View Full Version : split toned mansion

06-18-2010, 04:10 PM
I bought some cheap cartridge paper recently and thought I would try it out with an image of a local mansion I took in the snow we had in January. The image is actually one half of a stereo pair I took on my 4x5 stereo camera (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/Blah.pl?m-1243201037/), enlarged to 8"x10" as a digital negative.

I coated the paper an put it outside in the bright sun for a few minutes. An hour later, I realised I had completely forgotten about it! The image was mostly solarised, with the rest a worrying dark blue. When I developed it, there was not much change and only a feint outline was visible.

In a last ditch attempt at salvaging something, I soaked the print in a strong solution of sodium carbonate to bleach it. It was quite scary, but I was amazed by how deep the split yellow can be with this cheap paper; I think I may grab another pad or two before the shop sells out!

Best regards,


EDIT: The stereo pair is here (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/Blah.pl?m-1276892382)
Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/beckett_house_stereo45_cyano_8984.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/beckett_house_stereo45_cyano_8984.jpg)

06-18-2010, 08:46 PM
My experience with bleaching cyanos with sodium carbonate and then toning with tannic acid or with tea is that the result is rarely satisfying in terms of contrast. The books say to over expose for bleaching and toning - it looks like you carried this to the extreme. With great results. Thanks for posting, Evan. I will have to try super-blasting a few cyanotypes to try this technique with malice aforethought . . .

06-19-2010, 05:04 AM
Thanks Earl,

I do quite a bit of tea toning, but I always underexpose slightly and do not bleach as the toning tends to darken everything in the print. I have had very little success with bleaching and then soaking in tea as it all just looks muddy afterwards; I thought it was just my technique. I find that soaking the print in a weak acid before bleaching tends to reduce the staining of the paper, but again it depends on the chemistry of the paper itself as to how much effect it has.

I have made a number of prints in a similar vein to this one where I over expose by a stop or two only, and then partially bleach in sodium carbonate to create a split (example here (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/Blah.pl?m-1261314800/s-4/highlight-cyanotype/#num2)). I usually choose negatives that will leave some white paper so that I get a blue-yellow-white image that can look very effective. The process does seem very dependent on the chemical composition of the paper though as some papers, there is very little if any yellow and the blue just disappears. With this paper, there seems to be a very distinct yellow that forms in the sodium carbonate.

Best regards,