Exploring Photography… Cyanotype

Cyanotype is a photographic process that creates a photograph in cyan blue. Cyanotype photography uses an UV light source (i.e. sunlight, UV lamp) and chemicals (aqueous potassium ferricyanide and aqueous ferric ammonium citrate) to produce an image. When producing a cyanotype photo, the paper or other medium (fabric, non-porous surfaces) are treated with the chemicals, the image (negative or an object) is then placed on the treated paper and exposed to a UV light source. The combination of the light and chemicals will imprint the image onto the medium. Cyanotype is cost effective and serves as an effective alternative to a darkroom.

Matt Shapoff of Handmade on Peconic Bay has provided two video clips to give insight on the cyanotype process. You can view them here and here. Thanks Matt!

In contrast to most historical and present-day processes, cyanotype prints do not react well to some environments. As a result, original cynotypes should not be stored or presented on chemically buffered board, as this will cause the image to fade. Prolonged exposure to light can fade the cyanotype as well.

Fine art photographs should be preserved by framing behind UV glass. Photographs should be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent damage to the image.

Below are some wonderful cyanotype photographs. As with all of my featured art/artists these are pieces I would purchase for myself or as a gift.

  • Leeks by Heather Sullivan


3 Responses to “Exploring Photography… Cyanotype”

  1. This is a beautiful post, thank you for including my work. 🙂

  2. This is a really wonderful post Kelly. It’s great to see traditional photographic techniques being celebrated and encouraged. Thank you for including my Flower 2 image amongst some fantastic Cyanotype examples. Stephen Mark

  3. These cyanotypes are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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