Category: Cyanotype

An Interview

My good friend Mark Blevis captured some video of the show set-up the other night, and asked me some questions about the show:

Mark and his wife Andrea have been incredibly generous this week in putting me up (and putting up with me), and supporting and helping publicize my show. Mark and Andrea, I can’t thank you enough!!

Table Rock

This image is a cyanotype of an image I took a bit over a week ago at Niagara Falls, from a spot called Table Rock. I took this image on a Friday morning, very close to the spot where a couple of days later, a young woman would slip and fall into the river and over the falls, to her death.

Niagara Falls, Table Rock

Good News

Another final image for my Women and Cameras series, this time a real Cyanotype of Memento Mori.

And the good news? Beginning in January of 2012, my Women and Cameras Series will be on display at The Wild Oat Bakery and Cafe in Ottawa. I will also be giving a presentation on how I create these Cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown prints. Details to follow!

Memento Mori - Women and Cameras series

Tools of the Trade

This is one my favourite pieces of photography gear, a “Seneca NoSlip” splt-back contact printing frame from the early twentieth century. I use this device to sandwich my negatives with paper coated with either Cyanotype or Van Dyke Brown chemistry. The term split-back refers to the ability to unfold part of the back to check on the exposure, while the paper is still held securely in place; this feature is crucial for the kind of prints I am doing.

In addition to its utility, I like the rich colour of the wood, and the patina of the brass fittings; it exudes history and tradition in a way only an analog device can.

Tools Of The Trade: Antique Contact Printer

First In the Series

Here is the cyanotype version of my first image in the women and classic film cameras series. I am hand coating the paper with the cyanotype solution, so the brush marks will make every print unique. I like that 🙂

Rolleicord Vb

The Paper Matters Too.

Another cyanotype this time around. This picture was made at the Riverdale Zoo in Toronto, again using my Rolleicord Twin-Lens Reflex. I created a digital negative and then made the cyanotype below.  The paper has a fairly coarse texture, and I like the effect it has on the image. Just one more reason why it matters to see a print in your hands, not just pixels on a screen.

Path at Riverdale Farm, Toronto

Portrait of the Artist: Daniele Rossi

Normally TimeWarp Tuesday is for old photographs, but today a different angle on that theme: a new photo involving a very old process. First, the subject of the portrait is my good friend Daniele Rossi, artist, web designer and podcaster. He is a mix of old and new: on one hand, as an artist he applies pigments to a flat surface, a form of artistic expression almost as old as humanity itself. On the other hand, as a podcaster, web designer and social media denizen, he is about as current as you can get on the latest technology.

Portrait of the Artist: Daniele Rossi

My image is also a mix of old and new. The original image was created with a 30 year old Nikon FM SLR, using the classic Kodak Tri-X film, developed at home. New technology then got into the picture, as I scanned the negative using a film scanner. Then using Photoshop and an ink-jet printer I created a full-size paper negative. Then, back to traditional techniques: I applied baby oil to the paper negative to make it more transparent, and contact printed the negative using the Cyanotype process. This process dates back almost to the dawn of photography, as it was invented in 1842. Exposure to the sun (or other suitable UV source) hardens the emulsion. In the case of this image, it was exposed to the sun for about an hour. The print was then “developed” by rinsing in cold water, then soaked in a weak Hydrogen Peroxide solution to bring out the brilliance in the blue tones of the print.

I have fallen in love with this process!!