Spring term photography class, Antique Photo Processes, kicked off this past Monday. For the first week, the class focused on Cyanotypes and Van Dyke Brown prints. Although the forecast called for thunderstorms all week, the photo gods were looking out for us as we had sunshine almost the entire week. Along with learning these two processes, we also started laying out plans for our collaborative cyanotype mural.
The cyanotype process was invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. The process is known for the vibrant blue tone of the final print. The exposures take a while for this process, although none of us are complaining about a spring term class that requires us to be outside, sitting in the sun. The second day of cyanotype printing, we learned to tone the prints. Depending on the chemicals used, the prints could come out in a range of tones from violet and eggplant to burgundy and brown.
The Van Dyke Brown process was invented in 1889 by H. Shawcross. The process is based on some of Herschel’s early experiments. Next week, we will learn how to tone the plates with gold and palladium.
Check back in next week for more photos on our next series of antique processes.