Cyanotypes VIII: Toning Different Papers

March 16, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Today we're going to explore how different papers effect the look of cyanotype prints and even more importantly how they effect toning. This is my eight installment on the topic of cyanotypes. If you missed the previous ones, feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post where I have included a short reference to the previous posts.

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Let's start with a straight Cyanotype of the Beautiful Chautauqua Belle on two of my favorite papers so far. The first is the Shizen Design textured surface cold press recycled watercolor paper. It has a very rough texture, accepts the emulsion coating very unevenly, and produces sharp images with high contrast that lack fine detail. I really like this paper and the vintage look it gives my photos.

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat Cyanotype, Shizen Design Watercolor PaperChautauqua Belle Steamboat CyanotypeShizen Design Watercolor Paper

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold press recycled watercolor paper

The second paper is the Meeden Textured Surface Cold Press Watercolor Paper. Overall lot more subtle than the first, with noticeable texture but regular and accepting the emulsion very evenly. Results are of lower contrast, lot more details are preserved but the images appear a little blurrier overall. It is really important to use heavy glass or weigh it down to insure the negative keeps as close of a contact with the paper as possible.

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat Cyanotype, Meeden Watercolor PaperChautauqua Belle Steamboat CyanotypeMeeden Watercolor Paper

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated
Meeden Textured Surface Cold Press Watercolor Paper

Now let's repeat the same sequence but bleach the blues and tone the prints in green tea. The properties of the Shizen Design paper remain the same and it shows another advantage for this process. The paper itself seems to resist staining very well. The tea toner attaches mostly to the previously coated and bleached areas and leaves the bare paper alone.

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat, Tea Toned Cyanotype, Shizen Design Watercolor PaperChautauqua Belle Steamboat, Tea Toned CyanotypeShizen Design Watercolor Paper

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Tea Toned Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold press recycled watercolor paper, bleached, and toned in green tea

The Meeden Textured Paper is very different from this point of view. While its other Cyanotype properties also still hold true, green tea tones the previously coated, exposed, and bleached surfaces as well as a stains the paper itself, which is clearly visible in the last print included here today. The lower contrast and the stain work together to produce a different warm tone vintage look.

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat, Tea Toned Cyanotype, Meeden Watercolor PaperChautauqua Belle Steamboat, Tea Toned CyanotypeMeeden Watercolor Paper

Chautauqua Belle Steamboat, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Tea Toned Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated
Meeden Textured Surface Cold Press Watercolor Paper, bleached, and toned in green tea

Which paper do you like better? I'd love to hear from you. Please, feel free to use the comments function.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Previous posts in the Cyanotypes series: 1. First Cyanotype - 2. More Cyanotypes - 3. Highlands Cyanotypes - 4. How do Cyanotypes Happen? - 5. Cyanotypes V: Tweaking the Curve - 6. Cyanotypes VI: Toning - 7. Cyanotypes VII: More Toning - 8. Cyanotypes VIII: Toning Different Papers

If you like cyanotypes you can explore the Cyanotypes Photo Gallery dedicated to my growing collection of them. Would you like to browse through traditional darkroom wet prints? Visit my Darkroom Photo Gallery and enjoy! Do not hesitate to contact me whether you would like to learn more or would like to purchase one of my prints.

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Karlštejn Castle Tower and Walls Cyanotype, an original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech RepublicKarlštejn CastleCyanotype Karlštejn Castle Tower and Walls, Tea Toned Cyanotype, an original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic..Karlštejn CastleTea Toned Cyanotype

Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype - Blue, an original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic.Helfštýn ArchwayCyanotype Blueprint Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype Toned in Black Tea, an original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic.Helfštýn ArchwayBlack Tea Toned Cyanotype Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype Toned in Red Wine & White Tea, an original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic.Helfštýn ArchwayRed Wine & White Tea Toned Cyanotype  


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