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  #21  
Old 19th October 2020, 11:59 AM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Thanks for posting that information, Dave. I am going to try that next time I make cyanotypes. I have citric acid in stock.
Alex


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It will be interesting to see what the effects are in an area where the water is at worst neutral and possibly slightly acidic

It wasn't entirely clear to me if what was said was that acidic to the extent not possible in even soft water areas still brings about a perceptible change in the print or simply that it is worth acidifying the water anyway even if it is neutral or marginally acidic

Thanks

Mike
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  #22  
Old 19th October 2020, 12:12 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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It will be interesting to see what the effects are in an area where the water is at worst neutral and possibly slightly acidic

Mike
I'm not sure of my mains water PH or even that of the de-ionised water that I've bought for the last film wash. Is there any way of finding out?

I've just bought one of the chemicals I don't have, to try cyanotypes again, but will try the process with just the straight solutions and then with citric acid added (to the water for the solutions or wash bath?) and see if the blue intensifies or not.

You can tell, I'm sure, that I am really quite new to this process, having only done it once at a workshop some years ago now. I want to try it again though, as the sun has popped out over the last few days. I thought I'd try it before it goes into hiding again, over the winter months.

Terry S
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  #23  
Old 19th October 2020, 12:22 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Hi Terry. The info Dave shared seems to suggest that you acidify the water for development. Iíve never tested the acidity of our water, but I know that it is not Ďhardí as found in some areas. Results with cyanotypes have been variable, so I think itís worth trying.
I can tell you that bathing the washed print in a mild solution of Hydrogen Peroxide produces a very dramatic intensification of the blue image. You can buy bottles of it quite cheaply in hairdressing suppliers, and probably also Boots, etc. Mine is a 9% solution, but I diluted it further for use.
Alex


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  #24  
Old 19th October 2020, 12:30 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Thanks for that info Alex.

I hope to give it all a go very soon.

I have both citric acid and hydrogen peroxide (3% I think).

Terry S
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  #25  
Old 19th October 2020, 01:35 PM
Michael Michael is offline
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Ware recommends using a dilute acid bath for the "new cyanotype" process rather than the simple Potassium ferricyanide/Ferric ammonium citrate recipe; and he also specifies a mineral acid (hydrochloric or nitric). I expect that citric acid has crept into the ready-made products' instructions as it's safer to use all round. I remember trying the Fotospeed kit and then going back happily to home-made.
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  #26  
Old 21st October 2020, 10:26 AM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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I'm not sure of my mains water PH or even that of the de-ionised water that I've bought for the last film wash. Is there any way of finding out?

Terry S
I had the same problem, Terry, when I tried to find the link between what you can find out about water in your area and its PH. I got so frustrated just going round in circles.

Maybe there is no direct link between what the water companies regard as important information for water hardness such as Degrees Clark and its PH value

A great pity as PH is quoted by Mike Ware but it would seem that short of PH strips there is no easy way to check your water's PH from any info I have seen provided anywhere about the water in your area

If there is a link or anyone knows of how PH values of an area's water can be found then I'd be grateful for it

Mike
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  #27  
Old 21st October 2020, 12:47 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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I've just bought one of the chemicals I don't have, to try cyanotypes again...

Terry S
And the necessary chemical arrived today and the sunshine is well hidden, along with being rather wet outside.

But I can mix the chemicals up and coat a variety of papers, reading for the next sunny day. As for the coated papers, I presume if they're kept in the dark, like inside an empty darkroom paper box, they will last indefinitely until I'm ready to use them?

And I know it's not the height of summer, but what sort of exposures would be a good starting point, for this time of year, when the sun eventually decides to come out?

So many questions...

Terry S
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  #28  
Old 21st October 2020, 01:12 PM
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CambsIan CambsIan is offline
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Just reading up on the process in a book by Peter Mrhar, he mentions using acid water in the context of making an under exposed photo darker, below is a quote from his book called Cyanotype

"If the photograph is under exposed, that is, if after development in water on a test sheet only white patches are seen instead of light greyscale values. the photograph can be darkened by developing it in acidic water. Darkening depend on the acidity of the water. The more acidic the water the more lost bright tones will be recuperated. In doing so we will soon notice that too much acidic water brings a loss of brighter tones, which gradually change into a single muddy spot."

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  #29  
Old 21st October 2020, 01:34 PM
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DaveInElland DaveInElland is offline
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Originally Posted by Terry S View Post
And the necessary chemical arrived today and the sunshine is well hidden, along with being rather wet outside.

But I can mix the chemicals up and coat a variety of papers, reading for the next sunny day. As for the coated papers, I presume if they're kept in the dark, like inside an empty darkroom paper box, they will last indefinitely until I'm ready to use them?

And I know it's not the height of summer, but what sort of exposures would be a good starting point, for this time of year, when the sun eventually decides to come out?

So many questions...

Terry S
Some useful thoughts here Terry

https://cyanotype.co.uk/blog.html
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  #30  
Old 21st October 2020, 03:48 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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The coated paper can be stored for a while, although like most things Ďphotographicí, indefinitely is probably a bit optimistic. Iíve certainly used paper that was coated months before exposure. I have only used a UV lamp for exposure, so canít comment on sunlight exposure times.
I also have a book by Peter Mhrar, but itís about Gum Bichromate prints, rather than Cyanotypes. It hasnít been very useful. I think it suffers from being very technically complex. I prefer a text that describes a basic process to get you involved, then moves on to the testing, etc to refine your technique. I suspect it has also lost some clarity due to being translated from an original language?
The Cyanotype process should be a lot simpler, and perhaps the book is easier to follow.
The biggest hurdle Iíve encountered in both processes is producing big negatives. Itís fine if you have a 10x8Ē camera, but the alternative route (not to be discussed in detail here) can be quite complicated. 4x5Ē negatives can, of course, be used, but none of my efforts to date have been very impressive.
Alex


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