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Thread: More on Working with Ware's New Cyanotype Process

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    More on Working with Ware's New Cyanotype Process

    On Earl's suggestion, and because I had all the chemicals I needed for it on hand, I mixed up a batch of Ware's "New" Cyanotype. My first foray into Cyanotypes was a Photographer's Formulary kit for the new process. I then went on to use the traditional process, and I've made some prints I'm quite happy with using it, and have learned to work with its limitations to make some interesting prints. Part of the reason I went with the new process again is because of Earl reminding me that it had a much greater range of tones than the traditional process, and I've been working on some prints for others. Normally I choose photos to print that I think would work well with my process, but I had 3 photos I wanted to do for others, and I wasn't getting good results with the traditional process. That's when Earl's suggestion lit off the UV lightbulb in my head. I did a short batch on Sunday with the new process to test things, and then on Monday I did a batch "for real". I had a couple of prints with some weird anomalies from the emulsion process. I'm not sure if I didn't mix it well enough after adding the citric acid and dichromate before coating, but they were nice, only with some funkiness in them. And the rest had a blue cast over them like the color bled during developing. Last night I thought I'd play with toning them, and had a breakthrough. I made a weak bath of Sodium Carbonate, 2 teaspoons in 3 liters of tap water, and when I put the first print in, the blue haze washed right off. So, when the print got to where I liked it, I washed it well, and did the same with the other prints. I thought I was going to have to re-work my negatives and print again this weekend, but I'm quite happy with them, and my wife says they're good enough to give to the people we intended them.

    I also printed a photo I took in the redwoods of California that I've not had much success with since it has such a huge range of tones, and I lose too much when I make the negative for the process, but I keep trying because I like it since think it would make a nice print. Other than some anomalies in the emulsion, I finally got a good print. Another print I made I think will work better with the traditional process since the original photo has so little range. I will continue to use the traditional formula when I can get away with it since it's easy to use, and not very fussy, but I'll definitely be using the new formula quite a bit for more ambitious prints.

    My process with Ware's formula is to acidify the paper with suflamic acid. I'm using Twinrocker hot press and Stonehenge White. I'm using 50 microliters of a 40% w/v solution citric acid in the emulsion. (I have a pipettor I inherited that delivers that amount) I've added extra dichromate for contrast, but will experiment more with that in the future. Initial development of the print is in a .5% nitric acid bath, though I think I'll switch to 1%, followed by water, then washing in a print washer. And, when needed, a sodium carbonate wash as described.

    Attached is one of my new process prints.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Doug K; 09-17-2014 at 11:39 PM.

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