StrangeLizzzy's Dawson Blog
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Cyanotype Review – Anna Atkins

This is a cyanotype print made with the use of two chemicals; potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate. When the chemicals were applied to a piece of paper, then, when the algae was placed on the paper and exposed to UV light, the paper would slowly turn blue, leaving the plant matter imprint.


1. Description: Because the plant is semi-translucent, we can see where the light was able to go trough the plant, leaving it a lighter blue, and the dense core blocked the most light. Also, since the chemicals were not commercially applied, you can see where more of the chemical created darker tones in blue. She also wrote the genus and the stage of growth on a piece of glass, and lay it over the print when it was developing.

2. Intention: Since Anna Atkins, the first person to make a compilation book of Cyanotype photographs of plant life, we can only assume that she was using this to document the different types of plants, their  with the addition, this displayed the translucency of the plant matter  in question.

3. Interpretation: I personally love the look of the cyanotype print. I think it gives another dimension to the image, accentuating the shape and opacity of the plant instead of its colour or markings. I also like the way the cyanotype creates it’s own background texture with he way it has been applied to the paper when it was being prepared.

4. Evaluation: I believe this s a great image and is a great physical representation to the process as  a whole. It is a near perfect, with the plant staying in the frame and the colour having been beautifully developed with the probable use of  Peroxide, showing an attention to detail. I also believe the choice of plant was a great choice with many interesting forms, keeping the viewer intrigued.


One Response to “Cyanotype Review – Anna Atkins”

  1. I thought i had posted this on the wrong blog and just shuffled everything around ti find I had it right the first time…

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