This series blends old and new technologies by using a 170 year old technique to print digitally captured images. 

The body of work deals with urban decay and the elevation of the banal.  A neon sign, a factory with broken out windows, a church steeple in a stormy sky, or an abandoned toy on a rusty bulkhead. This ordinary decay is beautiful to me, as it readies the world for renewal.

The process of making cyanotypes was discovered 1842, though mainly as a means of reproducing notes and diagrams, like blueprints. It was Anna Atkins who brought this technique to photography. She created a limited series of cyanotype books that documented ferns and other plant life from her extensive seaweed collection. Atkins placed specimens directly onto coated paper, allowing the action of light to create a silhouette effect. By using this photogram process, Anna Atkins is regarded as the first female photographer.

The process of making cyanotypes was discovered 1842, though mainly as a means of reproducing notes and diagrams, like blueprints. It was Anna Atkins who brought this technique to photography. She created a limited series of cyanotype books that documented ferns and other plant life from her extensive seaweed collection. Atkins placed specimens directly onto coated paper, allowing the action of light to create a silhouette effect. By using this photogram process, Anna Atkins is regarded as the first female photographer.

Process

Cyanotypes can be printed on any surface capable of soaking up the special iron-based photosensitive solution. An image is produced by exposing this solution to a source of ultraviolet light (such as sunlight) with a negative. The UV light reduces the iron(III) to iron(II). This is followed by a complex reaction of the iron(II) complex with ferricyanide. The result is an insoluble, blue dye (ferric ferrocyanide) known as Prussian blue, or cyan. The extent of color change is dependent on the amount of UV light. I have set up a UV light cabinet in my home, so I am able to reproduce the sun’s effects even during winter in New England. In contrast to most processes, cyanotype prints do not react well to basic environments. As a result it is not advised to put the print in chemically buffered museum board, as this will cause the image to fade. Another unusual characteristic of the cyanotype is its regenerative behavior: prints that have faded due to prolonged exposure to light can often be significantly restored to their original tone by simply temporarily storing them in a dark environment.