Making my own cyanotype prints (also known as sun prints) has been an alternative process I have wanted to try for a while now. While studying photography at university I have been lucky to be able to experiment with many types of material and media and not just stick to photography. Yet making my own cyanotype prints has been one of the most fun experimental processes I've ever tried and I wanted to share with you all some of the prints i've made. During my research into botanical drawings and scientific photography for my current module I came across one of the first female photographers called Anna Atkins who inspired me with her cyanotype prints. Below are some of her prints:
I was also inspired by the work of German photographer and artist Karl Blossfeldt in the late 19th century who made his own cameras to magnify the details of flora and fauna and produce beautiful detailed macro images as seen below.
Making your own prints is surprisingly easy all you need is some premade paper/fabric which has already been treated with the chemicals or like me buy a set of chemicals and mix them together yourself. This allowed me to print on any surface I wanted. Below you can see that I coated thick watercolour paper and after arranging my dried and pressed flowers and leaves I placed it between two sheets of glass. Autumn is a great time to collect and press leaves as there are so many different colours, textures and tones to the leaves.
Below are some examples of the prints I have made. I want to practice more with other materials such as fabric and wood and I also want to experiment with toning them to different shades using natural dyes such as tea. One day I would love to be able to sell them on my own online shop and get the designs printed onto cards I just find them so beautiful and unique...watch this space!
Have you ever made cyanotype prints and what did you think of them? I find it so amazing how we can create such beautiful and detailed prints of flowers and leaves just by this simple cameraless process.