If you’d like to try interesting photography experiments, when is a better time than now? If you’ve always wanted to try making cyanotypes, Mathieu Stern will show you his process of turning digital images into cyanotype prints. You probably already have at least half of the necessary items, and you can order the rest online so you don’t have to leave home.
You will need
- 2-component cyanotype set
- A dropper
- A foam brush
- A mixing tray and a developing tray (or improvise with Tupperware containers)
- Watercolor paper
- A printing frame (an ordinary picture frame will do as well)
- Transparent acetate sheet
- Sunlight or a UV lamp
- Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
Preparing your photos
Before making your prints, you need to prepare the photos. Open them in your preferred editing software, convert them to black and white, and then invert them to get a negative. Now they’re ready for the printing process.
Printing your photos
First, print your negatives onto an acetate film sheet and cut them out. Mix the equal amounts of A and B components of the cyanotype solutions and smear them onto the watercolor paper using a foam brush. Make sure to do this in a room without the direct sunlight, and let the paper dry in a dark place.
Once your paper is dry, place the negative on top of it and press both sheets together inside your picture frame. Place the frame under your UV lamp or direct sunlight and keep it there for about 10 minutes (you can see both processes in Mathieu’s video).
After exposing the paper to UV light, place it in the water and rinse it until you get the final print. Optionally, you can add a bit of hydrogen peroxide to speed up the oxidation process.
In case you can get all the ingredients (or you already have them), this seems like a fun project to try, especially if you’re stuck at home right now. If you need some more ideas, you can also try these flour & water large prints, or shooting and developing photos using your room as a camera obscura. Your home is your playground! :)
[How to Make Cyanotype Prints of your Own Photos | Mathieu Stern]