O.k. I did my first cyanotypes.

The first one was a bust. I have a couple of negatives I took a while back of a stapelia flower bud. I was playing with my 'new' Crown Graphic and it seemed a good subject. Plus it is a very odd flower and I wanted to catch it as it bloomed over time ( stapelia is a type of succulent commonly sold in places like Home Depot as a house plant. Mine lives outside here in AZ and does well. So well it blooms. These strange plants produce very large flowers which resemble dead flesh in color and smell (the flower is a reticulated red and white)! They are fly pollinated so this makes sense in their world. But they are bizarre. Even more so is the fact that millions are sold a year to people who would be horrified if these things ever bloomed in their homes&#33

This was my first time really using a view camera so I had bracketed a bit. While both negs were contrasty, the first one was too light. I got a dim image.

Note to self - This is not a medium that likes subtle gradations.

So I took out the other, much more dense negative.

This worked VERY well. The image came out nicely. It wasn't the ideal image for the medium I think, but it looks good. I exposed for about 2 minutes in direct sun.

The next day I ran off two more of the same image. Just to kind of play with getting repeatable results. I mean even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.

These were different. Exposure ranged in time from 1 minute to a good 3 minutes. But the came out pretty much the same. The thing is, the exposed areas seem a few shades lighter than in the second print I did.

This puzzles me.

I figure it could be two things.

1) Overexposure. One difference between the two is the time of day (both in the late afternoon, but the first two prints were done earlier in the day) and location (the first were in the backyard which has less sun, the others in the front where there is more). In both cases I placed the frame in direct sun, but I know that sunlight can vary. Plus it was done on different days. Both days were clear, but who knows.

2) Variations in materials. This stuff is from a kit designed to make solargrams. I'm guessing they don't have the same quality controls as say Kodak. I get two images from each sheet so the first images were done on the same piece of paper and the second two came from another piece.

Any hints/tips here?