View Full Version : why are my sensitized cyanotype papers doing this?

12-Apr-2018, 19:44
paper is Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth paper (https://www.amazon.com/Strathmore-11-Inch-14-Inch-Bristol-20-Sheet/dp/B0027ACP0O), and chemistry is the premixed Photographers' Formulary liquid cyanotype kit (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/313645-REG/Photographers_Formulary_07_0091_Liquid_Cyanotype_Printing_Kit.html). After sensitizing with a foam brush, and drying in the dark, they look like this in the morning. they still print, but doesn't seem like a good starting point. any thoughts on why this is happening?


after developing a paper that looked like that to start. I get something like this. It's weird because the edges outside of the negative is solid deep blue. but where the image was it's very speckled looked, as if some of the emulsion lifted in specs during the washing/developing process. don't know if that's just an artifact of this paper, or if it has anything to due with the above defect.



13-Apr-2018, 01:52
try another time and do not wait a whole night do dry, dry with cold air and use when itīs dry. beware the amount of chemistry and the eveness of the distribuition over the paper. try another paper, try another brush. you should buy raw chemicals and mix them with destilled water. buy 500gr of each and make cyanotypes for the rest of your life...
with alternative or historic processes you will never find the best results immediatly, you always have to fine tune...

13-Apr-2018, 02:46
I always dry the coated paper immediately with a hair drier. Cold air is probably best, but with good paper, hot air is not a problem. Judging by what I see here, you may be working the brush too long, affecting the surface of the paper, and rhe paper itself may be not optimal (but I've seen much worse). Try different papers until you find something that works well. Every paper is different; some don't work at all and fog badly or produce very uneven results, some yield poor dmax and some work brilliantly. There's only one way to find out...

bob carnie
13-Apr-2018, 04:57
If I got this result I would consider that the paper is too dry and sucking up the emulsion in varying degrees and resulting in weak areas... when I humidify my paper I do not get the same result as when dry, much better coating... May not apply to cyanotype but that is what it looks like to me.

13-Apr-2018, 11:14
I'd suggest drying it and using it immediately. I've seen that too

13-Apr-2018, 14:53
I found with cyanotypes (man I need to get back into it) if you lay it on too thick, it can get weird like that. The chemicals are cheap, watercolour paper isn't too expensive... you know what you need to do, make more cyanotypes! :)