*Blue Shefflera Man*
I finally nailed it. After weeks of trial and error to get my exposure times right and figure out the yellow cast I was getting, it was a comment on the Alternative Photography FB group that gave me the solution. I was not coating my paper with cyanotype solution and then exposing it immediately as it was drying. For convenience’s sake, I was preparing a batch of paper at night, and using them in the next few days or weeks. Turns out that explains the prevalence of this yellow cast. In the next couple of days I’ll show you the new results, but this cyanotype here is the first one where I have deliberately used old paper to get that copper toning. It’s all about replicable results.
Before I finally figured out why I was getting this yellow/green taint on all my cyanotypes, I did this one of my friend Melville. It’s faint (I washed it too much in the hope of getting rid of the taint) but I quite like it. Interestingly, I’ve done another attempt accidentaly inverting the negative so that he looks to the right, and it’s a lot more upbeat which says something about how visually coded our brains are…
*Blue Briar King*
In a desperate attempt to figure out why I couldn’t get rid of the yellows in my cyanotypes, I tried a different paper, which had the virtue of being larger, hence better framing options using the outer cyanotype, and the vice of being super light, hence the crumpling (I now dry it flat to avoid that. It takes longer, but it works better…) This one came out nice, with deep blues and while the yellow is still there, it gives the whole thing a coppery feel that I find quite pleasant.
*Blue Flower Pixie*
Of the first batch of prints I did with the proper cyanotype formula I finally got hold of, only this print came mostly white and blue (there’s a very slight copper tint, but it’s really faint.) I love how it fits the subject, and this flower pixie is made even more flowerish in this print.
*Leafy Silhouette in Blue*
I’ve loved this photo from the very first studio session of Human Nature(s) even though the expected white background did not blow up. It has a Giuseppe Arcimboldo feel to it that I find quite compelling and I think the yellow/blue tones of the cyanotype actually enhance that.
*Patterned Youth in Blue*
The yellow cast is still there in this one, but the patterns are nicely contrasted nonetheless, and I think it works great. Taking advantage of the fact my daughter isn’t a teenager yet, here. Once that happens, no more modeling for me!
*Standing Tall in Blue*
Model : Anne
I have not been able to figure out why the yellow colour of the cyanotype fluid doesn’t entirely go away upon washing. I’m also not getting the contrast that I want. But I can sense already that cyanotype is prone to happy accidents, as this print of Standing Tall demonstrates. The blue and yellow give it a distinctive Japanese vibe that I really love.
*Schefflera Woman in Blue*
Model : Pauline
I am making (slow) progress on my cyanotypes for the Human Nature(s) project. I still face some practical challenges, which explains some of the imperfections in the results I got so far. In particular, the yellow colour of the cyanotype formula does not wash away entirely, leaving me with this blue on light yellow look. Not what I was after, but still looks pretty cool, I think.
*Glorious Fast Food*
Rolleiflex SL35 + Kodak T-Max 400
There’s lots of street art in Central if you know where to look. I loved how the light was hitting this little street food stall’s painted wall.
Rolleiflex SL35 + Kodak T-Max 400
There’s a wall alongside this stairwell in the lower reaches of Sheung Wan that looks amazing in early after light. I’ve tried to take the shot many times but every time I go there there are cars parked in front and the effect of the long shadows of the vents on the white wall is ruined. I happened to walk past later in the afternoon one day and was simply enraptured by the light itself on the wall. It’s one of those quiet shots that doesn’t say much except that it’s quiet and all’s well for a moment…