need info re: cyanotype contact printing : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am interested in contact printing 4x5 negs. Because of very tight space limitations it seems that cyanotype would be a good way to start (no multi chemicals required). Any experienced advice would be welcome, Thanks Dave

-- David Reams (, August 27, 1999


I don't have any experience to share with you. However, John P. Schaefer's "The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography, Book 2" (misleadingly titled -- it's not basic and has little to do with Ansel Adams) provides an excellent overview of alternate printing processes, including detailed instructions for cyanotype.

-- Sean Donnelly (, August 27, 1999.

hello david as a alt photo user I could say that you can have good information about it on the web . take a look to mike ware page (I forget the url the if yousearch for this and add cyanotype you will find it), and the alternative photo list on wich you could find a great help. the on ly thing I can add is do you want all your picture to be blue.there is other process who give a more neutral color.

nze christian

-- nze christian (, August 27, 1999.

Your best bet for learning all about this process probably is to access the archives of the alt.process newsgroup. There's a wealth of information about all aspects of the common alternative processes in those archives. If you go to Bengt's home page (do a search for "Bengt") and then scroll down to the heading "New Groups" you'll see an alt.process group. Access it and then post a question about how to get into the archives (sorry I can't tell you how to do it myself - I book marked them several years ago and forget how I originally got to them). Mike Ware's home page mentioned by someone else is supposed to be very good for cyanotype. There's also an article on cyanotype in the first or second issue of "The World Journal of Post Factory Photography." If you're interested in this new periodical (there have been three issues to far) devoted to alternative processes, send an e mail to "" BTW, the "Ansel Adams" book mentioned by someone else is terrible, riddled with errors. The gum bichromate section alone has something like fifty or so mistakes (the book was reviewed in the second or third issue of "Post Factory Photography" if you want to see a discussion of some of its numerous errors). When you get to the alt.process news group, you might ask for a recommendation for a good book that deals with cyanotype. "Keepers of the Light" by William Crawford has a section on cyanotype and is a very interesting book overall but others in the group may know of a better one.

-- Brian Ellis (, August 28, 1999.

Cyanotypes are very easy to make, and the information in the replies should get you started. With the addition of some silver nitrate to the basic mix, you can also produce nice Van Dyke brown prints. Be aware that the potassium ferricyanide used in the formula is a silver bleach. I exposed one that wasnt completely dry after coating and lost all the image in a 8 x 10 negative.

-- Tony Brent (, August 28, 1999.

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