Cyanotype Impressions 3: Ocean Beach, San Francisco. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy)


Good Evening:

Do oceans dream, and if they do, of what?

The weekend of “dreamy” cyanotype and aperture experiments ended at sunrise on Monday at Ocean Beach near the intersection of Great Highway and Ortega. The first three photographs come in chronological order: just before sunrise; just at sunrise; and sun fully above the horizon.

WordPress 101514 CSC_0092 WordPress 101514 CSC_0112 WordPress 101514 CSC_0131A picture looking north from Ocean Beach of the Marin Headlands.

WordPress 101514 CSC_0115It took awhile, in fact three days, but I finally took a photograph that I really, really like (in other words, 2 stars out of 5 in iPhoto, not 1). Most people don’t photograph the view looking south from Ocean Beach, but your faithful photographer got very, very luck with this shot.

WordPress 101514 CSC_0141_2Thus ends my set of experiments with cyanotypes in response to this week’s Challenge. Based upon the results, my *very* preliminary conclusions consist of these. One, you need bright natural light for the details to come out. Two, overall, plants seem the best subject of cyanotype photography–as Anne Atkins discovered back in the 1840s! Three, the results have a very peaceful feel; cyanotypes might serve as an ideal medium for capturing that specific mood. Definitely recommend that photographers take another look at this 19th Century technique, especially since digital filters in both cameras and software make this so easy.

Vonn Scott Bair


2 responses »

    • prior: Thanks. I’ve made a few new discoveries about the use of cyanotype. Nature scenes seem to work better than city scapes, and people photograph best in a natural setting. Still having fun. Vonn Scott Bair

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