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Thread: Cyanotype blues

  1. #21
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Whoops...I just re-read what I wrote above. I did not mean that you (bozart) are lying or any such thing! It was meant as a funny aside to go along with your comment about giving away secrets. I hope you did not take offense!

    vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  2. #22
    bowzart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Whoops...I just re-read what I wrote above. I did not mean that you (bozart) are lying or any such thing! It was meant as a funny aside to go along with your comment about giving away secrets. I hope you did not take offense!

    vaughn
    Not to worry, my good friend. I got it straight out.

    What you say is not only true, but points directly at a fundamental law of the universe! Conversely, sometimes the best way to communicate truth is to present falsehoods in such a way that they reveal themselves blatantly as what they are. Unfortunately, but sometimes fortunately, some of these subtler means are lost on literal minds.

  3. #23

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    Just a few remarks:
    I use both the traditional and the New cyanotype process.
    Traditional cyanotypes do need considerably longer exposures than Mike Ware's New Cyanotype process. This process also tends to give deeper, nearly black blues, and a longer tonal scale, much like a platinum print. It is also possible, as far as I can see, to control contrast much more efficiently with this process. It is, however, very sensitive regarding the paper base.
    It goes a long way to pre-coat a paper with a citric acid solution to enhance the quality particularly of New, but also traditional cyanotypes. Don't use oxalic, and don't use Vit.C - it's not the same as citric acid.
    Traditional cyanotype is spread much more easily with Tween 20 - better than photoflow. It may also be used for New C. depending on the paper base.
    Regarding this COT-something paper, I never tried it and I have no intention to do so (I don't like the Bergger company as they have intentionally spread false statements about their manufacture of films), but if it's really got an alkaline buffer it should not be marketed as a printing paper for alternative processes.
    For traditional cyanotypes, the quality (acidity) of the first wash water is of critical importance.

  4. #24
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Thanks, Lukas! I was just throwing out ideas, taking into consideration mooseontheloose's location and ease of finding material. Tween would work better, but PhotoFlo might also work and be available to her.

    What is good to use to acidfy the first water wash? And how much per liter?

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  5. #25
    Davec101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Thanks, Lukas! I was just throwing out ideas, taking into consideration mooseontheloose's location and ease of finding material. Tween would work better, but PhotoFlo might also work and be available to her.

    What is good to use to acidfy the first water wash? And how much per liter?

    Vaughn
    I use 40g per litre of citric acid for the first wash(around 1-3 mins), you do have to change the first bath quite a bit but CA is cheap if up by in bulk, i.e 5kg. Personally Cyanotype II gives me significantly deeper blues than the original as Lukas mentions, attached is an example showing the difference between using a citric acid for the first bath and not using one. CA on the right.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails acid.jpg  
    Last edited by Davec101; 02-04-2009 at 10:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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  6. #26
    bowzart's Avatar
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    These suggestions are great. I suspect that the CA treatment enables the paper to retain the pigment better, without its washing out. I get great blacks, but the time in the wash is critical; not enough, get discoloration, and too much, image degrades.

  7. #27
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Just a small update. I've tried a new paper (Arches Platine), a wetter brush, and less cyanotype solution. The brush strokes have definitely improved (no beading whatsoever), and I can see an overall improvement in the coating as well. However, I have yet to see the final results as I haven't had a chance to get out in the sun yet.

    Lukas and Dave -- if I can get a hold of citric acid I'd like to try that as well, however, at the moment I'm working on one improvement at a time. Thanks for the suggestions though!
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davec101 View Post
    I use 40g per litre of citric acid for the first wash(around 1-3 mins) ... attached is an example showing the difference between using a citric acid for the first bath and not using one. CA on the right.
    Yes, according to my experience citric acid is the best organic acid for cyanotypes. Depending on the paper base, it might stain or yellow the highlights somewhat, but it gives deeper blues than acetic acid which is often recommended - and easily available as vinegar. To some extend, of course, this remains a matter of taste, of how you would like your pictures to look.

    Dave, you refer to Cyanotype II - is this New Cyanotype or just traditional cyanotype with citric? If it is New C., then I think you should, with hydrochloric or nitric acid for the first wash (see Mike Ware's website), get much deeper blues still, the border being very nearly black.

    Bowzart, i.m.e. the image degradation during the wash is (of course) due to slightly alkaline, or hard water. Here acetic acid/vinegar comes handy: you may just add some to the dish every few minutes (depending on your water flow) in order to stabilize the image. The colour will be more cyan, though, which you might like to adjust with a short wash with plain water in the end, with a short dip in a week dichromate solution, or with a weak solution with a weak alkali (I use sodium sulfite) near the end - the latter has to be exercised carefully, it gives you purplish highlights (and clears them) which you might or might not find attractive (I do).

  9. #29

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    I forgot to mention that what you technically start with sodium sulfite is of course a bleaching process, as you would for toning.
    And, as I have said before, I would not use Arches Platine either. The paper looks beautiful, but Arches keeps tinkering with its formula. Over the years, I have run into unexpected differences and bad batches again and again, and this may be quite frustrating.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseontheloose View Post
    Just a small update. I've tried a new paper (Arches Platine), a wetter brush, and less cyanotype solution. The brush strokes have definitely improved (no beading whatsoever), and I can see an overall improvement in the coating as well. However, I have yet to see the final results as I haven't had a chance to get out in the sun yet.

    Lukas and Dave -- if I can get a hold of citric acid I'd like to try that as well, however, at the moment I'm working on one improvement at a time. Thanks for the suggestions though!
    Do a 50/50 soak tray of vinegar and tap water if you can't be bothered to get the citric acid. Though I've found for me that makes the blue come off really bad and go everywhere and stain the paper but I'm weird :rolleyes:
    ~Heather
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