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

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.

Polaroid Sun 660

I’m a sucker when it comes to picking up old camera gear, when this Sun 660 turned up I just couldn’t refuse especially as it only set me back £4, the film however comes in at a whopping £17 for 8 shots!  Not a camera that I’m going to use every day but there is something magical about them, something that should be on every photographers bucket list.


Long Exposure Testing

Back to Long Exposure testing with my trusty Gnome Pixie Box camera.
Used a lighter grade welding glass this time (grade 3) as the exposures before were way too long, 30 mins in bright summer sun! With the G3 Glass and using Fomapan 100 film the shot was taken with around 15 mins of exposure and it was a gloomy day in the woods. The negative came out really light so it could have done with another 5-10 minutes really but nonetheless with a bit of Post Production the image popped right out. We are getting somewhere now, with a nice bright day I could probably get this down to 5 minutes or so.


The Camera


The Location


Through the View finder


The Finished Shot


A lot of faffing around but hopefully you’ll agree that it was worth it!

Camera: Gnome Pixie
Film: Fomapan 100 120
Development: Tetenal Paranol S



Camera: Olympus Trip 35

Film: Agfa Vista Colour Film

Development: Cross Processed in Paranol S Black and White Chemicals

Holman was a blacksmith who worked closely with Richard Trevithick and others to produce steam engines. After establishing Holman Brothers, the company branched out into all forms of mining machinery and quickly became a leading international manufacturer of drills and tools.

At its height Holmans was spread over three sites within Camborne, employing some three and half thousand people.

Cornish mining is renowned worldwide. Alongside the mining industry there evolved an industry manufacturing specialised mining equipment. Holman’s founder, Nicholas Holman started a boiler works in 1801.

At its height Holmans was spread over three sites within Camborne, employing some three and half thousand people.