[alt-photo] Re: The Illusive Black Cyanotype - Any Insight?

Loris Medici mail at loris.medici.name
Tue Sep 20 21:54:45 GMT 2011


- Are you toning fresh prints right after finishing rinse/development
step or do you tone completely finished (dry - oxidized - aged)
prints? (Maybe fresh prints could prove better; I was never waiting
the prints to dry / oxidize completely and age before toning... BTW,
please note that I never tried gallic acid toning, only tannic acid
and lead acetate. In any case, you "may" experience a little better
contrast / more open highlights that way; try and see if that works
better for you. ???)
- Do you clear(!) your cyanotypes before toning? (A weak ...say, 1
heaping dessert spoon per 2000ml... citric acid solution after
development and peroxide, but before the last rinse works pretty well
in clearing the print from unwanted iron residue = better contrast +
cleaner highlights. Plus, IME, citric acid clearing gives a greener
blue, and more green "may" give you results which are a little more
neutral. ???)


2011/9/20 Francesco Fragomeni <fdfragomeni at gmail.com>:
> Hi Gordon,
> The 3 drops Nitric Acid recipe you've cited is the one I used last night.
> This morning I took another look at the prints and found that they changed
> to more of a cool grey but still retained a bit of the purple hue (but much
> more pleasing in color then the purple cast that they had right when I did
> the process). I also noticed that the gallic acid reduces contrast
> significantly and flattens out the image very noticeably. I think I may
> experiment some more with this to see if Ican improve the results. I think
> if you take the reduction in contrast into consideration when making a
> negative and consequently the initial cyanotype print then there might be a
> way achieve deeper blacks and proper contrast. Some testing will be needed
> to figure this out.
> I haven't tried the ferrogallic process you mention but I'll look into it
> and see if I can get all of the chemistry for it.
> I'll continue to experiment with the Nitric Acid recipe and I plan to do
> some experiments with the coffee toning recipe I just got to see if that
> does what I want without staining the paper base and bringing down the
> highlights.
> Anyway, thanks for the ideas.
> -Francesco
> On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 9:05 PM, Gordon J. Holtslander <gjh at shaw.ca> wrote:
>> Have you tried this:
>> To convert Cyano to black tones:
>> Place print in solution of 3 drops Nitric Acid added to 1 litre water for
>> two minutes transfer to bath of 14g Sodium Carbonate + 160cc water - leave
>> till image disappears and then reappears with an orange tone transfer print
>> to third solution of 14g Gallic Acid + 160cc water - black tones will appear
>> wash 30 min.
>> perhaps the ferrogallic process would work;
>> (from Photographic Facts and Formulas 1940)
>> ferric chloride         50g
>> ferric suplphate (basic)        25g
>> tartaric acid                   45g
>> water                           500 ml
>> Dissolve and add
>> gelatin                         25g
>> water                           250cc
>> soak gelatin for 30 minutes and dissolve
>> Development details are not given though
>> Gord
>> On 9/19/2011 9:14 PM, Francesco Fragomeni wrote:
>>>  I received a coffee toning recipe a few minutes ago that I haven't tried
>>> before. Examples look pleasing. I'll be trying this soon. Anyone have
>>> success with this?
>>> -Francesco
>>> On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 7:32 PM, Francesco Fragomeni
>>> <fdfragomeni at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>>> I've been working for some time to achieve a black cyanotype but to no
>>>> avail. I mean true black and grays, not the purples, eggplants, and other
>>>> hues that can be achieved rather easily. I am 100% sure that it is
>>>> possible
>>>> because I have seen examples in private collections. I have also seen a
>>>> few
>>>> rare examples (unsubstantiated) on the web but I've been unable to
>>>> initiate
>>>> conversations with anyone who has made one successfully. I've tried most
>>>> of
>>>> the toning recipes and none of these achieve anything close to what I'm
>>>> looking for plus they have a tendency to stain the paper base. Tonight I
>>>> tried the nitric acid (nasty stuff so be careful)/ sodium carbonate/
>>>> gallic
>>>> acid recipe which is purportedly capable of rendering a black cyanotype.
>>>> This recipe produced more of a dark grayish purple in the shadows and a
>>>> much
>>>> more obvious purple cast to the highlights. Now this may be worth
>>>> experimenting with again because my tests were based on re-soaking
>>>> already
>>>> dry prints rather then making fresh ones which could possibly make a
>>>> difference (I couldn't make new prints because I'm waiting on a printing
>>>> frame to arrive to replace my unusable one). Can anyone here offer any
>>>> insight into how to achieve the illusive black cyanotype?? It would be so
>>>> unbelievably appreciated. Thank you!
>>>> -Francesco Fragomeni
>>>> ______________________________**_________________
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>> --
>> Gordon J. Holtslander
>> gjh at shaw.ca
>> ______________________________**_________________
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> _______________________________________________
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