Cyanotypes are photos taken without a camera.
They are also called sunprints because sunlight is used for exposure. The first cyanotypes have been created by the biologist Anna Atkins. Her book British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843) is a milestone in the history of photography.
I place the dried poppies on paper which is covered with a UV-sensitive emulsion consisting of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate.
The exposure takes about 10 minutes.
The colour of the emulsion is changing to a greyish tone.
Towards the end of the exposure, the paper becomes brown or grey. It stays white where it has been covered.
The magic moment occurs. A fantastic blue
emerges when the print is rinsed in water.
The water stops the exposure.
It takes 24 hours for the blue to develop its final tone, the Prussian blue. The UV-intensity, the paper and the exact recipe for the solution determine the outcome. Every process is unique and cannot be repeated. I love it.