Re: Cyanotype woes
You curmudgeon, you.
Actually, Keith, as of late I have been experimenting with
different (low tech) ways of making negs, one of them being
CMYK. I finally got a print I like with CMYK. But doing
one more negative, one more layer, feels like the opposite
of cheating. I also found that my black looked dull and
would prefer perhaps a black mixed with a transparent, say
viridian and magenta mix that would equate to black.
But anyway, I did finally try it, and CMYK is kinda fun!
Sometimes with the cyanotype underlayer, if it is pale I
just keep doing the print and then print a layer of thalo
blue on top of the whole gum print with the cyano neg and it
deepens the print and adds punch.
----- Original Message Follows -----
From: Keith Gerling <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Cyanotype woes
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 11:12:38 -0600
>I'm one of those "some" that always insisted on a black
>layer - in fact I was downright curmudgeonly about the
>importance of CMYK over RGB. I like to vary my palette,
>and I'm not crazy about having to use cyanotype for my blue
>(for years I used only variations on Paynes gray) but Masa
>is very thin and does not take well to multiple gum layers,
>so I'm utilizing cyanotype out of need. Now things are so
>darned EASY with just two layers that it feels like I'm
>On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 10:56 AM, Keith Gerling
>> <email@example.com> wrote: Thanks! I was
>> beginning to think that maybe the mold in these old
>>bottles was a critical component.
>> I'm totally in love with Masa. It is perfect for my
>> needs and if it ever changes it'll be back to tarpaper
>>and aluminum for me!
>> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 9:51 AM, Christina Z. Anderson
>> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> > Keith,
>> > Don't panic...help is on the way...
>> > It should be 20g of FAC which is 10 tsp per 100ml of
>> > water or 17 tablespoons (about) for 500ml IF you are
>> > using the green powdery FAC that weighs half as much
>as the brown scales. So plop more FAC in there. With the
>> > revised edition of my Alt manual I had to correct
>> > that because the FACS weigh so different.
>> > However, I have tried all kinds of formulae of
>> > cyanotype ratios, according to Mike Ware's book, and
>> > they don't look much different except in speed as far
>as blue is concerned. In fact, I have Sam Wang's chart
>> > that maps out the different formulae that people use
>> > for cyanotype and I finally had to ask Mike offlist
>> > is this possible that cyanotype could be so
>uncritical as far as dilution/ratio goes. He addresses it
>> >in his cyano book.
>> > And I have not yet had any bleaching of the layer
>> > with gum--in fact, the layer of cyano, due to the
>> > acidity of gum, gets deeper when the next layer goes
>> > I only use a 15% dichromate and a 1 + 2 gum so maybe
>> > your am di is stronger, your gum is weaker, or
>> > whatnot. I think Don Bryant has also said he
>experiences bleaching of the layer, though. I might
>> > address the alkalinity of your water, because I know
>> > for one thing that Fabriano Artistico is a very
>alkaline paper and I get lots of namby pamby cyanotype on
>> > that paper and had to, in fact, increase my exposure
>> > and do a different curve for that particular paper.
>> > I HOPE the paper you have is the same batch of Masa
>> > so the paper did not change in manufacture like
>> > Platine did. Chris
>> > ----- Original Message -----
>> > From: "Keith Gerling" <email@example.com>
>> > To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> > Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:37 AM
>> > Subject: Cyanotype woes
>> > > I'm at the end of a month-long project printing gum
>> > > over cyanotype and I seem to have run into a
>> > > problem. I'm not at all experienced in cyano, but
>> > > for weeks now I've been getting perfectly
>scrumptious prints on Masa using three different batches
>> > > that I've found laying around that vary from 6 to 8
>> > > years in age. One of these batches I mixed up
>> > > myself, one was from a friend, and one is in
>Bostick and Sullivan bottles and all of them perform
>> > > identically. Running low, I mixed up a fresh
>> > > batch last week with fresh chemicals and distilled
>water. Totally different results. The old batches gave me
>> > > deep Prussian blues almost immediately. The new
>> > > stuff produces weaker looking prints that are much
>> > > more cyan (greener). But the biggest issue is that
>> > > the prints bleach out in the gum development stage
>of the process. Granted, my well water might be alkaline,
>> > > and the older prints did bleach out a tad, but I
>> > > with red and yellow gum layers I was getting some
>> > > of the deepest blacks I've ever seen in any
>process. With the new batch everything looks very anemic.
>> > > I'm using equal parts A to B (as before, although
>> > > I've tried 2 A to 1 B with even worse results).
>> > > Having no scale, I used the measuring spoon method
>Chris provides in her book. Assuming that the math is
>> > > correct (I used 8 tablespoons + 1 tsp FAC for
>> > > 500ml) what can explain this difference between old
>> > >and new chemistry?
>> > > I'm running out of time, as I have to show this
>> > > work in two weeks. Any ideas? I'm thinking that I
>> > > have three options" 1) use a more concentrated
>> > > solution of FAC, 2) dump vinegar in the gum
>development water, 3) finish the project in 6 years when
>> > > the Cyanotype solutions have properly aged.
>> > >
>> > > Thanks!
>> > >
>> > > Keith
>> > >
Assistant Professor of Photography
Photography Option Coordinator
Montana State University
College of Arts and Architecture
Department of Media and Theatre Arts, Room 220
P.O. Box 173350
Bozeman, MT 59717-3350
Tel (406) 994 6219