Cyanotypes in the winter

Seeing that the UV light given off by the sun is a fundamental ingredient to making a cyanotype, making them in the winter months can be difficult, but not impossible.

I’ve read up a lot about using artificial UV light to create them but the lamps powerful enough are expensive, ebay (as always!) seem to be a good source of face tanning lamps which can be used for creating cyanotypes but these can be anywhere from £40 up, I wanted a cheaper option so I looked down the Energy Saving UV fluorescent route.

Energy Saving UV fluorescent lamps cost about a fiver but being such a low wattage means that the don’t give off a huge amount of UV light so I thought I’d start small any try contact printing a few 120 negatives.

Here’s my test rig:


Using a 15w lamp and an old fizzy pop bottle covered in foil as a reflector to direct as much precious UV light onto my print as possible.

Here we have it fired up:


15 Minutes of exposure later and we have a (sort of) presentable print:


By no means are you going to produce spectacular results, given the nature of cyanotype they aren’t that detailed so contact printing isn’t going to yield brilliant results but it is definitely worth a try.  So if you fancy some winter cyanotype action and have given up due to the cost, it can be done, so long as you stay small 🙂



Boats, Boats and more Boats

Just finished off my second roll of Kodak  Tri-X, not impressed with my first I decided to try a different developer.  Using Tetenals Paranol S with the fist roll resulted in very grainy images so I decided upon Kodaks HC-110, staying clear of their D96 powdered developer as I didn’t want the faff of mixing and storing it.  HC-110 is easy to use and lasts for ages, just decant a small amount of the syrup into an old 35mm film canister and store away the rest to use at a later date.

It’s a great bulletproof film that every film photographer has to try, nice grain and can be pushed (as I’m lead to believe) to produce really contrasty images.

Anyway, enough ramblings, here are some photos of some boats.








All Taken With an Olympus OM10 using Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm film and Kodak HC-110 mixed from stock 9ml-291ml for 3.45mins

Shaldon Lighthouse


Walking along Shaldon seafront I noticed this chap with his patient girlfriend setting up his Tripod, pulling out his gurt big camera from his oversized rucksack, he set the camera on the tripod. Out came the filters, then the light meter. 10 minutes later he was still there and finally set to take the shot. “Morning,” I said as I pulled out the ol’ Trip. A quick click later and I was on my way to the cafe with my wife to enjoy a nice hot cuppa…… And the chap? I believe he is still there 🙂

Film: Fomapan 400
Development: Paranol S 1:20 7mins


Now, before you read this little piece I’d like to make it clear that I’m no expert but I currently have my head buried in a fantastic book on composition that has made me look just that little bit more closely when peering through the viewfinder.

Below is a quick snapshot I took whilst travelling across Dartmoor.  We stopped off for a quick cuppa in the camper and I spotted this stunning mountain just begging to be captured.col259

A nice scene I thought, but surely it could be made just that little bit better.  A quick ramble around and things got a bit more interesting.

col258.jpgSame mountain but now we have some added foreground interest , tucked in just to the left and obeying the “Rule of Thirds”.  The tree also gives the scene a sense of scale, something to gauge the size of the mountain.  Anyway, the point is when you see a scene that draws your attention you’ve sometimes got to take your time and  look around a bit.

The book is called “The Photographer Eye” and it by Michael Freeman.

Polaroid Lesson No.2

Lesson No.1 for me was to give the old Polaroid enough light to expose the image or you won’t get much of one, now moving on to lesson No.2 I have found that even though they call it a Polaroid ‘Sun’ camera don’t point it at the sun and expect it to expose your image properly, the dynamic range isn’t that great…



I scanned this little chap using the new Google Photo Scanning app which was released yesterday, and I must say even though this looks like an epic fail it is actually a great representation of the original image.

Time will tell if it gains any traction or if google decide to bin it.

The shooter

A candid shot of a good old friend of mine. I enjoy taking photos of people, people rather than persons.  To have them in the shot but not to know who they are, more like objects.  Try and tag this Facebook!


Camera:  Olympus Pen EE

Film:  Agfa Vista 400

Development: Cross-processed in Paranol S 1:20 7mins