Is it even possible to make a cyanotype camera? Pedro Leal shares how to make a cyanotype camera that takes several instantaneous cyanotypes in one image.
I made walking into an aesthetic project, and I register the experiences through drawings, and visualise images accompanied by thoughts, which I write down. But, I wanted to bring together the experience of images and thought and this journeys into a combined image, but how?
In Portugal we have a saying: “The necessity sharpens the resourcefulness!”. and I stated to explore different ways to make these images possible.
Starting with the simplest idea, I collected several herbs to compose an image, this was followed by an envelope/pocket with several already sensitive postcards, which I exposed and developed at home or on location, then I realized… what I needed was a support, like a film that I could expose and develop on location, wherever I was!
To explore this I used a large can, with a window and an acetate-like glass, but it was very complicated. I continued to refine the idea, simplifying and testing it until I arrived at the Cyanotype Portable Camera, which works similar to a Polaroid camera.
“This camera turned out to be perfect for me, it’s light, and fits in a hand or pocket.”
The main benefits of this portable multi-exposure cyanotype camera are:
- The mechanism is simple and manual
- It adapts to the needs of the outdoor terrain
- I can develop the images as I expose them, with a simple bottle of water or better in a puddle, in a lake, in the sea
How to make a multi-exposure cyanotype camera
Expose the cyanotype
Now the camera is done, expose the cyanotype
Develop the cyanotype
Developing is also done on the go, in whichever water is available.
As a designer, the camera also interests me as an object. I look for “Form and Function”, where less is more. The simple construction also responds to my concerns about nature and the environment. I recycle packaging by giving it a new functionality. I upcycle products and use low-impact developer. The cyanotype camera has zero functional problems, as it is completely manual and customizable. Another benefit of the camera are people as this camera and this technique can be easily produced by everyone.
Other experiemenal cameras
The pocket camera
The big can camera
A cyanotype can camera.
I challenge you to build one!