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Thread: Cyanotypes?

  1. #1
    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Cyanotypes?

    I'm interested in trying my hand at cyanotype, I've never done any alternative processes before so it's a little daunting.

    I'm considering getting the Fotospeed kit as a starting point, can I ask your views on this? Does it represent value for money, are there better ways to get started and if not what are they. (UK based.)

    Also, what should I aim for in a negative, normal, high or low contrast/density etc.

    Any links to information also welcomed.

    Thanks

    Martin
    I'm Spartacus!

  2. #2
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    My limited experience with Fotospeed kits is that they are poor value.
    Look at:
    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Starks-Alternative-Photography for a possible alternative, or check out:
    http://www.mikeware.demon.co.uk/

    for a D.I.Y. approach.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  3. #3
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiseowl View Post
    I'm interested in trying my hand at cyanotype, I've never done any alternative processes before so it's a little daunting.

    I'm considering getting the Fotospeed kit as a starting point, can I ask your views on this? Does it represent value for money, are there better ways to get started and if not what are they. (UK based.)

    Also, what should I aim for in a negative, normal, high or low contrast/density etc.

    Any links to information also welcomed.

    Thanks

    Martin
    Purchase the required chemicals seperately, they are inexpensive. I personally prefer the traditional cyanotype formula over Ware's. Everyone crows about the DMAX you get with the Ware formula but you can get a very good DMAX with the traditional formula by using 2 parts A to 1 part B.

    Use a good quality paper for best results.
    Don Bryant

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    Get the chemicals from somewhere and mix them yourself.

    May I refer you to my website (see below) for some instructions/hints? Look into the "technical issues". I will be ready to explain/ answer further questions.

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    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    Cyano is probably the easiest. Don't be daunted. If you have ever made something in the kitchen from scratch, you can do this.

    Just don't sit a neg on a wet surface. Let it dry first.
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  6. #6
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    And be sure to use a non-buffered paper. Unlike most other processes, Cyanotypes need an acidic environment or else they will bleach. Normal to slightly high contrast and density negatives can be printed successfully. The proportions of A+B solutions can be manipulated a bit to control print contrast. When the deepest shadows solarize the exposure is sufficient (assuming a properly matched negative density range).

    Joe

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    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice.

    Dave, can I ask you to recommend a paper/supplier in the UK?

    Thanks,

    Martin
    I'm Spartacus!

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    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Apart from my local stationers / art shop, I only know of Silverprint, the latter stocking a very limited range of Arches Platine and Cranes Parchment. Maybe those that participate in the Alternate Print Exchange, such as Carl, Phill, or John will come in with specific help.
    As an aside have you looked at Ed Buffalo’s site, for he has several pages devoted to this process? http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Cyano/cyano.html
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


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    Justin Cormack's Avatar
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    Silverprint have all the chemistry. Paper is a different matter, I use Atlantis in London, as I work near there, http://www.atlantisart.co.uk/ (and they sell by the sheet) but I havent tried cyanotype yet, and papers are very different in terms of sizing, and no doubt other properties for different processes.
    Last edited by Justin Cormack; 12-29-2006 at 08:26 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: improvement

  10. #10
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiseowl View Post
    Thanks for all the advice.

    Dave, can I ask you to recommend a paper/supplier in the UK?

    Thanks,

    Martin
    Martin,

    Here is a list of papers that should work well with cyanotype:

    Arches Platine - Moderately Expensive
    Buxton - Very Expensive
    Crane's Parchment Wove - Inexpensive
    Rives BFK - Moderately Expensive
    Stonehenge White - Inexpensive
    Weston Diploma Parchment - Inexpensive
    Clear Print Vellum - Inexpensive
    Bienfang 360 Marking Paper - Inexpensive
    Cot 320 - Moderately Expensive

    I'm sure there are others including Japanese papers.

    Good luck,

    Don Bryant
    Don Bryant

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