Alternative process photography is the perfect blend of precision and chance. These cyanotypes (also called sun prints) are from a series I did in college, created from x-rays and biopsy slides. This set is made from the same x-ray, printed with varying techniques to explore distortion.
The first one is 15 x 22 inches, printed on a smooth heavily sized paper. There’s very little distortion, and you can see all the soft details of the original x-ray.
The next one is 10 x 15 inches, printed on a paper I made myself. It’s thin, textured, toned blue, and heavily sized. I coated this one with a combination of cyanotype and van dyke chemistry, which created the blue/ brown mottling. It’s crazy how the same image can look so different!
The last cyanotype is 30 x 40 inches, printed on a smooth unsized paper. Sizing is used to keep paper from immediately absorbing liquids, instead allowing inks and paints to dry on the surface. The unsized paper showed all my brushstrokes because of how quickly it absorbed the chemistry. It abstracted the skull in an organic, lovely way that I didn’t expect.