About Cyanotype Collection:
For these cyanotypes, I work with flowers from my garden, making direct sun prints on my picnic table.
Many of my projects have references to history. The cyanotypes are an homage to Anna Atkins, the daughter of a British botanist, who documented her father’s collections with direct sun impressions. In 1843 her botanical albums of British Algae were the first photographically illustrated books, thus establishing the use of photography as scientific illustration and creative expression. The cyanotype or blue print process is one of the earliest photographic processes, discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842. It is based on the light sensitivity of iron salts.
For these images, I use Arches Text-wove paper because it is strong and flexible. I mix the chemical solution from Ferric Ammonium Citrate and Potassium Ferricyanide. I then coat the paper, allowing it to dry in the dark, and then expose it in the direct sunlight. The unexposed iron salts are washed away in the long wash-out of the development, leaving the imprint of the plant material.
As photography becomes more and more technologically complex, I find myself drawn to the simplest and oldest processes. Historically, Artists and scientists used the cyanotype process because of the clarity of the blue and for the economy of the process.