[alt-photo] Old buffer

Henry Rattle henry.rattle at ntlworld.com
Fri Mar 1 13:59:48 GMT 2013

Hi All,

One of the first major things I've learned from Christina's new book is why
my cyanotype prints have been so pale, so often, for more years than I care
to admit. I have learned over time to "develop" them in water acidified with
acetic acid to about pH 5-6, which helps, but because all the papers I use
(Waterford, Bockingford, Artistico) are (as I now understand) heavily
buffered, it just seemed to be the way things are.

After reading Chris's chapter, I tried some different, cheap (and presumably
unbuffered) paper and lo and behold! Deep blues!

So - Chris suggests pre-acidifying paper for cyanotype in 5% hydrochloric
acid. This seems pretty ferocious - I think it's about pH 1? - so doesn't
that damage the paper in other ways? Has anyone found gentler ways of
neutralising the buffer in these nice papers?

Best wishes


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