Thursday, August 2, 2012

Making Sunprints

I have had this kit for ages at my house waiting to be opened. I thought it would be a fun project to do with the kids. I pretty much worked with my oldest on this one. My two year old only became interested when the part about submerging the paper into the water came about. He thought it was time for water play! 

I have bought many Sunlight Print kits as gifts thinking other children might enjoy this fun low tech approach to photography. I sure hope their projects worked out.

Sunprints are also known as cyanotypesCyanotype is a photographic printing process giving you a cyan-blue print. For children it is like magic because all you need is four elements: an object/subject, light sensitive paper, sunlight and water. Part science and part art. Sir John Herschel an English scientist and astronomer discovered this procedure back in 1842, but it was Anna Atkins who brought this to photography.
Here is a sample of her beautiful work:
You can find and browse through more of her work on this New York Public Library Flickr page or here at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Here is our adventure into this printing process....

 Exposing, our drawings and objects to bright sunlight until the paper fades from light blue to white.

After exposing our compositions, we submerged the exposed photo sensitive paper in water and agitated it for about a minute. We let the paper dry flat on paper towels. 

After the pieces dried we got these beautiful silhouettes on Prussian Blue backgrounds.

 Beautiful plant silhouette, a great gift from nature and quite low tech!
Some favorite silhouettes I used  from  my past work. I had acetate copies already made from trying my hand and at silkscreening a while back in a previous post here and here.
My son's fusion of Spiderman and Dr. Octopus for one print and a skull for the other. He enjoyed this project, now mom has to go find more photo sensitive paper. 
Off to the art store!!!

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This is "Where Art and Beauty Meet Lifestyle"©

All images and content belong to Deborah Velásquez. Copyright 2005-2012.  All rights reserved.
Please do not use anything without permission or without note of the origin on your blog or website.

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