Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Project SEVENTEEN: Sunlight Prints

Today I decided to try something that I've concluded will be better off to try when it's warmer outside: Sunlight Prints, or Cyanoprints, are gorgeous when you have the right materials. Mostly, they are made of natural objects, like highly textured leaves (like ferns), or flowers, for example. These are done using light sensitive paper, that you can "develop" in water. My husband bought me a small kit a long time ago, and I thought it might be a fun project to attempt these. So, what I have so far is not too exciting, to be honest. I did my first print using some leaves from my plant, and placing the print out on my deck... as it snowed, and needless to say, as it was cloudy. How much fun will it be to collect plants, flowers, twigs from the park in the spring time? Instead, I've been scrounging around the house looking for interesting objects that either have lots of texture, or have some interesting translucent quality. My prints make me feel like I'm having a grade-school moment. Ahhh, elementary art projects. (Nothing wrong with that, I just think perhaps a child could have done better than what I've done today!)

Another idea that the kit suggests is trying to photocopy an image onto acetate and using that against the paper. So, then I remembered some interesting images that I have created/collaged together that would be far more interesting as a cyanotype than as the image it is itself (in my opinion anyway). But alas! It's not so easy to print (from my printer) onto acetate/transparency! The ink just balls up, and believe me, I'm sure I'm not using the correct transparency paper for my printer. So really, it's my fault.

All in all, today's project is a bit of a bust... at least for now. I'll probably come back to it in the spring, especially because it'll be a great excuse to get out of the house, wander the streets (or the botanical gardens), and it's just plain easy. What a great introduction to photography!

On a side note, you can apparently make your OWN cyanoprint paper, but due to the chemicals involved, that will have to wait as well.


  1. I realize you did this some time ago...however, you can use an image printed on paper, take baby oil and wipe the photo/print until it is translucent-ish. This works just as well or better than acetate. I LOVE this process and am trying to work it in to my lessons!! And yes, doing this in spring or summer (or early fall) is much more productive!

  2. Yes! Thanks! I love image transfers. Haven't tried the baby oil...