2 Advanced Cyanotype Techniques: perfecting your final photography prints | Ben Panter | Skillshare
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2 Advanced Cyanotype Techniques: perfecting your final photography prints

teacher avatar Ben Panter, Alternative Photography & Game Making

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      2:55

    • 2.

      Supplies

      3:37

    • 3.

      Coating Methods

      8:44

    • 4.

      Developing Method pt. 1

      6:42

    • 5.

      Developing Method pt. 2

      5:10

    • 6.

      Final Analysis pt. 1

      9:35

    • 7.

      Final Analysis pt. 2

      7:33

    • 8.

      Bonus Technique

      4:52

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About This Class

I love the ability of Cyanotype to have a mind of its own and create some unique results that come from the process itself (take a look at my Wet Cyanotypes class). But there are times when I'm looking to do something specific. Whether there's a particular look I'm going for or there is an image that needs a little more finesse in order to look it's best, it's important to have the necessary tools to not always be at the mercy of the medium. So this class is about giving you 2 methods of controlling some of the finer points of your images.

One method revolves around the specifics of coating, and seeing if your technique could be fine-tuned in order to give you richer blues and denser prints. The other method comes after exposure, and uses a household ingredient to control contrast in the final prints.

This class is not about me leading you through a step by step process in order to get perfect results. Since there are so many variables at play, it's impossible for me to give you your perfect solution. So instead this class will lead you through the necessary experiments you'll need to determine what your own prints need. I've always said I love the experimental nature of cyanotype and this class is no exception.

This is a more advanced class, not because of the difficulty, but because of the level of detail we are looking at the finished prints with. These may not be techniques for everyone (it is fun to just make casual cyanotype prints) but it is for anyone who would like more creative control in their cyanotype photography process.

Let's go!

PS. I included a bonus lesson at the end that is sort of like a test strip on steroids. It is a great little extra tip that works great with the methods in this class for those looking to really dial in their prints.

NEED A CYANOTYPE REFRESHER FIRST?

I'd recommend starting with my first three classes, Cyanotype 101, 102, and 103 to get all the foundations.

WANT MORE CREATIVE CONTROL?

Look at these more advanced cyanotype classes that give you lots of cyano possibilities.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ben Panter

Alternative Photography & Game Making

Teacher

My name is Ben Panter and I am an artist, professor and game-maker. My art is photography based and I enjoy experimenting with and combining new and old media. I've been honored to have several artist residencies through the National Park System over the past few years, including Rocky Mountain National Park and Acadia National Park.

I've also been designing board games for about a decade now. Like many in the field, I started out very casually, but have more recently committed to creating a more steady flow of games. I especially believe in helping others enjoy game design as a hobby unto itself, and through my classes on skillshare I hope to make it accessible for more people.

You can view more of my photography work on my website, benpanter.com, and follow me on Instagr... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: My name is Ben, I'm an artist and educator and welcome to this class, advanced cyanotype techniques to improve your final prints. In this class, we're gonna be taking your skills of how to make a good cyanotype print and take it one step further and try two more techniques that can improve your final prints to really make them shine. These are techniques that are going to require some experimentation on your part because there's some variables at play that are gonna be specific to your location. And so I'm gonna walk you through how you can set up that experiment to determine exactly the results you want and know for sure the results you're gonna get. So while this class isn't as much a step-by-step to get these results. It is showing you a method that then you can use with every cyanotype you make from now on in order to get the best possible results. And I think these two techniques we're gonna look at are an interesting combination for you because one starts from the coating. Is there an optimal way to be coding your prints to get the richest, best colors? And the second technique is really going to be looking at the developing process. And is there something we can add to the development in order to get the tones to be exactly what you want. So all of these techniques may add a little bit of complexity and extra thought into the process. They are going to give you an extra degree of control of these extra variables you can be locking down in order to make the prints you want to make. By way of what are we literally going to make in this class? Well, I have some examples here just real quick, right? Here's one set. These are three examples and these are related to the different ways of coding your paper and can that make a difference? Then on the other side, we have the development and we have different concentrations of developing with something other than just water, which is going to control time, it's gonna control contrast. And so while any of these individual prints we might be looking at in this class may not be incredible. It's more about learning how to use those methods in combination with the incredible images that you do want to me. It's about giving you that Swiss army knife approach that you come up with an image that you want to be a little bit different, that you have the tools in order to make it a little bit different. So I'm excited to be jumping into these two methods in this class because it gives you control over more of the process. And as an artist yourself, that means that you're able to make the images you want to make. That's what I'm all about, helping you do that. In the next video, we're gonna talk about the supplies you need. They're really simple, really accessible, so don't worry about that. And then we're going to jump right into, how do you do these things? Why would we want to do them? All those big questions? So let's jump to it. 2. Supplies: Alright, welcome back to this video here we're going to talk about the supplies you will need for this project of advanced cyanotype techniques. And again, there's two techniques. One that's involved with the coding and one that's involved with the development. The good news is you basically use almost everything from the regular cyanotype process plus one very common household ingredient. So this video is more of an advanced technique. So I'm going to assume you have a pretty solid basis for understanding how cyanotype works, how to make a basic cyanotype, all of that. If you don't have that, I recommend jumping into one of my early videos, cyanotype 101102103. Kind of explain the whole process in detail from making your first print, through making negatives, through mixing your chemistry, all of that. If you don't have the foundations, start there first before coming here to this more advanced video, where we got that other way, you need all the basic cyanotype supplies. First of course, you need your chemistry of cyanotype. I have the Jaccard kit you can get on Amazon. It's worked really well for me and you get a ton of prints out of this. So it's a really great deal. You need all the basic things to be measuring, mixing. You need a brush, you need paper, and of course you need a frame in order to print it. You have to decide whether you're gonna be printing outside or if you have a UV printer, like the one I made, like the one I made in one of my previous classes. That's a great solution that lets you print anytime of the day. And then of course you're going to need to be able to be rinsing these prints to develop them. I have some little trays like this, of course any sort of container will do. But you are going to want some sort of tray that can hold the amount of water you're working with, not just letting water run on it. For the particular method we're using, some sort of tray or container will be necessary. All right, So all that stuff is normal so far, just your normal cyanotype process. The only material we are adding is going to be vinegar. White vinegar is going to be part of our development bath. And so we'll see how this affects things later on. But white vinegar, one of these big things, really cheap, really accessible. You might even just have it in the pantry. So you can just use that to start with the last button. Not least, of course you need something to print. Now personally, I find these methods may be the most beneficial when I'm dealing with negatives. Because you start dealing with like density of the final print and the contrast maybe becomes a little bit more important in most cases. But if you want to try this with doing a leaf print or something like that, there probably are some benefits to that as well. So I don't want to say you shouldn't do that. But if you have a negative, you can try this out with, I would recommend it. And it's even better if you have a few negatives. For instance, I'm gonna be printing with three negatives at a time. That way I have exactly the same exposure for some of these. And so in the experimental process, it might be helpful for you to have three of the same negative so you can really see the results. So those are all the supplies. And in the next video we're gonna be jumping right into the process. So let's get going. 3. Coating Methods: Alright, welcome back. In this video we're gonna be talking about the coding method. That is this sort of advanced technique in order to control some variables in your prints. Here's the theory. And then we'll talk about what, what does that mean from what we're actually going to do? So the theory is some people feel like they get denser prints, they get richer blues. If they double coat the print, meaning they coat on one layer of the sensitized solution. And then they wait till it dries most of the way till it gets mad at least. And then they cut it again. So they've doubled coated. And there's all kinds of threads on the Internet. It's documented in some books, so it is a viable technique to get richer blues. However, there are some people who think it's not worth the extra trouble. Some of the things that you could run into are, you know, you're getting dragged chemistry wet again. And so there's the potential for some sort of like what's the word like cross-contamination almost like that. You're getting the chemistry wet and then drying it and then wet. So it's almost going to look like a wet cyanotype. You have the potential to mess with the surface of your paper because it's wet for longer and you're brushing it for longer. So it could you could start to scrape up the surface if you're not careful. So that's one variable that you'd have to be careful with. Another thing that I've read is there's artists saying, well, they felt like they got the same amount of density by just making sure that they brushed in all four directions that are horizontal, vertical, and then criss-cross one way, crisscrossed the other. And when they compared that with double coding, they saw the same results. Then of course there's the old. Have I noticed anything in my single coded sino types that feels like it's missing, Does it feel like it's not dark enough that I'm trying to improve. All these questions are sort of at play here. And here's what I've learned. Generally for myself. I don't see enough of a difference in most of my prints to go through the extra effort of coding twice. Generally, when I coat, I do brush from multiple angles. So I'm probably getting the benefit of that technique. Even though when I originally started using that technique, I wasn't trying to do anything special. It was just kind of naturally how I went about brushing. Third, there are other variables at play with the final density of your print. How rich the blue is. That might affect things more than double coding. For instance, the finish of your paper, There's all kinds of conversation around the specific paper that you use and what is it sized with? What is, how acidic is it? All? Those things will affect the density, the pH level of the water you're using to develop will affect the final density of the print because if there is enough chlorine in it, it'll start to bleach if you rinse it for too long. So there's all kinds of variables that are messing with it. So all that to say, the reason I'm approaching this class width even more of an experimental nature than normal is because these variables I can't determine for you. You have to say, well, what paper am I using? What am I using? What is my specific method of coding that I'm going to be inserting. All of those things are gonna come into play to make your final image. I didn't even mention the density of your negative comes into play there as well. I want you to experiment with this because in your case, or for some specific images, it is probably worth it. But it's not necessarily always going to be worth it. And so I don't want to say, I don't want to give you the impression that this is something I always do or that I always recommend because honestly, I don't always do it for a lot of, like I said, for most of the cyanotype. So I make, I don't double coat and I've been pretty happy with those results. Other people I know have a hard time getting the colors dark enough. So double coding really helps with that. So your mileage may vary. But I do want to show you the method that I used in order to test this. And it's pretty straightforward. So it kinda looks like what you would expect. So here I have already coded the paper here. And basically I went about coding the first layer just once, right? So I coded here one time. I have this little marked with a two because this is the area that I'm going to be double coding. I came over here and this was the crisscross method. So I went horizontally, vertically or diagonally one way, diagonally the other way. And the idea there is that you're just, you're brushing the solution into the fibers from all different angles. And so it's really getting as much as possible into the paper. Then last, this method, I just tried to keep it as simple as possible. I just did horizontal strokes really light over the surface as a single code solution. By that time I let it dry for a few minutes. And what you're looking for for the double coding method is once the original layer gets dry to a matte look, there might be maybe a slight sat Annie look, but you want it to be mostly dry and not dry for like ours. You want it to be just dry, like probably 510 minutes tops. And then you just brush it over again. And remember at this point, you do want to be gentle with the surface because it's already got a lot of water in there. If you are pushing hard, you're liable to brush up some of those fibers. And that's going to mess with the final look of the image. So you just brush over it a second time. Then you let it dry. And so I wound up with a single paper with in three different methods. I have marked on the side here which one is double coated, which one was cross coded in which was single? And so now I'm going to set this up, each one with its own negative in order to print. So let's go ahead and get that setup. All right, so what I have here are three negatives I've used before. They're all the same image. Just prints off of a laser printer there nothing amazing, but they were printed off of the same piece of papers, so they should be relatively the same negative. And I'm just going to line them up here, one on top of the other. Because I printed this so that they should be able to more or less lineup. I'm lining this up. We're not worried about making final prints for this class. You'll get there eventually. And in the final video we'll talk about what does this mean for the final prints you'll be making. We're worried about using this sort of scientific method in a way to discover what variables are at play, what results they give you and how you can use it. So we're not really worried about the final image as much as we are following the method that will tell us what this is, what this technique is bringing to the table for you. Okay, so now I have three images roughly centered on each of the different methods of coding. And now I'm just gonna go ahead and print it. So I'm gonna use my UV printer. Once again, I'll do a little plug here, this making this printer, the UV printer from this LED tape, has really changed the way I go about making cyanotype. It's made it so much easier to get into the studio and make a print. And I highly recommend if you're wanting to make more cyanotype, this is absolutely the way to do it. And I have that video. It's really a pretty simple process. The UV box I have makes an exposure and about 15 minutes. And so I have those three exposures that are gonna be happening simultaneously. I'm just going to plug this in, set a timer for 15 minutes, and then we'll go to developing to see the results. We get. 4. Developing Method pt. 1: Hi there and welcome back. In this video, we're gonna be talking about the advanced development method, specifically using vinegar in order to develop your prints. This method is going to have two effects on your final print. And they kind of work hand in hand in that you need to do some math ahead of time order to figure out how it works. Because the two effects are one, if you develop in just vinegar, it cuts the exposure time in half. That's right. So if you normally do a ten minute exposure, will then if you use straight vinegar, you can actually do a five-minute exposure. And the exposure should look the same if you develop that in vinegar. That's effect number one. An effect number two is that it lowers the contrast of the final image. What do I mean by contrast? Well, really, this is a normal print right here. And cyanotype tends to be high contrast in that it doesn't have necessarily the full tonal range. So things that are going towards white might go all the way white and things that are going sort of dark gray will go all the way dark. And so it tends to have a little bit of a narrow range. And so contrast then will look something more like this. The bottom image you can see there's a lot more kind of grays in the image. Or here's another one. You can see there's a lot more mid-tone values going on in that bottom image than the top one. The top one is much higher contrast. The bottom one is lower contrast. And so that is what I'm talking about when I'm talking about contrast in the image and being able to control that contrast. What's tricky here is that you need to be thinking ahead about what sort of contrast you want in your final print in order to then calculate how much time you need to expose for. So once again, for this project, I'm not recommending that you start by doing a final print for this. What I'm recommending you're doing for this particular video is that you make essentially a test strip where you can kind of get the feel for what this process is going to do to your prints. I'm gonna be making three prints at different times and different strengths of the vinegar solution. And that's what I think you should do. So just follow along with me step-by-step. As I said before, we actually get into doing it. We have to do some math. And doing that math requires that, you know, how much a normal exposure developed with just water would take. And in my case, I'm going to be using my UV printing box inside. And I know that a good exposure takes 15 minutes. Now, if you're dealing with printing outside while you might need to do a quick test strip the day of in order to know if you have a five-minute, 10-minute exposure or something like that, but you need to know what a full exposure developed in water is. From there, then we can figure out what we're doing for this test. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do one normal print, one just developed in water. So that means I'm gonna do 15 minutes. Then I'm gonna do another print that is a ratio of half water to half vinegar. That is going to be at three-quarters of the time. So in my case, 15 minutes as a full exposure. So 11.25 minutes is the three-quarters of an exposure. And then last I'm going to do a straight vinegar, vinegar only development, which means that's half of the full exposure. So in my case, that's 7.5 minutes. Now, again, of course you're gonna have to adjust those times for your particular exposure setting. But that's gonna be the pattern we're following. A full exposure, three-quarters and a half. And how am I going to be going about actually making those exposures, those different prints? Well, in order to make the most of my time, I'm actually going to be doing all three prints at once. Then as I go, I'm treating it like a test strip. So I'm going to expose all of them for 7.5 minutes. Then I'll cover up one of them and expose a little bit longer until I get to the 11 and a quarter minutes. And then I'll cover up those two. And then I'll just expose the last one, the full amount. And then I'll be ready to develop them in their different solutions. If that sounds confusing, well, I'm gonna walk through it by actually doing those steps right now so you can follow along. Once again, I'm setting up all my negatives together. I'm gonna go grab my sensitized paper and put it on here and start the exposure process. All right. We are officially done exposing. Just in case you weren't sure what I was doing in there. Basically, I expose for 7.5 minutes the whole thing. Then I cover it up. This first one. That one only got a 7.5 minute exposure. Then I expose for another three minutes and 45 seconds. Then I moved it up and covered that one. That one was done exposing. After that, I got three-quarters of the exposure. Then I did another three minutes and 35 seconds for the last one to get the full 15 minutes. This is now ready to develop using different solutions of vinegar. So let's go ahead and go over there. 5. Developing Method pt. 2: I have exposed picker and I have each one marked with the time, so I know which one was full amount, three-quarters in half. And I'm gonna cut these apart so I can develop them separately. The one we're starting with is going to be this one that was exposed for the full normal amount of time. And we're just going to be developing it in normal water as a control, I'm going to be just using one cup of liquid to develop each one just so that it's not an extra variable. Let me just clean that out. Get water. Now I'm gonna go ahead and put it in. When I normally developed cyanotype, I normally do it under running water, but it's entirely legitimate to just develop it in a tray like this in standing water, at least as a first bath. I always like to at least do kind of like a final rinse under running water if I do develop like this. Just want to be agitating. As you go. You can see it has already rinsed really pretty far. There's still a little bit of a yellow yellow to that. Just going to keep looking pretty well developed. It doesn't seem to be changing much anymore. Let's just give it one more minute. This is more or less developed. I'm going to move over to a final rinse in this tray in the sink over here. So it can really get, make sure every last bit of the chemistry is out of. The next exposure were doing was the three-quarters of time or in my case, 11 minutes and 25 seconds. And we're gonna be doing that with a half water, half white vinegar solution. Again, I want to end up with a total of one cup. I'm going to do a half cup of water first. Then a half cup of vinegar that's mixed around. And then it's the same process with this one. See, that's developing pretty nicely. And after developing your normal amount of time, then this appears that just needs, again a final rinse. So I'm gonna go ahead and dump that in there. For the final print. We did half the amount of time, which means now we are going to be doing a straight vinegar wash. One cup of vinegar into the tray. And our print goes straight in. This appears to be fully developed. Now. We're gonna go with straight into final rinse. All right, once that rinses, I'm going to let them dry. And then in the final video, we're gonna look at the results of all these images. Talk about what that means for your printing, which ones you like, and what we can do for the future. 6. Final Analysis pt. 1: Hey there and welcome back. This is our final video where we're talking about the analysis of these finished prints, these sort of test prints that have brought you through the process of making. And remember, the point of this is not to make these little three test prints and then you're done. The point of this is then to figure out how you can possibly use these methods in order to make your ideal print whatever that is in your situation. So we are, the project of this class is to walk you through how to do this and then it's up to you to apply it. We're gonna go ahead and jump right in looking up close at some of the results we got. Some of them are gonna be different for you than they are for me. Because once again, the reason why I can't just tell you the method and then say you should do it this way exactly to get these results is because there are a lot of variables at play. So I'm going to talk about the results that I got. If you've got a little bit different one, that's probably okay. But you're gonna use that information to make your finished prints. Anyway. Actually, one more thing I decided to make a final video, a bonus video in this class that talks about one extra thing that might help you in this experimental process that I haven't talked about in any other video series. And so when you're done in this one, the analysis, make sure you stay tuned for the last one. And I think that'll really help you get on the right track. Alright, so here I have my two sets of three prints, the two different methods we used of the vinegar, as well as the different coding methods. And we're going to look through each one and just look at what happened, see what we can learn. So I'll move these out of the way first. And let's look at our results. In front of you. We have these are the ones where we exposed for different amounts of time and then we use the different amounts of vinegar in order to get different results. You can see these look very different, especially the difference between the no vinegar. This was our normal print using just water with the full amount of exposure versus the 100% vinegar. You can see there's a pretty significant difference in that print, but it's not that different of an exposure. That's what's crazy. So the number one variable is, you can see how vinegar changes the amount of time required. Suddenly, this is a 15-minute print. This is a 7.5 minute print. And from a you can see even on the side over here like the amount of blue, the deepness of the blue. They're actually the same exposure, which that's what is supposed to happen. So we know this was working properly. So now what we're looking at is the variable of contrast. And you can see some different things here. This ends up being a very high contrast image. Because you can see the darkest shadows here really in the shadows of these trees. There's still quite a bit of detail here, but up in the sky, right where there's these clouds are, they're supposed to be clouds. It just goes pure white. We could try to correct for that with changing the negative, we could try to correct for it with the amount of print time or something like that. But the problem was cyanotype is that it does have a narrow tonal range. And so sometimes a high contrast image, you just can't get all the tones in there unless you do something to change the contrast. And you can change the contrast in the negative. And now we've learned you can change the contrast chemically. You can change it with vinegar. So let's move this one over to the side a little bit. And we're going to look just at these two. This one up top, this was half an exposure with full vinegar. You can see we have much lower contrasts like the background, while there's detail in the clouds in there and we have changes from lighter to darker. There's still lots of detail in there, but it is very, very soft. And even if you look at the trees where this is the darkest area of the print, it seems like it has gotten a little softer. And so you do begin in this case with that full amount of contrast applied with the vinegar, you start to lose the contrast between the foreground, the darkest area, and the background versus this one. This is the one that was exposed for three-quarters of the time. And we didn't even one-to-one ratio of vinegar to water. This one to me is a nice balance between the two. There is less contrast, especially in the sky, right? In the lighter areas we actually have. A tonal range up here that's visible. There's nothing that goes pure white down in the water area too. There's nothing that goes pure white. But the dark areas are still as dark as I need to be in. It sets this, this set of trees, these islands, apart from the background. These three prints, to me, probably the middle one is the winner. I'm happiest with how that came out. What does this mean in terms of using vinegar and contrast? Well, in my case, I could take this information and just say, well, I should plan on doing a three-quarters of whatever our full exposure is and then use that one-to-one ratio of vinegar to water. If that's sort of I could make that my new normal of how to make a cyanotype print. Now, there's a few other variables at play though that I know are changing things. One is the negative and the printer I have printing my negatives, create a more limited print from the get-go. So I could say, well, I don't always want to be printing with vinegar. It's a little bit more work. It's not as easy as just rinsing under tap water. I could go in and try to fix my negative, make it a little lower contrast on the, on the curves are on the levels meter I can bring in those sides of the histogram so that I'm not trying to print at the far edges of the gray scale. And if that's gibberish to you, don't worry about it. We haven't really talked about it enough. So I could go in and try to fix it other ways. Or I can try to find a happy medium. I can go in and say, All right, what happens if I just say, most of the time when I'm printing in my UV box, it's a 15-minute exposure. What happens if instead I print 414 minutes and I add in two tablespoons of vinegar to one cup of water or something like that. And then I go in and I try some, some prints, try a few different negatives, and look at the comparison between them and see does that in adding just enough of that reduced contrast to keep some more detail in the highlights, while still keeping enough contrast in the final image. Then if that doesn't work, I could do maybe a little less time or maybe I could do a little more vinegar or all those amounts I can play with until I find some, some sort of new normal for the way I could print in order to bring a little bit less contrast into my final image. And what I've found is sometimes the contrast of cyanotype works beautifully, right? It works. The high contrast really makes the blue pop and the white versus the blue is really good. But more often than not, it's a little too high contrast to reproduce a really good landscape image or something that has a lot of subtle tones, you end up losing part of that because of the inherent nature of cyanotype. My resolution is that I am planning to start using more vinegar in the way I developed my prints. Because I like being able to inherently control the contrast at the very end of the process, regardless of how my negative is, I can always go in there and add a little bit more contrast control to my final image. And that's what I really like about this vinegar developing process. So that's my takeaway that I want to plan to be using vinegar more consistently. I'm curious to hear what your takeaway is depending on the results you got. You might like the results. You might not have liked the results with your particular image. That's the last thing to keep in mind here with this process is that it really depends on each individual image and each negative. How high-contrast or low contrast is the image? That's gonna change how much you need contrast control at the developing stage. Okay, so let's go ahead and now look at the coding method differences and see what differences there were. 7. Final Analysis pt. 2: Here we have three images and looking at them quickly, you'd say they're all very similar, which is good. That's what we're shooting for. But we're going to look a little closer and we can start to see some minor differences that might help you decide which one you're going to go with. So let's look at each one. This one is standard. This is just sort of very quickly brushed on side-to-side. And this is a good print, meaning there's a high amount of contrasts like we would expect, that you can look over here the darkest darks that were outside the negative. That has a nice rich blue tone to it. And over inside the negative, right? There's nice tones in there. We got nice contrast. So that's a good print. But then when we compare that to the print just above it, this one is the one that we did, the crisscross pattern where I did side-to-side up and down, criss-cross, crisscross the other way with the idea that we're just trying to get that sensitize solution really into the fibers as good as possible. So you get the darkest possible print and looking at this like especially if you compare there, I'll keep them in the right order. The tree area, if you look at the trees like this, is noticeably a little bit denser, a little bit darker than this. This has a little bit more depth to the shadows than this and same thing with the background of the mountain. So this does appear that it got darker. And you could say, well, one, negative two, the next is your printer calibrated. That certainly could be an issue, except that I did an exact copy of this test before shooting this class and I got the same results. The single simple coat was slightly lighter, slightly less dense than the one that I did, the crisscross codon. Okay. Now the one we've all been waiting for, it's the double coated ones. So if we just look at that closely, this is again, another fine exposed print. But there are some issues with this one. And again, I've repeated this in my situation. This is something that seems to be true. And that is two things. One, with the particular paper I'm using, which is pretty standard watercolor paper, I do get more staining with the double coding. I'm, I'm not sure actually how well you're able to see that there is a slight yellow tinge to this print, the other ones that's gone, I was able to rinse it out, but this one kept a little bit of that yellowish greenish in the highlights. And that doesn't seem to be something I can fix now there are chemicals solutions to that, but I really don't want to get into that. That's one thing. Now, I know people encounter that problem and they fixed it by getting a higher caliber paper. But again, I'm not that interested in having to do something extreme if the results aren't that much better than what I'm getting with normal paper. So that's problem number one for me. And then problem number two is it actually looks like it's actually a slightly lighter print maybe than just the single coded print. Like, I don't know if it's not lighter than its the same. And again, it's not worth the extra effort and the trouble of the staining if it's the same as just a single coat. So my theory on why it might actually be lighter, because from a chemical standpoint that doesn't make any sense. But my theory on why it's a little bit later is because I know that there was some of that yellow staining in there. I was trying to rinse it longer. And I've noticed that I think I recently moved and I think the water in our town must have a little bit more chlorine because I've noticed that if I leave prints in the water too long, they start to bleach a little bit. I wonder if the lightening of this print is just due to getting rinsed longer in order to try to get rid of some more of that yellow. All that to say in my specific situation. This did not improve the print double coding. Where does that leave us? Am I saying that double coding is a scam and you should never really do it, not worth it. Well, no, I can't say that because I have seen plenty of examples where people got richer tones or there's, there's a difference between a single quote and a double quote. So I don't think it won't work for anyone. But for my specific variables, the paper I'm using, the water, I'm using, all of those things. It doesn't really improve my prints. And in fact, I'm very happy with the darkness, the richness of the prints I get just with a regular coat. I do think, however, that while double coding isn't worth it, I do think for me it'll be worth going through the extra thought process of saying rather than just slapping it on quickly and saying it doesn't really matter to actually go through and say, let me coat horizontally, vertically crisscross. Because again, I tried this a few times here just to try to get a controlled result. And I saw this pattern, repeat that where I did that it was slightly denser. And when you're talking about photographic prints, having a denser, a richer print at the end is gonna be worth the time invested. So for me, that's my takeaway. And again, I'm curious what results you got. Maybe with the water in your town or if you're using purified water from a gallon container or something to develop your prints. That the double coding really helped your prints, in which case I'd love to see them. So where does that leave us? Well, again, this project was a little different than other classes because the project wasn't the finished product. The project was the process to figure out what's going to work for you. And I'm hoping that through this, you have really learned, you've started to dial in what is going to work for you in order to give you the prints you want. Whether it's your coding method, whether it's the development method using vinegar. I think having these tools in your tool belt of possible variables to experiment within your cyanotype prints is going to really help you. Can't do anything but help you because the more options you have, the more ways you can fine tune your prints. And as I mentioned before, you are done with this class. Normally I'd be wrapping up here, but I added an extra bonus video at the end that I really want you to checkout, which is one more thing to think about in order to help you dial in some of these variables more, one more thing that might be useful to you, so make sure you stay tuned for that. But as usual, I'm gonna wrap them my class here. If you make prints, if you follow this process doing one or other of these methods, I really want to see it makes sure that you share your projects. In this class, I'd love to see it. I think it would be really beneficial to the other students. We can give feedback, we can talk about the results, and we can help one another improve our cyanotype. Thanks so much for participating. I really had a blast sharing this with you, and I'll see you in the next video. 8. Bonus Technique: Hi there and welcome back. This is sort of a bonus of PS video if you well tacked onto the end because I realized there's one thing that might help you with this process of really fine tuning your cyanotype prints a little bit more. One thing that in all honestly I don't always do, but the fact that I know I can when I need to is helpful when I'm problem-solving what I'm trying to get specific cyanotype results. And so what is this great secret that I'm keeping from you? Well, it's no great secret really, but It's the idea of taking a test strip and taking it up a notch. And that's through doing a tonal map or a tonal scale. So this is gonna be available in the project. A link. Actually, I got this from alternative photography website online, so I'm gonna redirect to that because it's theirs. And what you can do is download this and make prints of this to dial in the contrast of your image. So you're gonna print this out. However you normally print out a negative. So whether you're printing on paper and doing a paper negative, whether you're printing on, you know, acetate or transparency and making that a negative, you want to use the printer you normally use. You want to use the paper your normal use and just print it as is. You're gonna expose it like a regular cyanotype using some of these methods. So you might try the double coding method with this as the image, or you might try the vinegar development method with this as the image. And what this is going to allow you to do this is giving you every little total step along the way. So there's kind of fine tuning the 0 to 1010 to 20, the very light side of things. Then there's the 80 up to a 100, the very dark side of things. And seeing how much of that are you actually able to see in your finished print. So how did these actually get used? Well, some people use these in order to fine tune their negatives. They print these out. They changed the curves and the computer on when they're printing out the negative. It's, it's whole process that is quite advanced can really make your head spin, but can give you beautiful results. That's a whole other class we'll get to another day. How I'm suggesting you use it is that you make a print using some of these methods that we just talked about in this class. Whether you're double coding, whether you're using vinegar, combining the two in some way. And this allows you to see the method you're using. What is it doing to the actual tonal range that's available on your negatives. And once you're armed with that information, it really helps you know what to expect when you're working with an image. You're looking at an image that has a lot of dark tones. But you realize the method you're normally using, everything from 80% dark to a 100% dark, just goes all the way dark. Well, your image probably isn't gonna look that good. So you're gonna need to change the brightness values. You're going to need to do some things. Or you're working with an image that has more on the lighter end. And to make sure you see all those total values, you're going to need to make sure you have a lower contrast print. So you're going to want to use more vinegar, which then will change your exposure, right? It's all linked together. This tool, this tone map, is going to help you fine tune things. So you might be saying, well Ben, if it's this important, why didn't you show us this at the beginning? Because I would've been using this all along. Well, it's one of those things that it can add complexity that might make the process less fun. Sometimes checking down, making sure you get the perfect contrast and exposure and all that can drive you crazy. And the truth is you're gonna get 80% of the results just from using the method and doing your best in intuitively without using this tool. But if you want to take it, the rest of the way to really be dialing things in to get the best possible tones exactly the way the negative was originally taken. Well then you're gonna have to start using tools like this. So if you're the diverse and that this is gonna be frustrating, don't use it. There's no reason to. But if you're the type of person that really wants to dial things in, well then you're gonna need to start using a tool like this. And so I recommend you to start experimenting right now using these two methods and seeing the results that are having on the tonality of your final prints. Hopefully one day I'll be able to do a whole class on this really in-depth digital negative making process where you're fine tuning all the contrast and everything. But for right now, go out and make awesome prints. Have fun. I'll see you in the next class.