After a day of printing and gently tweaking the new photoshop curve, it’s finished! I’m sure I’ll still have to adjust for some pics here and there. Overall though, the cyanotypes are turning out very well with nothing more than my generic curve tailored especially for my process. Since I usually tea tone everything but the failures, I thought I would post this example before I toned it. The tonal range is gorgeous and the highlights aren’t blown to kingdom come with the sized paper.
I finally got the whole double coat thing down correctly. The secret to that super dark blue that’s almost black is to second coat it almost right after the first coat. If the first coat is too matte, your second coat will speckle. If there are still a few shiny spots on the paper from the first coat, it should be fine and even. The downside to this process is it takes a ton of chemicals. I zipped through 8 oz. of each solution (solution A and B) in less than a month. Since cyanotype is cheap the usage is fine, but I’ll probably have to order more Ferric Ammonium Citrate. 200 grams of the stuff nearly emptied my bottle. That doesn’t really bother me though, because I know it should be ok for a while in solution – unlike the white bottle Photographer’s Formulary sent it in, with a black bag around it. You would think they would know better!
I’m teaching a workshop on cyanotypes soon – Sow’s Ear Studio is starting to carry some classes and workshops. Cyanotypes are such a fun process I’m eager to get started teaching and share it with people. The beauty of the digital negatives is that anyone can do it – even me with my little HP printer.