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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Cyanotype, letting go

While researching the parameters I need to improve my cyanotype process, I came across the concept of wet cyanotype. The developer for a cyanotype print is water. Therefore to make a consistent print it is vital to keep paper and materials dry until the cyanotype has been fully exposed. Wet cyanotype gives up the aspiration of making a consistent print in favour of seeking a variety of unpredictable tones and textures. Water is deliberately introduced into the exposure set up, while exposure times are lengthened and uncontrolled. After carefully working through so many steps in pursuit of consistency, I allowed myself to let go: another old photo-etching transparency, a bit of water and a print abandoned in the garden for an unspecified length of time gave me this

There are some interesting textures and effects and the print is more interesting than many of my more formal attempts.

I can add this to my growing library of backgrounds and collage materials.

I also started to experiment with the process of drawing into the cyanotype in the same way as I had done with my digital photographs.

I used a photocopy of my print and carbon paper, rather than drawing directly onto the print. The control I was seeking proved to be an illusion as the two images were not perfectly aligned. Following through on this approach is a way I could utilise my prints to add meaning to what are otherwise imperfect reproductions. Since the photographic element is underexposed, the linework may prove to be even more prominent.

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