Cyanotypes XIV: Gulf Shores, Alabama

February 26, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

You've got a glimpse into last year's vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama in the ongoing Alabama 2023 series of posts (last one being Alabama 2023, Part V, Magnolia Springs). Today, I offer a little different view of that trip. I'm sharing two pairs of photographs for comparison. The first photo of each is a straight cyanotype on a textured watercolor paper and the second is a bleached version toned in wine tannin for a different vintage look.

Paradise Isle Resort Office Cyanotype, Gulf Shores, AlabamaParadise Isle Resort OfficeCyanotype

Paradise Isle Resort Office, Gulf Shores, Alabama, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically Printed on a Hand-Coated Textured Shizen Design Watercolor Paper

The first pair is of a really eye-catching oceanfront resort in Gulf Shores with its office front and center. I really enjoyed capturing photographs of the resort in many different ways, whether it was digitally or on film, in color or in black and white. And I like how the cyanotype process combined with the rough texture of the paper rendered the scene too.

Paradise Isle Resort Office, Toned Cyanotype, Gulf Shores, AlabamaParadise Isle Resort OfficeToned Cyanotype

Paradise Isle Resort Office, Gulf Shores, Alabama, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically Printed on a Hand-Coated Textured Shizen Design Watercolor Paper, Toned in Wine Tannin

Next up is an interior scene from Fort Morgan. Wagon wheels have their charm and automatically invoke days gone by. Capturing them with an old film camera seems appropriate. Making a cyanotype print of one was rather satisfying too and the fact that it was located in an old fort did not hurt. It's also another application where I believe the very rough texture of this specific watercolor paper helped the outcome.

Fort Morgan Wagon Wheel Cyanotype, Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, AlabamaFort Morgan Wagon WheelCyanotype

Fort Morgan Wagon Wheel, Gulf Shores, Alabama, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically Printed on a Hand-Coated Textured Shizen Design Watercolor Paper

As with the first pair, let's compare the blue version to a copy toned in wine tannin. Toning adds a good dose of processing. I leave the primary cyanotype prints out to dry for at least 24 hours during which oxygen does its thing. I am not sure whether or how much that really matters as I have not experimented with prompter bleaching. I only bleach the prints after 24+ hours and at the moment I prefer bleaching them fully with almost no image left. That takes several minutes. Once bleached I fully wash the paper to get all of the washing soda out.

Then comes the toning. I usually start with a warm bath and have the tray on a heating pad to keep the liquid above room temperature. It helps speed things along a bit. Too much warmth might cause overall paper staining so you'll have to experiment as each paper responds differently. Toning can take anywhere from a few minutes to about an hour. I do not leave prints in the toning bath longer. Afterwards, one more thorough wash, drying, and flattening under a stack of books.

Fort Morgan Wagon Wheel Toned Cyanotype, Gulf Shores, AlabamaFort Morgan Wagon WheelToned Cyanotype

Fort Morgan Wagon Wheel Toned Cyanotype, Gulf Shores, Alabama, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically Printed on a Hand-Coated Textured Shizen Design Watercolor Paper, Toned in Wine Tannin

Which versions do you like more? The classic blue cyanotypes or the toned ones that resemble the traditional black and white look?

Thanks for visiting, hope you'll be back :-)

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 - 11. Cyanotypes XI: Moravian Countryside - 12. Cyanotypes XII: Prague Castle - 13. Cyanotypes XIII: American History - 14. Cyanotypes XIV: Gulf Shores, Alabama

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!

Smith's Fort, Cyanotype on Shizen Design Watercolor Paper, Surry, VirginiaSmith's Fort CyanotypeCyanotype Fence at New Town, Jamestown, CyanotypeFence at New Town, Jamestown, CyanotypeCyanotype John Brown's Fort Cyanotype, Harpers Ferry, West VirginiaJohn Brown's Fort CyanotypeCyanotype

Smith's Fort, Wine Tannin Toned Cyanotype on Shizen Design Watercolor Paper, Surry, VirginiaSmith's Fort, Toned CyanotypeToned Cyanotype Fence at New Town, Jamestown, Wine Tannin Toned CyanotypeFence at New Town, Jamestown, Toned CyanotypeToned Cyanotype


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