Exposing cyanotype with vinegar

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by marthaeagray, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. marthaeagray

    marthaeagray TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    looking for some answers to how much undiluted vinegar can be mixed with the cyanotype before it becomes potentially dangerous? Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.


     
  2. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I haven't heard of this, but I've just done some with precoated paper. Are you talking about mixing the chemistry with vinegar or using the vinegar on paper when still wet? I'm just curious and interested to see if anyone knows.
     
  3. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Now that I think of it, I have a book on anthotypes, and supposedly using dissolved Easter egg dye to coat the paper can expose to light. I had no luck with it working at all.

    But at least as far as using vinegar, using egg dye dissolved in vinegar and coating paper with that didn't exactly do anything toxic or unsafe, it just sat there and did nothing. Same thing it does with eggs, just dyes the surface. And maybe some of the egg.
     
  4. marthaeagray

    marthaeagray TPF Noob!

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    Hey, the acid in the vinegar mixed with the potassium ferricyanide has the potential to make cyanide gas. You would need to be using a strong acid and a higher undiluted quantity of potassium ferricyanide to make that though so toning cyanotypes with vinegar is safe I believe. Its just that I need to fill out health and safety forms for the uni that Im at to continue using these chemicals together, but I am finding it hard to find quotable evidence that its safe (even though it is).
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi, and welcome to TPF!

    I've not heard of using vinegar to tone cyanotypes, if that's what I'm reading you asking about up there. I've read that using hydrogen peroxide as a toner will freshen up a faded cyanotype print, or used on a freshly washed one can turn it a much deeper blue. I've also heard of using plain sodium carbonate, diluted in a tray, can cause a color shift in cyanotypes, but I don't know ratios or any other compound that might be needed to make that work.

    Regardless, I'm thinking hard over the uses of more household, every day things that can be used to tone or dye, but never recall hearing vinegar as one of them.

    You could contact the good folks at Photographer's Formulary, in Montana, and run this by them. They might be able to help you with wording on why/how this is can be safely used.
     
  6. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My first three contact prints, circa 1973, two cyanotype and one with regular printing paper. Our instructor had prepared the paper for the cyanotype prints ahead of time and I don't remember what the process was.

    These prints were washed in water, but you could wash in vinegar (5% acetic acid) or a mix. As long as you are using Potassium Ferricyanide and not Potassium Ferrocyanide you should be just fine. Anyway, I am still here so it must be safe.

    DRB_1973_cyanotype_x800.jpg
     
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