Cyanotype Photography 103: Printing from a digital negative

Ben Panter, Expanding Photography

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6 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:32
    • 2. Supplies

      2:44
    • 3. Making a Digital Negative

      11:28
    • 4. Coating Your Paper

      2:48
    • 5. Test Print and Final Exposure

      8:11
    • 6. Final Evaluation

      5:35

Project Description

Make a cyanotype of your own photograph by making your own digital negative and learning how to test print.

SUPPLIES:

  • Cyanotype Chemicals - Jacquard Cyanotype Sensitizer Kit. While I have not used this kit personally, if I were to buy one now, this is the one I'd go for. Buy it from Amazon
  • Watercolor Paper - You'll need to coat the chemicals on paper that can hold up to being rinsed in water for several minutes. Watercolor paper works great, and I'd recommend starting with a basic, cheap pad, such as this.
  • Printable Transparency - You can buy these from Staples, Office Depot or Amazon. Just be sure to get the kind that matches your printer; either Inkjet or Laser. ** These can be a little pricey. My next planned series is on how to create paper negatives.
  • Printer - This should go without saying, but you will need a printer to print your digital negative onto the transparency.
  • Brush Without Metal - Foam craft brushes are the most accessible solution, though they do soak up more chemicals. Other options are Sumi-e brushes, Hake brushes or Hair dye brushes.
  • Photo Frame - Any old photo frame will work for this. I would recommend using a frame that is larger than your paper size. I used an 8x10 frame for a 6x9 print. Also, double check that your frame does not have UV treated glass (this would normally only be in more expensive frames).
  • The Sun - You'll need access to a sunny spot outside. The fastest prints will be at noon, but several hours before or after that will still work.
  • A Digital Photograph - Pick a good one from your latest vacation or something you recently snapped on your phone.

BASIC STEPS:

  1. Select a digital photograph and turn it into a negative (On your desktop or smartphone).
  2. Print your digital negative on a transparency.
  3. Coat and dry your watercolor paper with cyanotype chemistry and dry.
  4. Make a test strip to determine proper exposure.
  5. Make your final exposure.
  6. Develop and dry the print.
  7. ENJOY!

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Ben Panter