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Popular Photographic Print Processes: Cyanotypes


Cyanotype photograph showing Frances Benjamin Johnston seated at a desk in her studio/office
Frances Benjamin Johnston seated at a desk in her studio/office. Cyanotype. Between 1890 and 1900.
LC-DIG-ppmsc-04834
Dates in general use: after 1880-1910s

timeline 1880-1910s

Description: The cyanotype process uses light sensitive iron salts instead of silver on paper.  The prints are characterized by their blue color, and are sometimes called blueprints. In photography, this low-cost, simple process was often used for making proofs instead of finished prints.  The color can be chemically altered, but this is relatively rare.  The images may fade when exposed to light, but some damage may be reversed by storing the image in the dark.

Further information and examples


View Photographic Print Processes Introduction and Table of Contents

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  September 11, 2017
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