First Cyanotype experiment

Memory Pods, blue (Cyanotype) copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale

My first experiment with Cyanotypes is now complete. Only a week late for World Cyanotype Day. This is the most basic version of a cyanotype that harkens back to the earliest versions by Anna Atkins and very fittingly, the first book of photographs using Cyanotypes in the 1840’s. Probably helped that the method for creating cyanotypes was developed by Sir John Herschel, who was also a family acquaintance of Atkins.

Similar to Atkins, I started this alternative photography process with a very simple camera-less process, laying some very dried plant remainders for my Memory Pods project on the prepared cyanotype paper from the Cyanotype Store. Actually the first thing I did was create an old-fashion step wedge to determine the sun exposure in Southern California at noon, giving it two minute exposure increments after a base line of 8 minutes and it appeared a 12 minute solar-exposure seem to work fine. Yep, that worked.

To be honest, I really did not put much thought in the layout of the dried stems, just choosing three that had some variation in the top stems as I was curious of how much of this complexity might end up in the final print (top). I also anticipated that these dried plant remnants were very opaque without much translucency and the results would probably end up being pretty graphic (two-tone blue and white). So no surprise when I processed the watercolor paper; then just hang it to dry.

The resulting print, my first, is pretty basic and I am not particularly inspired to work with these dried plants a whole lot more right now. I am considering the use of watercolor paint in conjunction with the Cyanotype prints, but since this is my first Cyanotype, I am not going to mess around with this particular print. Also, NFS (Not For Sale). LoL

Meanwhile, the 11 x 14″ contact printing frame has arrived and that is more in line with my on-going interest. Only thing to do now for the contact printer is to carefully clean the glass. While waiting for it to arrive, I printed my digital contact negative for my first trial. This could get interesting…

Btw, the pre-coated Cyanotype paper from the Cyanotype Store is coated on both sides of the watercolor rag and I found that after drying, the 90lb rag bends in half very nicely without breaking at the fold line; hmmmmm. Maybe a Cyanotype artist book is in my future?

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day



The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, Fall 2022 release, $60.00 (CA sales tax for those residing in the USA) plus shipping expenses. Message me or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Note: The Artist Special Edition (book + extra print) is Sold Out

Book workshop:

New Workshop dates! Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop, a virtual event on Zoom; February 25, 26 & March 4 & 5th 2023; from 10am – 1 pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). 

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop (Sold Out), a virtual event on Zoom; November 5 & 6 and 12 & 13, 2022, 10am – 1pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: