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Cyanotype Examples

cyanotype from 8x10 pinhole image
Contact print from an 8x10 pinhole negative

enlargement of small section of above image
Enlargement of Monterey Bay Aquarium section

even further enlargement
Further enlargement. Paper grain is beginning to show.
The light colored window shown is about 4mm wide on the original image.

Pinhole photography done with a large negative can be just as detailed as a lens camera of smaller size, but with the benefits of depth of field and time dilation. Cyanotypes are a good match for the resolution of pinhole image.

Another way is to scan a smaller negative into a computer and create an "enlarged" negative to be printed on cyanotype paper with the advantage of allowing adjustments to be made to brightness and contrast, etc. The 'dot' pattern made from a color laser printer or inkjet printer is a good match for the resolution of the cyanotype process.

4x5 to 8x10 digital negative printed on cyanotype
A 4x5 pinhole image enlarged to 8x10 and printed on cyanotype paper

enlargement of above
Enlargement of section.

further enlargement
Further enlargement to show dot pattern from the color laser printer.
The 'notch > <' shape in the above image is about 3mm wide on the original print.

A color laser printer produces a VERY much better enlarged negative over a standard B&W laser printer. Both density and evenness of tone are improved. For highest resolution or larger negatives use a photo quality inkjet printer on inkjet transparency film.

Chris Patton, cpatton@stanford.edu