Cyanotypes X: From Black and White or Color

June 02, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

1940s Rolleiflex AutomatRolleiflex Automat1940s Rolleiflex Automat Welcome back to my cyanotype series and its tenth installment. After focusing mostly on the tiny village of "Horní Rozsíčka" where I spent a lot of time as a child, we're moving over to the city where I live currently. With city scenes, buildings, and architecture I remain a fan of the rough texture of the Shizen Design watercolor paper. After going monochrome, blue in this case, the rough texture obliterates a lot of the details and I am left wit a further abstracted photograph, which I like.

For photo number one we're headed to Broderick Park in Buffalo, NY and to the Bird Island Pier that starts there. It frequently suffers weather and winter damage, which is a shame, because it is a really unique and wonderful way to walk several miles literally in the middle of the mighty Niagara River. So far, it was always repaired in the end and I hope that continues, even though some of the recent damage has been slow to fix and the pier is cut short as a result.

Camera of choice on this day? A World War II time Rolleiflex Automat. It needed quite extensive repairs to be in its current shape but right now it's like clockwork. I loaded it with Fomapan 400, attached a yellow filter to the taking lens and headed out.

What you see in today's first cyanotype is the view one gets when reaching the unpassable damage area and turning around. It's the pier heading back to Unity Island and Broderick Park and the signature Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada.

Bird Island Pier Cyanotype, Buffalo, NYBird Island Pier CyanotypeBuffalo, NY

Bird Island Pier Cyanotype, Buffalo, NY, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured watercolor paper

Smena 8M 35mm CameraSmena 8MSmena 8M 35mm Camera For cyanotype number two we're headed into the heart of the city. It's hard to believe Canalside really wasn't a thing until a few years ago. I did something different for this cyanotype. I normally select from one of my black and white photographs but for this one, I picked a photo captured on Lomography Metropolis color negative film. These cyanotypes are printed using a digital negative and even for this one I first converted the color photo into a monochrome.

However, I have heard of people printing their negatives in color and getting great results. Maybe I'll have to try that soon and compare with a monochrome one to see if there's a difference in practice. In theory, each color allows different levels of UV to pass through. That is similar with different density of black. Would the color negative result in more or less contrast?

Oh, and the camera of choice for this downtown Buffalo expedition? Smena 8M was the camera I started my (film) photography endeavors with back in the 1980s. Indeed, there was no discussion about film versus digital back then. Film was all there was and our family's film choice were black and white film stocks from Orwo. I don't remember why but my Dad was not a fan of Fomapan. He used to buy Orwo in bulk on our occasional trips to East Germany. I used that camera on several school trips and got alright results for the purpose they were supposed to serve. Some of them even saw the light of day as darkroom prints. Even now in 2022 I was rather pleasantly surprised about what one can get from a simple camera like this.

BUFFALO, Canalside, Buffalo, NYBUFFALOCanalside, Buffalo, NY

BUFFALO, Canalside, Buffalo, NY, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured watercolor paper, bleached and toned in green tea

Yes, a short post today, just two photographs. Come back soon and maybe there will be a new post with more to share. Do you like one of these two cyanotype prints or one from the past posts in this series? You can see them all in my Cyanotype Gallery and if you're interested, you can order one there too and get your own unique and original print. No two are the same. I coat the paper by hand and print of textured papers. As a result, they each have their own look and feel.

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 - 9. Cyanotypes IX: Horní Rozsíčky - 10. Cyanotypes X: From Black and White or Color

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.

House of Memories, Cyanotype II, Horní Rozsíčka, Czech RepublicHouse of Memories, Cyanotype IIHorní Rozsíčka On the Way from School, Cyanotype, Horní Rozsíčka, Czech RepublicOn the Way from School, CyanotypeHorní Rozsíčka U Vlachů, Cyanotype, Horní Rozsíčka, Czech RepublicU Vlachů, CyanotypeHorní Rozsíčka



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