The cyanotype process uses a solution of iron compounds to create beautiful Prussian Blue images. Invented by Sir John Herschel in 1841, the process was
very popular in engineering circles well into the 20th century, as it allowed
low-cost reproductions of technical drawings of architectural designs – hence
the term ‘blueprint’.
Anna Atkins pioneered the use of cyanotypes as photographic images, by
creating books which documented ferns and algae. She placed specimens
directly onto a sheet of paper which had been coated with cyanotype chemistry,
and allowed the action of light to create a silhouette effect – otherwise known
as a photogram.
Cyanotypes are cheap, permanent, and allow for a lot of creative
experimentation. As well as photograms, cyanotypes can also be used to make
prints using photographic negatives.
It is possible to create cyanotypes using the following methods:Solar Paper
This is paper that has already been coated with cyanotype chemicals. All you
need to do is take a sheet out of the packet, expose it under sunlight, and wash
it in water.
This kit contains the cyanotype chemicals in ready-measured amounts and
everything else that you need to make prints, as well as detailed instructions.
You can choose the surface you want to coat and prepare it yourself.
Fotospeed supplies a 50ml bottle of cyanotype solution, ready to be applied to
any desired surface.
View: Fotospeed Sensitizer
The most advanced option. You mix Potassium Ferricyanide and Ferric Ammonium Citrate in precisely measured amounts, using scales and measuring
graduates. This is the most economical option, giving you a good amount of working
solution at relatively low cost.
View: Potassium Ferricyanide
View: Ferric Ammonium Citrate