Nicole Small | One on One

Cyanotype – Bleaching Your Print



Last week, I toned one of my older Cyanotype prints and had gone too far in the bleaching bath. In this journal entry I wanted to display the different stages a print goes through in a bleaching bath. Becoming aware of these stages can come in handy allowing you to know when enough is enough.

As I have mentioned before, time in a bleaching bath will vary per print which is why I thought this would be something great to share if you are one who works with the Cyanotype process and you are just starting out with toning them.







You can see that the print now has dull colors and only a faint appearance of an image.


So what happens when we place a Cyanotype print into a bleaching bath?




This is a final print after the basic Cyanotype process has been applied and will be the subject for this demonstration.






Step One/Water Bath:

It is always best to pre-wet your print before you begin the toning process. This will aid in efficient and even absorption to any water or chemical baths.

Here you can already see how the color has slightly lightened in the water bath.




Step Two/Stage One:

Within the first few seconds or so, depending on how concentrated your solution is, you will start to see the blues tone towards a purplish color.





Step Two/Stage Two:

From the purplish color, the print will start to bleach out and you will start to see a yellowing of the print. This is the point where you have to be careful of not going to far.

The yellowing/bleaching of the print is somewhat of an indicator that you are close to the prints maximum allowance of bleaching.



Step Two/Stage Three:

This obviously has gone overboard in the bleaching bath but wanted to demonstrate how this looks like.







I hope you found this interesting!

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