Exploring a historical alternative photographic process
An excellent beginners’ guide to cyanotypes – all you need to get started, and some goodies for more advanced cyanotypers too.
Rated 9,9 – based on 64 votes
- Format: Paperback, 68 pages, full color
- Size on Lulu: 8.5 x 11 inches
- Size on Createspace: 8 x 10 inches
- ISBN on Lulu: 978-1-4116-9838-3
- ISBN on Createspace: 978-1456342227
- Publisher: AlternativePhotography.com (2006)
- Download the first 22 pages of Blueprint to cyanotypes free.
- View table of contents
- Press release
See it before you buy?
A copy of the book can bee seen at William Morris Hunt Memorial Library at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
About the book
The cyanotype is often the first alternative process that people try. It is relatively easy and safe enough to nurture a child’s interest in photography. It can also be seen as a gateway to further exploration of historic photographic methods. In addition, it gives experienced photographers and artists a great excuse to take their eyes off the computer screen and get their hands dirty.
Blueprint to cyanotypes is all you will need to get started with cyanotypes. It offers the beginner a step-by-step guide, from choosing material to making the final print. It is full of information and tips. Even the experienced cyanotypist may learn a thing or two.
Blueprint to cyanotypes is published by AlternativePhotography.com – a website and information center dedicated to alternative photographic processes.
From Malin Fabbri:
Why a book on cyanotypes?
Of all the alternative processes the cyanotype is the one closest to my heart. I made my first cyanotype in 1999. I was intrigued by the blue images and wanted to test the cyanotype process to see what it had to offer. I bought chemicals and spent an evening coating paper and cloth. The results of the next day’s printing surprised me.
Although the alchemy of the darkroom had always captivated me, developing a print in the sun was like a liberation. One of the things I found most refreshing about the process was the unpredictability of the results. Some of my best prints were the product of ‘happy accidents’.
The developing process is straightforward. The chemicals are cheap, and most of the other items used can be found around the house. Pre-coated paper is available, but one of the benefits of working with cyanotypes is the great flexibility of material and paper available to you. Cyanotypes print on anything made of natural fibre. Cotton, linen, silk, handmade paper, watercolor paper and rags are just number of alternatives. Some artists even print on wood.
So, if you want to explore a fun alternative photographic process or seriously want to experiment with producing unique fine art, make a cyanotype.
About the authors
Malin Fabbri, from Sweden, has over 8 years of printing experience in cyanotypes and teaching workshops. Blueprint to cyanotypes is a result of a Masters thesis from Central St. Martin’s School of Design in London, in “alternative photography”. The research for the thesis involved a lot of work with cyanotypes and also sparked the idea for the book. Malin also started the website, AlternativePhotography.com – an information centre for historic photographic methods in use today. She is still actively managing its expansion as the editor.
Gary Fabbri is from Rhode Island, USA. An early interest in writing and drawing led him to pursue both fine art painting and writing. His paintings have been exhibited throughout the east coast. His master’s thesis lead him to find work in the television industry and he moved to London to work as an editor and writer/director. As a director Gary has made numerous shortfilms, television adverts, programmes and documentaries. Gary and Malin moved to Stockholm in 2004 where Gary runs his own company, and continues to write, direct, paint and make cyanotypes.
Feedback on Blueprint to cyanotypes:
“This is fantastic book and I rate it 10 out of 10! For anyone starting out in cyanotype it is an excellent guide to making prints… I wish it was around when I was learning to do cyanotypes.”
“The subject is covered in great depth with detailed instruction on every aspect of the process, the work will be a reference book for the newcomer to the process and very useful to those with a good deal of experience… As well as being a superb introduction to the process the book will also be an inspiration to anyone who reads it.”
“I’ll give this book a 10. It’s an excellent overview of the “artistic” cyanotype process. I will be using it as a resource and also a good jumping off place to find other more technical resources. This book helps give cyanotype the respect it deserves as an art form.”
“Blueprints to Cyanotypes is excellently illustrated and the description of the process is clear and crisp“
“An excellent workbook for a Cyanotype workshop. If I was starting out exploring Cyanotype this would be the book to get. The excellent photos of the processing steps makes it the best “how-to” book I have seen on Cyanotype.”
“Lovely book. Well laid out and presented. Content is just as I expected – very informative.”
“I enjoyed the book it reinvigorated my interest in photography. With this medium I could skip the middle man and develop my own photographs as I saw them rather than how a machine in a lab interpreted them.”