simon Howers's Avatar
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    This is interesting. Can you explain how you oiled the paper and the materials you used to do this?

    Thanks

    Simon

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Howers View Post
    This is interesting. Can you explain how you oiled the paper and the materials you used to do this?

    Thanks

    Simon
    Print off image onto plain paper
    Put a drop of oil on the worktop
    Smooth oil around on worktop to give even coat
    Drop image onto oil
    Allow to soak into the paper
    Press down or move oil onto anywhere on the image that doesn't darken
    Dry excess off
    Hold up to light to check

    The paper seems to turn into the same sort of texture as tracing paper, it won't be as good as if you had a transparency so you would need to notch up the exposure slightly but if you just pay attention to the colour the paper is going - ie going from a bright green to a darker green then you should be able to judge. I think that due to the fact that its blocking light its a bit harder to overexpose the image due to the longer exposure time - I gues kinda like stopping a lens down.

    I have another exposing at the moment so will see how that comes out.

  6. #6

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    Looks like the key to using oiled paper is to let it soak in for a bit and then completly dry it, it feels like tracing paper once its been oiled, I am now getting slightly addicted to printing lol I am on my 6th print now I think :P I still have loads of chemical left, not sure how long it lasts before it starts going off but still a lot left.

    I am still using the UV lamp, means I get an even UV exposure, looks like around 25 minutes is good for a 'normal' sort of photo ie both light and dark, over exposed one a bit and it came out darker than planned, but you can still see the image.

  7. #7
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Interesting, your mixture matches a formula we recently discovered to have been dmax and overall contrast. Good work sir!
    K.S. Klain

  8. #8
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Hooray for you!
    It is wonderful to see someone using thought and ingenuity to accomplish their purpose rather than getting on this or another forum and begging for answers and solutions. Don't lose this inquisitive and inventive attitude. It will serve you well throughout life.
    Additionally,this is an interesting image.
    More power to you! Keep up the good work!

    Jim
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  9. #9

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    I have now dialed the exposure in a bit, I have printed around 7 or 8 now, seems that if the image is properly exposed ie equal tones of black and white 20 minutes is about correct, if there is a lot of lights less is needed otherwise it overexposes a bit and you lose some details.

    I have just created a really nice print, 20 minute exposure time with really clear detail, it seems that if you soak the paper in oil for a bit longer so its saturates and then wipe off and dry for a bit it creates a really nice (cheap) negative to use. There are a few spots here and there on the image, this is probably due to a tiny bit of contamination, I will probably get some transparencies soon as those will give a sharper print, however I am quite impressed with the sharpness of the print I have just got.

    I am currently just printing on 1/4 A4 size but I have just coated some 1/2 A4 size pieces and just gone and bought an A4 clip frame so might try a larger print tonight of a landscape or something, I do like the smaller 1/4 A4 prints though, kinda like a Polaroid Cyanotype

    I also own most other camera formats from half frame all the way up to a 5x4 Speed graphic, I know that in-camera cyanotypes have been done but the exposure is measured in hours, I think tomorrow (as long as its not wet) I will set up my speed graphic and load a cyanotype in and simply hold the shutter open for a few hours exposure. The main issue someone else found with this was the sun physically burning through the paper and the holder lol so I will find somewhere away from the sun but still bright and try and exposure tomorrow.

  10. #10
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Make sure not to have a UV filter attached!
    K.S. Klain

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