View Full Version : Latest Cyanotype: Traditional formula

Doug K
08-03-2011, 12:29 AM
A couple of weeks ago I mixed up some traditional cyanotype chemistry. It's my first time using the traditional formula, and I'll have to look at the labels to see what exact composition I used. I've started out using equal parts of A and B, and I'll experiment with 2 parts A to 1 part B next weekend. So my initial thoughts on the traditional versus Wares are that it really isn't much slower than Wares, though it definitely handles less dynamic range. I like how it coats the paper. I did acidify the solution with citric acid, like I do with Ware's formula before coating. I'm really quite pleased with my result. Definitely my negatives will need tweaking from what I'm used to with the lower dynamic range. There's something to like about both methods, and I'll have to do some side by side comparisons this weekend.

The print is of my sister-in-law's cat. The print is a gift for her from me and my wife as something to take her mind off things as she starts a course of chemotherapy next week. It's quite a miracle it came out so well since others I made at the time didn't come out so well. This is definitely the best print I made using the old cyanotype process. This was printed on Stonehenge White paper, which is quickly becoming my favorite, and the initial development was in a citric acid solution before switching to water. Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/sofrita1_1875.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/sofrita1_1875.jpg)

08-03-2011, 10:40 AM
That's a beautifully expressive photo, Doug.

08-03-2011, 12:35 PM
Very nice image!

Doug K
08-03-2011, 10:16 PM
Thanks Earl, I'm pretty happy with the image. I seem to have an affinity with animals. It's also one of my early images using new Voigtlander 58mm manual focus lens. I really love it, but have a lot to learn with it.

Thank you Jon. The main thing for me though is pleasing the recipient.

08-18-2011, 06:53 PM
That is a beautiful print.

08-19-2011, 12:48 PM
Nice tones, it looks like the traditional formula works quite well. Single or double coat?

Cheers -


Doug K
08-20-2011, 07:27 PM
Thanks George. That's a single coat on Stonehenge white paper. It really does coat nicely. There are things I like about both the traditional two part, and Mike Ware's modernized recipe. I'll have to mix up some more of the modern stuff and try them side by side.

As an aside, I framed this up with a Nielsen Bainbridge photo frame to send to my sister-in-law, and it really looks great. I told my wife that I wanted to keep it on our wall. Heh. It will go off this week.

08-22-2011, 02:22 PM
My reason for asking is that I seldom get such nice deep blues with a single coat. That could be the paper so perhaps I will give Stonehenge a try.

Cheers -


Doug K
08-27-2011, 03:02 PM

I love Stonehenge White for cyanotype. Added bonus is that it's inexpensive.

Some other things I do with my process is I add 50 microliters of 40% citric acid for every ml of solution. I only chose 50 microliters because I inherited a pipetor that delivers that. My first bath for developing is a citric acid solution as well. I do a tablespoon of citric acid in a gallon of water. I don't use tween since the tween I have on hand is ancient, and causes anomalies in the print.

Have fun!


08-29-2011, 02:25 PM
Doug -

I wonder if that might help me. The next time I mix some chemistry for cyanotype I'll do a couple of A/B tests to see if the citric acid makes a difference for me.

Cheers -