Today I’ve been experimenting with the cyanotype process, and it’s quite fun/funky – one of the simplest, and oldest, ‘real’ photographic processes. (See Alternative Photography for an overview).

Anyway, I’m wondering whether anyone else has used this process, and if so how do you judge the ‘correct’ exposure?! At the moment I’m using that rarest of UK commodities – the sun – as my UV light source, so simply timing exposures is not going to be repeatable (due to the fluctuation of the light), therefore I’m looking to judge exposures ‘by inspection’.

Early days at the moment, but the images are quite interesting!

First result:

My results (after about half-a-dozen prints) are somewhat variable – the images vary from ‘spot on’ to ‘too light’ and ‘too dark’ (and there was one which I overwashed – boo!).

If I had a nice controllable UV source I could obviously do test strips as I would with an enlarger, but using the sun means that exposures will vary as the light intensity changes… From what I’ve read, I’m looking for ‘solarization of the shadow areas’, but none of my prints have exhibited that (as far as I can tell) so I wonder whether I’m looking for the right effect? :-)

One thing I will have to do is try different papers – the paper I’m using is a textured watercolour pad, which gives the images a ‘painterly’ feel, but is not sharp of course :-)

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