Sun PrintingCyanotype Impressions “The Pencil of Nature”
Anna Atkins(1799-1871) • English Botanist • Father George Children was a Scientist • First Woman to Publish a book entirely of Photographs • No hand drawn Illustrations • She wrote letters back and forth to Henry Fox Talbot the inventor of Photography • She learned about the Cyanotype method from the scientist Sir John Herschel a family friend
Algae: Cyanotype Impressions • Published in 1843 • Used Photography as an accurate medium for scientific Illustration Algae
Algae: Cyanotype Impressions • This Reference book took 12 years • Contains over 400 prints • Only 12 of these books exist and can be viewed in a British Museum • The photos are still in good condition
Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flower Plants and Ferns (1854) • Cyanotype also known as Blue Print • She called her work shadowgraphs Horse Tail
Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flower Plants and Ferns (1854) • Can you guess what this is?
What is a Cyanotype Photo ? • A Blue Print Process • Paper is coated with an Iron Salt solution (potassium ferricyanide) and Ammonium Citrate • An object is fixed on this paper (Surface Negative) under glass
How it works • When exposed to Sun Light a chemical reaction occurs • The paper is washed and removes the exposed chemical area • This results in a white image on a deep blue background • This image is the “positive” or outline of the object used.
Do Photographers Still use the Cyanotype Process Today? • Certainly - it is inexpensive • You don’t need a dark room • Some Artists hand coat or “Paint” the sensitized paper • Some Artists coat other mediums such as wood or Cloth • Many use actual Photo Negatives on sensitized paper
Linda McCartney 1941-1998 • A Contemporary Photographer • Wife of Paul McCartney of The Beatles • Sunprints A book of photographs influenced by 19th Century printing
Zeva Oelbaum“Blue Prints” • First book of photographs • Uses the cyanotype process in modern times • Uses her “Negatives” and exposes them to natural light on sensitized paper.
Some Terms to Remember • Negative • Positive • Shadowgraphs • Blueprint • Symmetry • Principle of art Line and Texture