Category Archives: Cyanotypes

Mike John Ware

Dr. Mike John Ware is an accomplished British photographer and rigorous chemist. An Oxford University doctorate in chemistry, his research focused on molecular spectroscopy. Mike has undertaken fundamental studies in historic photographic processes and preservation of photographs working with The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and The Victoria & Albert Museum. Mike brings […]

From Digital to Cyanotype

Alternative processes for photography are most often UV light sensitive only. Because UV enlargers do not exist, you need a negative the same size as the final print for contact printing. In the past this has mostly been done with either in camera original negatives (using large format view cameras to produce the negative) or […]


I’ve been struggling with technical aspects of cyanotype over the past couple weeks. And those struggles go to the root of why I started this discourse. To describe challenges and solutions and approaches for some processes I’m experimenting with. The problems I have encountered so far include highlight staining, unblocking shadow detail, resolving mottling in […]

Bulk chemicals vs. pre-packs

At some point one will ask themselves the question “Should I buy pre-packaged chemicals or buy them in bulk?” This is almost the same as deciding whether to do your shopping at the corner grocery store or at Costco. The difference in price is great when you consider the chemistry needed for cyanotype. I buy […]

Feeling a Bit Blue

Bleu, bleu, le monde est bleu. I spent the past couple days wrestling with classic cyanotype. This is somewhat embarrassing, given the supposed ease with which this most basic of processes can be done. Invented by John Herschel (a famous polymath) in 1842, it is simplicity itself. Two chemicals, expose in sun, develop in water, […]

The Cyanotype Process

I stumbled across a printout of a chapter on cyanotypes from Christopher James’s most excellent book, and I had quite forgotten where I had found it. It turns out the cyanotype process is the sample chapter from his book published ¬†on his website. This is quite a find, it is full of valuable information on […]