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  1. #1

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    Basic cyanotype advice needed please...

    Hi,

    As I've now finished making my printing frame, I want to start using print-out paper to 'convert' my glass negatives to a positive print.

    I've ordered the Potassium Ferricyanide and Ferric Ammonium Citrate, but wherever I look, I find differing quantities required.

    In my c1900 book 'Everyones Guide To Photography' it uses...

    Potassium ferridcyanide 75 grains (4.85g)
    Distilled water 1oz (28ml)

    Ammonio-citrate of iron 96 grains (6.2g)
    Distilled water 1oz (28ml)

    In the text from the site that is supplying the chemicals they use 2:1 Ferric Ammonium Citrate: Potassium Ferricyanide, and on the Alternative Photography website they use 25g Ferric... to 10g Pot Ferr..

    What sort of ratio do you recommend? Does it matter that much? What affect does changing the ratios have on the final print?

    Thank you in advance,
    David.
    Creative Image Maker e-magazine is back! Find out more at http://creativeimagemaker.blogspot.com

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    The most standard(!) - an oxymoron since there's no standard Ammonium Iron(III) Citrate to begin with... - formula is 20% Ammonium Iron(III) Citrate for A and 8% Potassium Ferricyanide for B. OTOH, 25% for A and 12% for B will yield a much stronger/denser image, but with a considerable speed loss. (2/3 - 1 stop) Mix small amnt. of each variation and see which one works best for you.

    BTW, definitely consider New Cyanotype if you want an even denser image with smoother highlights. (But it's slightly harder to mix and you have to use purest papers - or acidify otherwise unsuitable papers beforehand...)

    Regards,
    Loris.

  3. #3
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    google 'the new cyanotype process' by dr. mike ware. A lot more senstive mix.
    my real name, imagine that.

  4. #4
    Akki14's Avatar
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    Bit late to reply to this but all of mine have been the 25g ammonium ferr. citrate to 10g pot. ferri. traditional cyanotype mix (per 100ml of deionised water). Speed isn't everything and I've not found as many problems with the traditional formula as Dr. Ware has so I don't think it's fair to poopoo the traditional formula outright.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the reply Heather; I wanted to use the traditional formula anyway! I might just go ahead and use the one that's in my c1900 book; as for speed, slower is better as far as I'm concerned

    Cheers,
    David.
    Creative Image Maker e-magazine is back! Find out more at http://creativeimagemaker.blogspot.com

    Thank you.

  6. #6

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    I thought that after the help I had received, I would just post a cyanotype image that I've just dried out. I used 4g of Potassium Ferridcyanide in 14ml of distilled water, and 7g of Ferric Ammonium Citrate in a similar amount of distilled water.

    The print received roughly 8 hours of exposure(!) - no sunlight here in the UK at the moment! So it was a cloudy day all day, and the print really needed longer - perhaps another day?!

    Anyway, here it is, with all its faults.


    This is actually the third print - the first one was not developed for nearly long enough and the images just washed away! The second worked much better, and I tea-toned that one and stuck it into a photo frame as it was the first successful cyanotype print! So the image above is of the third one attempted.

    I've just coated another sheet of paper with a 50/50 mix of malt vinegar and water to see if the increased acidity improves the image.

    Thanks,
    David.
    Creative Image Maker e-magazine is back! Find out more at http://creativeimagemaker.blogspot.com

    Thank you.

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Good on you!

    If any or all of the image "washes away", it usually means that the cyanotype chemicals did not have a chance to seep into the paper. This often happens when one uses a well-sized paper and/or when one hits it with the hair drier too soon. All the chems are sitting on top of the paper surface where they can get washed away -- the image should be in the paper where the paper fibers can grip the chems and hold them there.

    Two light coats (allowing the first to dry) might help too. Something else to play with!

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

  8. #8
    Davec101's Avatar
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    Hi David

    If you continue to have problems and get frustrated i would suggest you try the pre made Cyanotype II solution (Mike Ware version) that is avaliable in the U.K. For me personally i was able to achieve much more consistant results with this formula and see less of the image going down the plug hole! The solution is more sensitive than the original and exposures should be much less that 8 hours. Good Luck



    Quote Originally Posted by vickersdc View Post
    I thought that after the help I had received, I would just post a cyanotype image that I've just dried out. I used 4g of Potassium Ferridcyanide in 14ml of distilled water, and 7g of Ferric Ammonium Citrate in a similar amount of distilled water.

    The print received roughly 8 hours of exposure(!) - no sunlight here in the UK at the moment! So it was a cloudy day all day, and the print really needed longer - perhaps another day?!

    Anyway, here it is, with all its faults.


    This is actually the third print - the first one was not developed for nearly long enough and the images just washed away! The second worked much better, and I tea-toned that one and stuck it into a photo frame as it was the first successful cyanotype print! So the image above is of the third one attempted.

    I've just coated another sheet of paper with a 50/50 mix of malt vinegar and water to see if the increased acidity improves the image.

    Thanks,
    David.
    Platinum Printing Editions http://www.dceditions.com
    The Art of Platinum Printing Blog http://artofplatinum.wordpress.com/
    Alternative Photographic Processes blog http://altphotoblog.com/

  9. #9
    Akki14's Avatar
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    That just looks a bit underexposed to me. And an underexposed cyanotype will just wash out, like you describe.
    Buy a "philips facial solarium" on ebay or something. Prop it up (face down) with some books at either end then put your printing frame underneath it. It is really a worthwhile buy and you can occasionally find it for cheaper than the UV tubes if you were to build your own. Be sure to wear decent sunglasses or UV light protection goggles when working with it (and I tend to leave the room while it works too). My exposure times for about an inch away from the paper (once you take into account the printing frame underneath the paper) are around 8-10minutes usually. No banding when printing that close because it has a reflective backing which scatters the light evenly and because I don't work any larger than 4x5 film
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  10. #10
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    I use such a philips facial browner, bought it from the local 2nd hand store for 3 euro.
    It takes 55 seconds with the new cyanotype process.

    I did build a wooden frame around it so that i do not get the UV light in my eyes.

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