Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blue in the sunlight

What turns blue in the sunlight? Cyanotypes! Also known as sunprints or solarprints, this is one of the simplest processes to get a photographic image without using a darkroom.

Yesterday was fun in the sun with friends exploring this colourful process. Lovely lush yard, good food, company and play. What more could you ask for on wonderful Saturday afternoon?

Cyanotype is a simple process. Mixing two chemicals, ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, the resulting solution is brushed on paper in dim light indoors. Then you place a negative or items for photograms on the paper, and expose to the sun. After about 30 min, wash them for about 10 and where you blocked the sun, the paper stays white and the rest turns blue. If you don't want to mess with chemicals, you can buy precoated paper kits. This is great kid friendly exploration and hey, you can teach them a little about science and photography as you go, if you are so inclined.

This was our first outdoor social and photo event with the Vancouver Darkroom Co-op. We are holding these regularly and they are not just for darkroom members. We did colour photograms our first night. Friends are very welcome. Looking forward to our next get together next month.

Here's a few images. If you want to know more about cyanotypes, drop me a line.


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