massage therapist | photographer

Cyanotype Workshop | Manchester, CT

In Art, cyanotype, Encaustic, Manchester, Uncategorized on October 8, 2016 at 6:01 PM

Today was fun!  There was a photo class all about the Cyanotype process at PhotoSynthesis in Manchester. If you haven’t gone there – go check it out.  Chris – the owner – is all about old photographic processes and has a ridiculous amount of knowledge to share.

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Chris checking my exposure time. The negative is being  exposed under UV light onto the chemical coated paper.

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Taking its water bath. This will wash out those yellow and green tones.

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After the water, the image takes a bath in a hydrogen peroxide mixture which helps you see what it will look like once it dries and oxidizes.

What I loved about learning the Cyanotype process is that with just a few needed items it can be done from home.  Basically – you combine two different chemicals with water, coat your paper with them [to make them light-sensitive], expose them to UV light, rinse them off, tone them if you’d like … and then let them dry.

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Again – checking exposure. This one came out kind of funky because I tried to expose it to a board that was already prepared for the encaustic medium, which I plan to put over the image.

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The chemicals didn’t want to stick to the encaustic medium …

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The final image was really washed out – but I think it has some potential once I tinker with it more.

The challenge lies in the trial and error  and I can’t imagine you could ever reproduce the same image twice. Due to all the variables based on things like: what kind of negative you choose to expose – i.e. in converting a digital image to a negative there’s all kinds of choices with how you convert it to black and white and what types of curves you apply – the type of paper or even wood you use; the amount of time you let it sit under UV light, etc … it’s kind of a game of chance.  I created three widely different prints all with the same negative … and wound up only liking one of them.

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Some of our work hanging in the darkroom. We got such a wide range of finished prodcuts. One woman worked with only infared negatives and the cloud detail she got was pretty cool.

Though I’ve primarily really only ever been a digital photographer – I am so much more inspired by this old process.  There is something about getting your hands dirty and seeing how everything can change just by immersing it in water that energizes me more than taking 100 quick photos and storing them on my hard drive.

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This is one of the ones I did three times. We had to go back in and give my original negative less contrast to get any sort of detail to show up. This still needs tweaking but was the best of the lot.

I’m excited to take this knowledge and combine it with the work I’ve been doing with the Encaustic Medium – another art form that lets me make a big mess and create one of a kind images.  What sorts of new things have you been playing with lately?

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I exposed this one outside – rather than under the UV lights. It started raining in the process and you can see where the raindrops hit the glass and caused some cloudiness.

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