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  1. #11
    JOSarff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Santa Fe, NM
    8x10 Format
    In Mexico they make a tea from the hybiscus flower, and it very red. I's called Jamica. I've seen it in mexican groceries in the states.
    There is no such thing as taking too much time, because your soul is in that picture. -Ruth Bernhard

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Large Format
    I use tannic acid for the same reason Loris mentions...excessive staining of the highlights. I've been working on a process that suits me and taking lots of notes. There is a lot of conflicting information and misinformation out there. Mike Ware is a good source for correct info. So much cyanotype literature has been published by people who have no concept of the chemistry and/or take sloppy notes.

    Here are my steps:

    1) use original cyanotype process (I haven't yet tried Mike Ware's Cyanotype II)
    2) coat Arches Platine paper two times for increased shadow density in final print
    3) add stop bath to adjust pH (I have an electronic meter) of wash bath to 5.5-6
    4) wash print 3x in new water from step 3
    5) wash in dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide
    6) wash print in fresh water from step 3
    6) soak in tannic acid solution (1g/100ml) for 5-10 minutes, agitate occasionally
    7) prepare sodium carbonate (washing soda) bath with pH around 8-9
    8) agitate print in sodium carbonate bath until just BEFORE print reaches the desired tone (blue steel -> reddish is the transition)
    9) immediately move to acidic wash bath of step 3
    10) wash thoroughly
    11) dry

    This 'split toning' gives you the best control over final color. The acid bath prevents loss of highlights and density during the wash process. The peroxide fully develops the iron blue salt so that the tones you see are the final tones. The tannic acid keeps the stock white.

    I am working on integrating Gallic acid to add purple/black to the image but I am having trouble with the iron gallate bleeding and destroying sharpness. A few more months of experiments and I'll have something I am happy with.
    Last edited by amuderick; 01-18-2009 at 11:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Toffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Point Pelee, ON, Canada
    Multi Format
    Quote Originally Posted by Loris Medici View Post
    Can't you just buy tannic acid from somewhere? Every tea will stain the paper whereas you'll get much cleaner paper base and highlights with plain tannic acid... And, definitely clear very thoroughly (develop, then clear in mild citric or acetic acid for instance...)! If not, you'll again get muddy / stained highlights and low contrast.

    You should lbe able to get tannic acid in wine making shops. I've got some, but I've only successfully toned one or two prints. As soon as we start getting some warm sprintime sun, I'll try some fresh prints... this thread is sparking my interest in cyanotypes again.

    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...


  4. #14
    sly is offline
    sly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Multi Format
    I've posted a few of my tea-toned fabric cyanotypes over on hybridphoto if anyone wants a look. One is split toned and the other 2 were bleached and toned with Red Rose.

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