Nicole Small | One on One

If it lets light through, it will turn blue

I love the cyanotype process! The season is just around the corner and I cannot wait for those hot summer days to arrive.

Although I had already been looking into trying the cyanotype process for a while before it now being one of my favourite techniques to work with , it was not until I came across this blog, Photoeidolon, about 4 years ago which had inspired me to go deeper and to give it a go.

What inspired me when I had visited the blog Photoeidolon, was the fact that her images were that of portraits and what peaked my interest even more was the recipes that were listed along with some of her portrait pieces, meaning…the options you have working with this process are endless.

This might sound a little off, (the novice in me), but in my mind I pictured cyanotype images being solely of objects that were artistically placed on paper and then put out in the sun.

(But of course as with any creative process, you can do what you want and make it your own!)

Having then discovered the many talented artists and beautiful artwork that you can find all over the web, I immediately made the decision and purchased a cyanotype printing kit from B&H. Originally on my first try, I had purchased the powdered/ dry version, at the time not really knowing which to get.  Just in case you have been thinking about trying this process, I would recommend buying the liquid version.


What I found a little difficult in the beginning was being able to make nice clean paint strokes. But with persistence, I developed a steady hand and a smoother application.

Another thing that took me time to get right, was making sure that my original image, after being inverted in Photoshop as a negative, would have good detail in both the highlights and shadows. This can be a little tricky when you are just starting out, but well-rewarding once you understand what to look for and get it right.



It was very hard in the beginning for me to get a good visual of what will turn blue and what will remain as white. Here is a simple but helpful rhyme that can be a guide for you:


If it lets light through, it will turn blue. If it blocks out light it will stay white.


As with everything, practice makes you get it right! I encourage you to try something that you have been thinking of doing, whatever that may be.

I hope you enjoyed this post!


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