Technologist Mike McLean and Cyanotype Research

Photo 2014-07-03, 11 52 58 AM (1)1842. A printing process called Cyanotype was discovered by John Herschel and developed for photography by Anna Atkins.

Technologist Mike McLean has a love affair with photography and historical processes.

In the photography darkroom Mike mixes equal volumes of potassium ferricyanide with a ferric ammonium citrate

          2014_0703AB 2014_0703AI

…and coats the solution onto arches aquarelle watercolor paper with dipping or rolling

2014_0703AS2014_0703AU 2014_0703BJ


Mike’s digital positive on clear film of “all the visible stars in the night sky” is placed and secured on top of the coated paper with a sheet of glass and clips for its trip outside to be exposed with sunlight




“Time and Light and the balance between the two” ~ Mike

2014_0703CH 2014_0703CN…the exposed print is developed with water2014_0703DA

…this combo of time and light creates complex reaction of the iron and ferricyanide, the result is an insoluble, blue dye (ferric ferrocyanide), the visible prussian blue of the Cyantoype

Mike McLean photograpaher

Thanks to Mikhail Yerkovich, Visual Arts alumni, for assistance


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