Tag Archives: cyanotype

cyclone negative cyanotype

a couple of days ago i was making some more cyanotypes i loaded up some contact frames with waxed negatives to see if i could get a better print than i did with my old coated paper some of those prints just didnt’ work out ..  and at the same time i found an old hand coated paper negative made with the cyclone #3 a while ago, that was just sitting on the tabletop.  i had cleaned up quite a bit a week or 2 ago:  i swept the floor;  i organized;  i put things away;  i stacked things;  i found things i hadn’t seen in a while.  the paper negative was a rediscovery, even though it wasn’t really lost.  it seems like it was coated on xerox paper, it is thin and durable.  not sure what emulsion is on it, maybe foma?  maybe my home-brew, not sure.  it has a nice contrast and look and i stuck it in the contact frame.  the waxed negatives took a ton of time before to expose, so i was banking on a day or 2 in the sun for all 3 of the cyanotypes.  it was a lot more diffuclt in late october because the sun is low, and it moves across the sky differently than before, so i had to really follow the sun around with the print frames. i did OK i suppose, but i was more in open shade than i was in the sun, and that is OK too.  the print is made from the same classic formula i coated the others with.  and after 2 days in the sun i washed it in water and added a little hydrogen peroxide to finish the development, and eventually i painted some areas of the print with dilute washing soda to give a yellowish hue to some areas. anyhow, its the kitchen table and window and chairs. not sure if i am going to add my own colors or leave it, the blue tones of cyanotypes are starting to grow on me.

 

classic, and blue

window table and chairs
classic cyanotype H2O2 to develop out faster as i always do, and a little washing soda to bleach and ad color

http://jnanian.imagekind.com/store/Images.aspx/e7b40dbc-7aba-4bf2-ae7f-355201cb53c4/RecentUploads

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the honey jar

there is a bee keeper on the other side of town i like to buy honey from.  i usually drive down his drivewaywhich looks like it isn’t really there from the head of the street, but you just make a left and follow the dirt road.  you arrive and there are honey bees flying around doing their thing.  if i was my younger self i wouldn’t be very happy, i’ve been bitten by bees or yellow jackets and wasps and hornets when i was a kid, and i have a healthy misunderstood fear about honey bees.  they just do their thing, its the other “stuff” that want to sting you.  just yesterday i was talking with an old friend who told me about how he moved a school desk in his back yard and a cyclone of thousands of yellow jackets came out and chased him inside.  he’s the same guy who told me a story years ago, when i mentioned we had yellow jackets flying out of a hole in the ground, he told me about hiking in california or someplace and stopping at an overlook of some sort and he heard the hum of high tension wires / electricity.  he looked around and there were no power lines but he noticed yellow jackets coming out of the ground.  he was standing on a giant hive …  he kind of kept walking and didn’t look back.

anyways, the bee keeper …

i’ve gone there a few times and told friends and family about him.  he goes by the name papa roger in case you want some, or want to buy some bees or bee keeping supplies https://sites.google.com/site/paparogersfarm/contact the first batch of honey i got from him was in a big quart jar, and it was black as tar, and amazing.  the 2nd batches were in smaller jars and the usual amber color.  we’re out now and i have to bring my jars back to papa roger to be re-filled with his local honey.  some say that consuming honey is good if you have allergies to pollen, hay fever &c.  im not sure if it is true, or not, i just like his honey.

this is one of the jars. i made some cyanotypes from it.  i used fresh mixed cyanotype emulsion, the “classic” recipe there are as many recipes for making classic cyanotypes as there are people who make them

the one i used:

50 g. Ferric Ammonium Citrate (8 oz. H2O)

Part B 35 g. Potassium Ferricyanide ( 8oz. H2O)

the blues are deep and dark and beautiful.  the cyanotypes i had been making the last few weeks were made with pre-coated paper from 7+ months ago, i could see the difference immediately the fresh coated, fresh made paper is more sensitive to light, and depending on the batch i used the blue can be more intense.  the contrast is really high so i have decided to use the sun in open shade if i can for at least part of the exposure and direct sun for part of the exposure, it gives a fuller image. anyways here are 3 honey jars

3 jars

hydrogen peroxide added to wash water, then a tiny bit of washing soda.

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waxed field and photograms

another from a recent slew of waxed negative cyanotypes

waxed and exposed, mottled sky

waxed negative 2 day exposure

one of the last coated papers from the winter/spring when i coated and coated to use up my sensitizer.  the  paper is yellowish from being bleached a little bit, maybe 10 seconds with sodium carbonate, but the reverse side of the paper has a clear image as if the cyanotype embedded itself inside the paper.  i almost scanned THAT side instead of the actual side i exposed on.

 

hair care tools

tools of the trade

broken glass and glass

desaturated cyanotype

 

the absolute last cyanotypes from last winter/spring,

and a few comments …

pre coated paper lasts a long while but gets slower every day it sits in a light safe.  even darkish weirdly colored paper still has some juice left in it and it just takes a little extra time in the sun.  waxed prints bleed through the paper but the image isn’t as clear or nice on the other side.  #10 envelopes make great cyanotype paper.  they are fun to coat and expose on and a great aspect ratio.  when they are washed all the glue that holds them together lets go and it leaves you with wings they can be ignored or included in the final piece.  this time i ignored them but next time i won’t.  cyanotypes are so much fun i almost want to stop using a camera and film and photo paper !  … almost.

as i type this entry i have some more ideas to do with photo paper and hand coated emulsion.  ideas that will give me black paper because the black paper i coated bled black dye all in my chemistry, because i dont’ want to deal with black glass, and while i have exposed and processed and re-coated with liquid emulsion regular photopaper in the past i might have stumbled upon something easy and fun to do that doesnt’ require double dipping in photochemistry.

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straight, untinted, unpainted cyanotypes

been making more cyanotypes lately … and have been using paper that is probably  gettng close to being dead.  it takes a long while to make exposures, and sometimes the color bleads out but that is OK, it is fun cheap and easy to make more sensitizer, something i will be doing probably in the next week or two.  i’m not quite sure what recipe i will use.  maybe i will use the 2x green : 1x ferri, maybe i will do something in between, i’m not quite sure.  here are a few from ongoing series – tools and things nearby.

hatchet

just a hatchet

1 flat, 3 not

hand wrenches some big some smaller

green leaves

before they changed color

 

i made this retina print while i was making the hatchet cyanotype.  they were both the same very long exposure.  i loaded the graflex 3a up with some hand coated paper as a negative ( 2 4×5 sheets ) ..  one didn’t make it, the one i fiddled with i was able to show the “invisible rays of light” usually talked about with the origins of photography

hatchet

photograph of a photograph being made

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more recent cyanotypes

if you have been reading my last few posts you probably know  i have been making cyanotypes.  what happened was i mixed a bunch of cyanotype chemistry and rather than get rid of it i coated everyting i could find …  14×17 xerox paper, butcher paper, velum (pierce and bristol ? ) mailing envelopes brown craft paper ..  some things work better than others …  i have done similar things with photo emulsion ..  just coated what i could to see what worked and didn’t …  and to be honest i am thinking that sometimes the stuff didn’t work because of how i use/ don’t use  whatever it is that i am using.  maybe it doesn’t like my negatives, maybe it doesn’t like my water source or developer …

anyways  here are a few more waxed paper cyanotypes

hot off the skillet !

 

cropped

on the way to vezelay walking up the hill

barely bleached

central france walking to vezelay basilica

saran wrap

dead plant and clothespin, classic cyanotype

 

i think the age of the classic formula gives it a weirdish green tone when i develop it out.  the saran wrap gives a nice wavy texture. the 2 waxed paper negatives are straight scans.  the negatives  are bleached a little bit to get rid of the blue, some areas turned brownish more. the way i bleach is that i put less than a thumble full of water logged washing soda ( calcium carbonate ) in a big beaker of water and it dissolves readily, then i pour the solution into the wash water and it dilutes as the tray drains ( it is a print washing tray i drilled holes in years ago for a water jacket )

a couple of fill and dumps the prints have bleached enough and i keep washing. the print has an area on it that is stained from the wax, but it is just the border, and doesn’t bleed into the print.  the waxed negative prints i usually leave in direct sunlight ( sun blasting on the print frame ) for 8 hours.  sometimes i don’t move it in time so it gets open shade or shady sunlight, sometimes it is shade before i remember to move it …  this time it started raining as i was exposing, so i brought in the frames and dried them and the glass off, and put them back out in the sun the next day when i could.  some water leeched in under the glass and messed with the print along with the blotchy-ness from the wax.  even thought some might view these as failures, and things i couldn’t do again if i tried, i see them as successes.  the waxed negative is great to work with and sometimes partial development by rain while the image is exposing can lead to interesting results.

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how you make waxed paper negatives

i’m no expert in this field, i’ve had fun making waxed negatives on and off for a few years.  it can be a messy job and it might not work out very well.  i first saw how to make them by viewing a short video i found in the cyanotype group on flickr.  i’m not sure if i am allowed to link to it here on my blog, but it was posted a while back in a discussion on using paper negatives for cyanotypes.  the  person who posted the video is james harr, and his work is fantastic.  here is a video link to how he explains waxing:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7Fo8seMrFo  i dont’ do exactly as he describes.  i use cheap paraffin,  but still,  his post gave me enough information that i could improvise and have fun.

 

what i do is first get my paper negative.  i don’t have a xerox machine here, or a ink jet printer whose inks won’t smudge or a laser printer.  what i do is i invert whatever image it was in photo shop and put it on a canvas the size i want to have it printed.  most recently it was 4 images on 81/2×11 paper.  the images were digital files from a nikon d200, nothing fancy.  i just desaturated them and inverted them.  i don’t use chart throb or any other programs to make my negatives i just by the bootstraps invert, cut/paste …  and to the copy store i went.  copies are cheap so i got a few of them knowing i might screw up.

i took a small cookie sheet and put it on the top of the stove to get hot to the touch and i put the xerox page in the pan … then i take a block/rectangle of gulf wax paraffin and start rubbing .  the wax melts and i keep rubbing until the paper looks “wet” i turn it over and do the same thing .. then a piece of paper towel i rub as much of the excess of as i can.  it works OK but not very well, i still need to perfect my situation.  depending on how well you rub the wax it might streak or form a texture or just remain as a layer on the paper, that said, the paper  that was once white is now greyish and see-through ( sort of ).

i put the negatives one at a time in a small contact printing frame.  the cyanotype paper i am using was coated IDK 7 months ago so i am not really sure how good or bad it is, it works so i guess it is OK.  i stick it in direct sunlight for as long as i can.  and move it around as the sun travels across the sky.  the wax usually stains the paper a little bit and bleeds but after a long sit in the sun, it seems to do whatever it is that it needs to do.  usually the receiving paper wtih cyanotype chemistry on it is very dark and over exposed.  there are really no details or very few details from the negative.  but i wash it anyways.  i watch the image clear a little bit and a little bit more until whatever it was that i printed appears.  sometimes they look better than others …  after they clear and have been washed for 15 mins, or 35 mins, i put very dilute washing soda and water in the wash water and bleed some of the blue out of the image.  it turns a color of yellowish brown and a little greenish blue.  there are artifacts from the wax in the print and while sometimes they are distracting or might take away from the print  other times they give a layer of texture in the print that i like.  these are small, between 4×5 and 4×6 and i scan them.  and fix them a little bit with photoshop but i don’t do much.  i might boost the contrast/levels a tiny bit, but that is what you do with any scan because of the scan process.  i also might remove a weird blotchy stain or weird artifact from using wax but i don’t really do too much to alter what is there.

 

here are a couple of my last ones i have done :

 

 

window sill detail, vezelay basilica, france

window sill detail, vezelay basilica, france

windmills and field

windmills and field

waxed paper negative from a digital file

waxed paper negative from a digital file

detail of arches, waxed negative

detail of arches, waxed negative

central france, paper negative

vezelay basilica central france, paper negative

 

 

as you can see, these prints can hold lots of detail or none at all,

and they are cheap + fun

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more recent cyanotypes

i haven’t been using a camera much these days.  i have film to be processed (probably 10 rolls ?)  some taken a while ago, some taken since the spring.  i haven’t gotten around to processing it.  not to mention i have some liquid emulsion ( foma and AG+) to use up and i eagerly anticipate making some of my own chlorobromide emulsion again with some nice hard bloom gelatin.  instead of camera negatives i’ve been waxing paper negatives made from rubbings ( like the last entry ) or things made as a photogram, ( always a favorite ) or better yet, paper xerox negatives that i wax and have fun with …

a few years ago i got a bad case of food poisoning while traveling in france and when i got home i had some film to process, and a few memory cards with images on them.  i was kind  of messed up from being sick when i got home  ( until i wasn’t ) and while i found one of the memory cards’ images, i am still kind of looking for the other.  i took some of these images specifically for converting to paper negatives and into cyanotypes.  i had done this with rubbings and digital images before, and it seemed like a great way to make digital images into hybrid black and white negatives.  so i desaturated some negatives, and inverted them in PS and put them 4-to a 8 1/2 x11 sheet of xerox paper …  heated up an old pan and waxed the paper  … in addition, to a big sheet of cyanotype paper, i had a handful of envelopes i coated a handful of months ago, and they were eager to be printed on.

 

i made some photograms using kitchen-stuff and crayoned and watercolored the images.  i don’t know what size envelopes are, but they are the perfect paper for making cyanotypes.  nice and long and narrow, like a panoramic negative !

 

anyhow her eare some of the images i made …

 

hand painted and black/white photogram

hand painted and black/white photogram

black and white + color photogram

black and white + color photogram

black and white + hand painted photogram

black and white + hand painted photogram

black and white+ painted photogram

black and white+ painted photogram

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recent cyanotypes

just made a handful of cyanotypes lately using paper coated and left in a light safe in a humid basement for the last 7 or 8 months.  the paper was not the best but it worked (sort of) made some photograms ( some i watercolored ) i made a contact print with a waxed rubbing and tinted it in photoshop and i also converted some digital images into black and white negatives on xerox paper and waxed and printed them.

i have some more negatives to print and cyanotype paper to use up before i mix new.

 

rubbing waxed negative

rubbing waxed negative

4 screwdrivers

photogram, watercolors

3 nails

photogram, watercolors

semicircle of stuff

photogram, watercolors

truck

waxed paper negative

vezelay

waxed paper negative

metal wire brush

photogram, watercolors

 

 

 

 

as usual most of my work is on imagekind ( jnanian.imagekind.com )  feel free to browse.  through the end of september

i will be donating a portion of every purchase ( 70% ) to relief efforts in louisana.

 

 

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long term goal

i have a hard time running out of film.

every time i get close someone i see on apug.org has some outdated film and i am a sucker for that stuff …  so i buy it.  i do my best to shoot it a lot .. i am getting low in my materials, thank goodness .. only a few 100′ rolls and maybe 50-100 rolls of 35mm film
maybe 50 rolls of 120 film a few hundred sheets (each) of 5×7, 8×10 and 4×5 film … it’s been my new year resolution for the better part of 6 years to run completely out of film and i might do it this year, and i can’t wait !

i have a dream that i can’t wait to act on … its a long term goal of not shooting film anymore, but only hand coated materials.  i’ve been using hand coated materials off and on, with limited success and off/on enthusiasm for almost 30 years … and i hope to run out of EVERYTHING so i can start making my own emulsions and  oating glass, metal, plastics and paper.

why would i want to do this?

i have a few reasons …

its not that i don’t enjoy using premade paper and film, its that they are too good .. as you might see from the photographs in this blog, and on my website and on imagekind i don’t really like “perfect” … unless its for a job, and that is what my client expects … otherwise i would rather have a few imperfections here or there and enjoy making it all by hand …

 

Posted in alternative process photography, images on glass and metal, images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion, technique and style Also tagged , , |

camera rubbings

last xmas i received a folding camera as a present.    i made a series of rubbings and then cyanotypes from them.
a lot of folks make cyanotypes and the photograph is the end of the end of the process.
i bleached and painted and crayoned and had a little more fun.

x4 folder

hand worked folder, back inside, front

 

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more waxed paper negatives

over the past few months i have been using paper negatives instead of film, and making photograms
when i make cyanotypes.  in other words, instead of using a film negative and making a contact print
or just putting objects on the paper to record their shape and or shadow, i have used paper, and charcoal
and made rubbings.  the first photographic negatives were paper negatives, and they were usually waxed
before they were printed as a positive / salt print.  while i have the materials to make salt prints
( paper sized in salt water, smeared with silver nitrate and exposed to UV and BLUE light to make a photograph )
i am making cyanotypes.  an IRON not SILVER  photographic process that uses 2 chemical compounds
which when mixed together are sensitive to light.  then the paper is washed in regular old tap water,
iron rinses out and the print is deep blue in color.  most of the time i bleach the  blue, so the image isn’t so  … blue
and i paint or use crayons to color the images by hand.
rather than making rubbings of things i have close by  …  parts of doorframes, tables, cameras, floor tiles &c
i chose to take an image or two that was taken with a digital camera.  i reversed it to turn it to a negative, and had it printed onto xerox paper.
i waxed the paper and used it as a negative  …

these are a few of the prints i came up with ,,,

 

waxed, painted bleached

bleached, waxed negative

the point

bleached cyanotype, waxed negative

 

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another rubbing print

getting the hang of making rubbings and converting them to cyanotype negatives ..

people who do rubbings, make it look so easy.  i watched some lady on youtube making a rubbing
of a delicate leaf or something like a feather ..  34 seconds later it was on the paper, perfectly rendered.
i can barely do a piece of iron, i can’t imagine how i would do something that may be intricate.

 

ironwork

rubbed on paper, waxed with parafin on the stove then put out in the sun to print

 

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what the heck is a photograph, really ..

from time to time i get asked what is a photograph.

i sometimes know how to answer, i know what i was told, and taught.   i know what i know, i think.

sometimes i have to throw everything i was taught out the window and thing about the word:  photograph/

photo  graph

light  drawing

it really seems pretty easy to figure out.  i guess it is a drawing made with light.

can it be done with a digital camera or does it need something else  ?

it can be done with anything as far as * I * am concerned  ..  even cheap construction paper !

 

today i made a photograph with a scrap of xerox paper.  its the cheap stuff  …  nothing fancy.
i made a rubbing with a pencil and then rubbed wax on it to make it sort of see through.
i took this waxed paper rubbing and contact printed it onto a piece of velum paper coated wtih
cyanotype chemistry  …  stuck it in a printing frame, and in the sun for about an hour.

THEN

i took the print all greenish and milky and rinsed it in water.  the print was now
blue and white …  so i took a solution of sodium carbonate, the same sodium carbonate
i use for caffenol, and i brushed it on the print to lighten the tones and bleach the blues to white …
and  then paint the picture until it looked like this

 

 

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cyanotype paper coated

mixed new chemistry ( 200cc ) this morning and prepared paper to coat this afternoon.  i learned form a very wise person at the RISD store that my favorite cyanotype paper and paper negative paper is “butcher paper”  its white and kind of “waxy”  smooth and WORKS GREAT !

i trimmed a bunch of it down to just over 4×5 and coated it with both chemicals mixed , maybe 30cc total.

they dried and tomorrow they will be used …

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