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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Cyanotype (continued), sun exposure

I made a number of cyanotypes using the sun.

This one was a simple test using a stiff scrim fabric as a negative. It is dynamic, well exposed and developed, however at best it could work as a background to my work for this project.

This print was made early in my exploration using the transparency positive from an earlier photographic etching. Whereas the photo-etching process uses a positive, the cyanotype process requires a negative, so all the tonal values are inverted here. The test, however, gave me a measure of the adequacy of my process in all its components.

Printing a suitable transparency negative proved to be another challenge. It was difficult to obtain a sufficiently dense black using the transparency films I was able to source with the printers I have at home.

My usual go-to for printing transparencies is my local Officeworks, where I ask for "110%

black for transparency" at the counter. For most of this project I could only access their print service online where there was no transparency option available and no opportunity to discuss technical requirements with the staff.

The result was that by the time I achieved adequate exposure for the transparency film, the image was starting to overexpose.

This print also has a small white blemish courtesy of a small fragment of leaf from my garden.

The halo effect around the head is interesting, but I don't honestly know what caused it.

Like the scrim print, I can envisage its role in this project as a background on which to work rather than as a print in its own right.

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