Like a blue Xray

“The difficulty of accurate drawing induced me to try cyanotype impressions…”

Anna Atkins

The cyanotype was discovered and named by Sir John Herschel in 1842. His interest was the effect of sunlight on ferric salts. Specifically he used a mix of ammonium ferric citrate and potassium ferricyanide exposed to UVA to produce the pigment Prussian Blue. Coat paper or fabric with the solution and you have a simple, yet robust form of negative photography. Most uses of cyanotypes were technical, everyone has heard of blueprints. However, within a few months of Herschel’s publications, British artist Anna Atkins was producing cyanotype botanical images. Her plants appear suspended in a ghostly ocean of blue. Satisfyingly scientifically accurate, yet having a unique aesthetic quality. #evenicandoit #letsmakelemonade

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