Blue is the new black

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“Rescue” – Cyanotype 30 x 40 cm  © Jarmo Pikkujämsä

I started my cyanotype series a week ago and the results are very promising. I knew that I would enjoy this process, its simplicity and the beauty of the hues of blue, but I didn’t know I would love it so much! I could now spend hours and days just developing more and more photographs!

There are people who think of weekdays as colours. I have always filled much longer, rather undefined, periods with one or a couple of colours in my life and right now it’s blue and purple, very dark purple. I feel that I need those colours, I want to see them around me. So what’s better than developing photos in cyanotype! This falls rather neatly into my preparing of a story book on water and underwater elements.

As for purple, I had a fabric dyed in deep purple by a friend and I hang it up on the wall of my photo studio. I have already used it in a couple of shoots and when not shooting, even staring at it across my desk is very soothing. I read somewhere that it is possible to get shades of purple even in cyanotype, I wonder how. I have not yet figured out all the variables that can affect the result in cyanotype and I have so far developed on paper with one layer of coating only, but in some of my photos there actually are very dark blues getting rather close to purple!

I have a funny feeling that I will be glued to this technique for a long time, perhaps a lifetime! Never mind the small constraints such as birds shitting on my contact glass, or geckos’ poop on my prints when I’ve left them to dry. As it happens, a very big gecko has moved into my dark room and I need some long term solutions if we are to share this space…

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