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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.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

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  


Western New York Winter Woods

February 16, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Fresh winter's snow can turn any landscape into a land of magic and a forest is no different. And when the snow is sufficiently sticky not only does it coat horizontal surfaces it sticks on everything in any direction. Trees wrapped in white look so wonderful!

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This day, I felt like I woke up to a wonderland. All of the neighborhood trees had winter coats on and the ouside was calling me. It really was a simple decision. All I had to do was to put winter clothes on, add good boots, grab a camera, and head out. The edge of the woods in the first photograph is just minutes of walking and serves like a visual season meter. On this day, the dial was clearly showing winter.

Trees of the Winter Woods, Winter in Western New York, Orchard Park, NY.Trees of the Winter WoodsWinter in Western New York

Trees of the Winter Woods, Winter in Western New York, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a Nikon FE2 35mm camera on Agfa APX 400 black and white negative film

And into the woods I went next. I tend to take the same route every time, which is good and bad at the same time. The good part comes from knowing it well and having many favorite little things to notice along the way and watch them change with passing time. Take this stump as an example. I have photographed it in all seasons and for different reasons. Here, the puffy hat it was wearing was the trigger for another photo of it.

Buried Stump, Winter in Western New York, Orchard Park, NYBuried StumpWinter in Western New York

Buried Stump, Winter in Western New York, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a Nikon FE2 35mm camera on Agfa APX 400 black and white negative film

I like to shy away from signs of civilization in my photos but the snowed in boardwalk seemed to express what I was enjoying perfectly. A coat of fresh snow on the ground that no one has been through yet, trees wearing white, and I with a camera soaking it all in. Oh, and I love the fresh air that comes with winter. Somehow, the cold air is more intense and feels cleaner and very refreshing.

Boardwalk in Snow, Western New York Winter, Orchard Park, NY.Boardwalk in SnowWestern New York Winter

Boardwalk in Snow, Western New York Winter, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a Nikon FE2 35mm camera on Agfa APX 400 black and white negative film

Many people prefer warm weather and that is fine, to each their own. I think it's an acquired taste. One needs to head out often enough to find the magic and there is so much winter can offer photographically and in general. So next time you see everything coated in white, don't hesitate to leave the warmth of your home, put on some good winter clothes and head out.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

Snowed In Farmhouse in Winter, Knox Farm, East Aurora, NYFarmhouse in WinterWNY Winter Hay Bales in Snow in Winter, Knox Farm, East Aurora, NYHay Bales in SnowWNY Winter Battle Lost, A Broken Old Tree at Knox Farm in WInter, East Aurora, NYBattle LostWNY Winter

Snowy Birdsong Gate in Winter with a Reflection in the Creek, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY)Birdsong Gate in WinterWNY Winter Winter Creek in Birdsong Park Covered in Ice and Snow, Orchard Park, New York (NY)Winter Creek at BirdsongWNY Winter Snow Covered Spooky Winter Wetlands, Orchard Park, New YorkSpooky Winter WetlandsWNY Winter

 


Cyanotypes VII: More Toning

February 07, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

This cyanotype session was mostly to gain more experience as see what worked and what did not. There are two themes directly continuing from the last episode. I continued with the castle theme and with both straight blueprints as well as bleached and tea toned cyanotypes.

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I also stuck with the rough texture of the Shizen Design Cold Press Watercolor Paper. For me, there's something oddly satisfying in the rendering of that paper. Capturing the photos on film sent me down the retro path, then I printed them as cyanotypes, another step down that path, so why not add a paper with texture so rough that details almost disappear and it all becomes more about the overall form, shape, and the interaction of light and dark.

Helfštýn Castle Tower and Walls CyanotypeHelfštýn Castle Tower and WallsCyanotype

Helfštýn Castle Tower and Walls Cyanotype, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

For the first photo, we did not even leave Helfštýn, the castle we entered last time around. This time, the focus was on the castle walls and the watch tower in one of the corners. The lighting set up was quite different for this photo and I wanted to see how it would come out as a cyanotype. Dark clouds and a rainstorm rolled over and then sunshine lit the castle brightly up while the sky remained an ominous dark. Definitely a different look but I like how it worked out.

Despite the many recommendations I read not to use white tea but green instead, I am a white tea fan so far. Unlike what the internet says I find 4 tea bags per 500ml working perfectly fine, darks become dark enough, and white tea barely stains the paper. I also like the colder tones compared to the browns of green tea. For now, I will continue experimenting with both as I bought a monster pack of green tea bags too. For drinking, I prefer loose tea so green tea toned cyanotypes it is until the box runs out.

Helfštýn Castle Tower and Walls, White Tea Toned CyanotypeHelfštýn Castle Tower and WallsWhite Tea Toned Cyanotype

Helfštýn Castle Tower and Walls, White Tea Toned Cyanotype, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

And now it is time to leave Moravia and travel over to Bohemia not far from the capital of Prague. There's one of the most picturesque castles in the whole of Czech Republic and Europe for that matter too. It's name is Karlštějn and it overlooks a namesake village. It was named after one of the greatest Czech Kings, Karel IV (Charles IV), who was very successful and also became a Holy Roman Emperor. The Karlštejn Castle was founded in 1348

Karlštejn Castle Tower and Walls CyanotypeKarlštejn Castle Tower and Walls Cyanotype

Karlštejn Castle Tower and Walls Cyanotype, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

I was really happy with how this particular photograph turned out as a cyanotype. It fit the process and the rough paper texture very well and so far remains one of my most favorite cyanotype creations. It will be hard to top. Seeing how well it worked as a blueprint there was just one other thing to try. You guessed it. How would it look toned in white tea?

Karlštejn Castle Tower and Walls, White Tea Toned CyanotypeKarlštejn Castle Tower and WallsWhite Tea Toned Cyanotype

Karlštejn Castle Tower and Walls, White Tea Toned Cyanotype, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

That session proved to be another success. Which one do you like better? I'd love to hear from you. Please, feel free to use the comments function.

And a final thought before I sign out. A few posts back I wondered whether one could pre-treat a large batch of paper with the cyanotype chemicals and then use them as needed. Now the answer is shaping up for me. Yes, it can be done and it works fine as long as the paper is in a dark and dry place. But I would not recommend that. I like my results best when I use the treated paper within 48 hours. Otherwise, the chemicals turn yellowish and even processed cyanotypes then retain this yellow cast, which I do not like. A rinse in vinegar sometimes helps clear it out a little but it lingers. Bleaching for toning seems to take care of it so that can be one strategy if you leave your paper around too long.

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

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.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

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

An old house by a train station. An original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from Eureka Springs, Arkansas.Old HouseCyanotype House of Memories Cyanotype, An original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic.House of MemoriesCyanotype


Ice Cream at Night

January 24, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

I've been focused on local photography of the southern suburbs of Buffalo, NY for quite a while now. More and more, it is the ordinary that surrounds me every day that not only catches my eye but gets me out with the camera. I  am sure you will see even more posts like that from me in 2022.

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Instead of a single walk through a single neighborhood we're visiting three different food stands today. They're each very popular with the local community in their own way and each have their specialty. However, they are also stands that look great at night thanks to their bright lights or neons that make them very eye catching when the daylight runs out.

The idea started with a wonderful vintage ice cream stand in Orchard Park, New York. I drive by it almost every day and quite often even after dark. I figured I could include the popular local ice cream stands on a single roll of film of night photography. And of course, I had to start where the idea was born. I had to start by Custard Lite in Orchard Park, NY.

For this purpose, I loaded my Nikon FM2n with a roll of Cinestill 800T film. I like that specific camera for night photography because of its LED light meter that is very easy to see at night. On my other cameras, like the Nikon FE, I enjoy their analog match needle meters quite a bit but those become of limited value in the dark. And that's where the LED lights shine. I paired the camera with the original all metal pancake Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens.

Custard Lite Corner at Dusk, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYCustard Lite Corner at DuskNight Photography

Custard Lite Corner at Dusk, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

This first establishing photograph has become a favorite of mine. I really enjoy leaving enough room in the frame for the utility poles and playing with their position in the frame. Most streets in the are run in a perpendicular pattern but here and their one is the oddball. And the end of the Ellicott Road is just such a road placing Custard Lite on a small triangular plot of land.

Since this was at night, there was a new opportunity though. There was an opportunity to show off the lights, to show off the vintage look of this stand. The 50mm lens worked well too and just allowed me to fill the frame with the building while staying within the safety of the lot. I was very happy I went for this frame filling photo and even happier when it showed up on my monitor screen. That's one of the quirks of film photography. It adds a dose of suspense as there is no LCD to quickly check to make sure the exposure and the focus were in order.

Custard Lite Lit Up, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYCustard Lite Lit UpNight Photography

Custard Lite Lit Up, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

I enjoy photography very much but prefer to do so away from people. For me, getting some peace and quiet and time just for myself are part of it. As soon as people are around the experience changes for me and it is no longer so relaxing and enjoyable. Night photography has its pros and cons from this point of view. There are usually fewer people around and that opens up new locations to photography that would otherwise be full of people. However, the people that are around will be even more suspicious of someone walking around and taking pictures at night. A lot of people just can't understand why I would take a photo of a building at night without any bad intentions. And if you run into a paranoid person that had one too many drinks the situation can get quite ugly.

Taffy's after Dark, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYTaffy's after DarkNight Photography

Taffy's after Dark, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

The second location is on the other side of Orchard Park. Whereas Custard Lite's specialty is ice cream, Taffy's is a popular open-air location for summer lunches and for milkshakes. And while their food selection is what one would expect their milkshake selection is wild. I don't remember the total but it must be over 100. Are you adventurous? Try to get each at least once! I will admit, I usually stick to a few of my favorites, and often go with the good old boring choice of strawberry banana.

For the final photo we're heading back across Orchard Park and all the way to Hamburg. And we will end with the same treat we started with, ice cream. Nick Charlap's ice cream stand stays open longer into the night than the other two and people stream in all the way through the closing time. And since I don't want people in my photographs, it can become quite the exercise in patience. To get this photograph, I actually had to return back twice. But it was worth it!

Nick Charlap's Open at Night, Night Photography, Hamburg, NYNick Charlap's Open at NightNight Photography

Nick Charlap's Open at Night, Night Photography, Hamburg, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

That's it for today. I hope you've enjoyed this change of pace and the night time photographs.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

Night at a Grain Elevator, Riverworks, Buffalo, New York (NY)Night at a Grain ElevatorNight Photography Buffalo, New York - a steel bison sculpture, an old red double-decker bus, and a grain elevator - night photography from Buffalo, NYBuffalo, New YorkNight Photography London Double-Decker Bus around the Corner of an old Grain Elevator, Buffalo, NYBus 'round the CornerNight Photography

Peace Bridge Blues at Night, Niagara River, Buffalo, NYPeace Bridge Blues at NightNight Photography USS Little Rock at Daybreak, Buffalo Naval & Military Park, New York (NY).USS Little Rock at DaybreakNight Photography


A Winter Walk

January 20, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Snow was late to come this winter season but it's here for the moment so let's enjoy it and celebrate it with some white scenes. These two photos have been waiting in my blog queue for a while. They go back to 2018 and my cold winter's day walk in Beaver Island State Park.

Commission House, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New YorkCommission HouseBeaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New York

Commission House, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New York

It was very cold, air freezing my nose, and snow beautifully cracking under my boots. There was also a lot of mist over the Niagara River creating a nice mysterious mood and simplifying my backdrops. It's sometimes tough to convince myself to go out in these conditions but I always enjoy it once out there.

Tree on the River Banks, Beaver Island State Park,  Grand Island, New YorkTree on the River BanksBeaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New York.

Tree on the River Banks, Beaver Island State Park,  Grand Island, New York

Hope you all have a wonderful day whether you choose to brave the low and still dropping temperatues or watch the white world from the comfort of your home, maybe sitting by a fireplace and sipping hot beverage of your choice.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

Did you enjoy this Western New York post and the enclosed photographs? Visit the Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes gallery for more local landscapes. If you are a fan of the snowy white season, I have a Winter collection dedicated to that season for you. Please, let me know if you have any questions about photo products offered, or not offered. Looking for a present? I offer ready to hang solutions like canvas gallery wraps, prints on metal, and matted and framed ready to hang photographs. You can see the photo and product offering on the Products page.

Would you like to see my photographs printed, matted, and framed? Visit Picture Your Walls in Hamburg, NY (184 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075).

Active Volcano on Lake Erie, Winter in Western New York.Active Volcano on Lake ErieWinter Frosty Horseshoe Falls of NIagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and New York State (NY), United States (USA).Frosty Horseshoe FallsWinter

Season's Greetings from Buffalo Main Light - Lighthouse in Winter, Erie Basin MarinaSeason's Greetings from Buffalo Main LightWinter Kiss of Light on Buffalo Main Light, Erie Basin Marina - Waterfront, Buffalo, New York (NY).Kiss of Light on Buffalo Main LightWinter South End Marina Frozen & Wind-Swept by Cargill Pool Grain Elevator, Buffalo, New York (NY).Frozen & Wind-Swept by CargillWinter

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