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Cyanotypes

A couple of weeks ago I attended a day's course on Cyanotypes run by Moira of HuntandGatherDesign. It was held at Hardcastle Crags just outside Hebden Bridge in the UK. The setting was beautiful and a perfect backdrop for learning about the process. This involved contact printing using plant material from the surrounding woodland. The process results in a signature Prussian blue background and a white silhouette of the chosen plant. I was intrigued by the level of detail that was possible........tiny seeds and filaments silhouetted against the vibrant blue. Moira did a great job in leading the group ....with just the right balance of instruction and laisser faire.
Since then I have been using every opportunity to explore the possibilities of the process; including creating and using a digital negative to get a positive image. This is one of the ones that Im quite pleased with!

I've then been led into wondering why the process of handprinting with this method is so appealing. Why don't I just use my printer to get a similar result?! I think its something to do with working with differing and slightly unpredictable variables (how evenly the light-sensitive solution is applied; how sunny/overcast the sky is; time of day and time of year; length of exposure to the light etc). All of these can lead to slight variations in the finished image.......little "imperfections". So each print has its own history and is therefore totally unique.

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