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Create fascinating cyanotype prints with camera-less photography. Using light sensitive papers, we will create beautiful and unique cyan prints. You will learn about cyan prints and go home with your very own creations.

Cyan prints are created using the sun. After selecting your leaves, flowers, grasses, objects, the sun will do its job and you will wash the paper off in water. See what you can create!

“What a full rounded positive learning experience with great company, a clear and lovely Tutor and an amazing washing line of inspired, unique and quite ethereal nature prints at the end.”

“A great taster and introduction to the techniques and now I’m keen to explore it more. “

Quote from past attendee

Cyanotypes – a very brief intro

Cyanotypes were Invented by British Astrologer Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) in 1841. He was trying to find a way to duplicate his notes.

Herschel managed to fix pictures using hyposulphite of soda as early as 1839.

The cyanotype process was a low-cost method to produce copies of drawings for engineers well into the 20 century – commonly known as blueprints.

He also invented the words photography, negative, positive, and snapshot!

This process was popular in Victorian England but as the photographic process became more sophisticated the photogram/cyan print was used mainly by artists.

 Anna Atkins, British Photographer and botanist helped to bring the process its popularity. She was the first person to produce an illustrated book (British Algae: Cyanotype impressions - 1843) using photographic illustrations, back then they were known as shadowgraphs.

In modern times we make cyanotypes by combining two chemicals: Ferric ammonium citrate (a green powder) and potassium ferricyanide (red crystals). This substance when mixed is sensitive to ultraviolet light (sunlight). Once exposed the paper is then simply rinsed off and settled in water resulting in Prussian blue prints.

Further reading

The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the first book of photographs – Fiona Robinson 2019

Blueprints to Cyanotypes – Exploring a historical alternative photographic process – Malin Fabbri and Gary Fabbri