Weekly Gallery Chat – Cyanotypes

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Cyanotypes were used in the early days of photography, they are a blue (cyan) based form of  photography common in the 1800’s. The process today, is sometimes used in blueprints for architectural /engineering purposes.

Using blueprint paper and an ammonia ( very toxic) fume process you can produce stark images. I  have used the technique and it is easy and fun although the fume issue is not to be taken lightly. 

Using the sun as your source of light that will strike the emulsion on the blueprint paper, (when I work with this process I do everything outside), you get a shadow image but with detail in and around the object.

Below is a series of prints by Anna Atkins, a pioneer in this technique and photography,

Have a blue tinted night!

From Wikipedia below,


Anna Atkins algae

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print. The process was popular in engineering circles well into the 20th century. The simple and low-cost process enabled them to produce large-scale copies of their work, referred to as blueprints. Two chemicals are used in the process:


The English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered this procedure in 1842.[1] Even though John Herschel is perhaps the inventor of the cyanotype process, Anna Atkins actually brought this to photography. She created a limited series of cyanotype books that documented ferns and other plant life. By using this process, Anna Atkins is regarded as the first female photographer[2].


Images Courtesy of Google


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