Something new(ish).

Blue boy.

Back in February I attended a Cyanotype workshop at a local art center and by May I’d assembled the chemicals and miscellaneous tools and materials needed to get started.

I’ve made cyanos using bits of nature, cyanos of original geometric designs, and cyanos using digital negatives created from photos – old and new – picked from the archives.

These are the latest four photo-cyanos…

B’s reel
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

Ol’ Glory
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

ARS
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

Whirlwind
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

Circle. Square.

circle-square.jpg

Yet another photographic obsession.

In my travels with cameras, I discover a lot of round or circular objects, and since my fave and probably most frequently used aspect ratio in photography is the square, I’ll center these objects and make a photo.

Here’s a montage I put together of 16 faves.

I also assembled an album with 88 examples of circle/square on Flickr, check it out…

Wagon wheel.

wagon-wheel.jpg

Cyanotype on Canson Bristol board.

This is a digital shot I made a coupla’ weeks back using my old Pentax 330GS.

The image was converted to black and white using Photoshop, where I also increased the contrast a bit, and inverted it to make a negative. I then opened the file in Illustrator, scaled it to around 8″ x 10″, then printed the image on acetate using our old Samsung laser printer.

It’s about an 8 minute exposure.

Printmaking blues.

cyanotype-positive-001

Positive.

I made my first attempts at cyanotypes yesterday. Interesting process. Simple, really.

Reminded me of way back, during my mid-20s, when I worked as a draftsman for a civil engineering firm. I made a lot of blueprints in-office for field use. I’ll never forget the smell of ammonia.

Cyanotypes are pretty similar.

It takes mixing two chemicals – ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide – and brushing the mixture on paper in subdued light.

The chemicals are non-toxic, but probably not good to ingest or inhale. Wearing gloves is a good idea.

Perfect? No. Cool? Yup. Fun? Definitely!

I made a cyanotype of this geometric pattern I created in Adobe Illustrator, which I printed out on a sheet of clear acetate.

I placed the acetate over the coated paper and sandwiched ’em both between a thin sheet of plexiglass and a backing board, holding everything together with clamps.

I set it out in the direct sun exposing the paper for about 8 minutes. I unclamped the printing frame, removed the paper, rinsing it under running water. I then dipped the paper into a tray that had a bit of hydrogen peroxide mixed in with water to help darken up the blue.

You can place any number of different things on top of the paper. Besides the graphic, I also used a small branch from a plant. I plan on using photographic negatives from my medium and large format cameras in the near future.

Perfect? No. Cool? Yup. Fun? Definitely!

There are bunches of tutorials on YouTube. Bunches.