The cyanotype workshop was a great introduction to the darkroom space and chemical processes, as well as letting us get familiar with the techs and others on our course.
Over the summer I’d been thinking about little objects to bring in that I felt represented me, I chose things such as little heart paper clips, my rings (always wearing my rings!) and other pieces of jewellery.
Laying them out on my light sensitive paper, I grew frustrated because I realised the true in the statement ‘less is more’ and found myself having to edit out multiple objects. I found it calming though, to be in the darkroom and completely focused on something after a very long summer.
When we had sat in the sun and conducted test strips to examine the correct time for exposure (we settled on 6-7 minutes as the sun was strong = strong UV rays), we returned to the darkroom to make our final layouts.
When arranged on the paper, we could go outside and time the minutes on our own, coming back in and putting the exposed paper into the chemicals.
Having done some film work before, I was interested to see just how much the cyanotypes are quite literally the ‘father’ of enlarging and printing film – test strips, exposing to chemicals, all of this is the same process, just a little more complicated!
I found great merit in doing this workshop as it really did bring it all back to basics of photography, a ‘clean slate’ if you will, to start our first project which is all shot on film.