Alternative printing

by Marco Scataglini August. 06, 2017 851 views

I love digital photography (not as much as film photography, of course), but sometimes I feel that something is lost. Years ago you can touch the prints you made in the darkroom, today is not so simple.

Yes, you can buy an inkjet printer... but it's not the same kind of sensations, you know.

So, I decided to try alternative printing processes, starting from digital negatives.

Anthotype

Anthotype

First, I choose environmental friendly processes, such as Anthotype and Cyanotype.

Anthotype was discovered by sir John Herschel about 1842. It's the most ecological way of printing: the name of the process derived from the greek word for "flower" (anthos).

Infact, to create the sensitive paper, I pressed fruits or flowers to obtain the juice, and painted with it the watercolor paper. Then, exposed the sandwich of this paper and the negative to the sun, for many days. The risulting image is like the above. Interesting, isn't it?

Cyanotype

Cyanotype

But my preferred technique is Cyanotype, also invented by Herschel. In this kind of printing process, we use ferric salts, not silver. It's simple and not dangerous. The resulting image is Prussian Blue and white, not BW, as you can see in the print above.

Cyanotype

Cyanotype

It's possible to tone the print using, for example, coffee or tea. For this print of the "Master of the Forest", I toned a cyanotype print by very strong coffee. In the image below, I prefer using some tea.

All the images are from my project "Lucus", devoted to Trees and Forests. Enjoy!

Toned cyanotype

Toned cyanotype

Cyanotype

Cyanotype

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Aaron Kinzer 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree that something is lost with digital photography and have been trying to figure out why I find images from film photography more interesting. Your images from this digital negative process are very interesting and I will have to read more about this. Thank you for sharing this post!

3 years, 10 months ago Edited
Marco Scataglini Replied to Aaron Kinzer 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you, Aaron. The processes explained in my post are very simple, and you can obtain pretty soon good results. With cyanotype printing you have to choose very carefully the paper: I'm devoted to Canson Montval watercolor paper, 300g, 24x32 cm sheet. Chemicals are easy to find on eBay: they are not dangerous and not expensive! :-)

3 years, 10 months ago Edited
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