Friday, August 5, 2011

Another way to expose cyanotypes

I have been making cyanotypes for about 2 months now. I started with the sunprint kits from The Lawrence Hall of Science store. These are nice kits for starting. The paper is extremely lightweight and if you like the process you will want to be able to print on heavier paper. As part of this desire, I also wanted to make a way to expose without relying on the sun. This would give the opportunity to have more control on exposure - from an intensity and time standpoint.

I searched the web for ideas, and there are a few choices. Here's a youtube video for a rather large uv light table. I also saw examples using 18" blacklight florecent tubes. You can build one with anywhere from 2 to 8 tubes depending on what size you need. They can also be purchased for great sums of money from Freestyle Photographic Supplies.

I decided to start out small. I bought 2 15w blacklight bulbs and 2 6" clamp on reflectors from Home Depot. I clamp the lights to a boom on a microphone stand and position the lights about 5" from my sensitized paper and negative. I plug the lights into a power strip with a switch.

I have exposed images up to 6" x 6" with this method. I believe the 2 lamps would work with up to 8" x 10". Anyway, the total cost for the lamps and reflectors was about $25. A cheap way to get started.

My next step is to get the sensitizing chemicals and sensitize some decent paper. More on that later.