Retrophotography – the iron techniques (cyanotype and Vandyke brownprint)

Retro photography – the iron techniques is a workshop allowing participants to learn two of the most popular historical processes; cyanotype and Vandyke brownprint.

Originally cyanotype was first of all a process used for copying, as a form of photocopier as well as for luxography. This was the technique used for the first albums of plants and flowers which were contact printed. Today things are different and thousand of people all over the world are discovering the beauty of this 19th century technique.

Retro photography - iron techniques

Vandyke brownprint © Radosław Brzozowski

Cyanotype is most commonly associated with the blue colour; not entirely rightly so; after all there are plenty of methods to change it, some of which we will learn during the workshop.

Vandyke brownprint is, in its turn, a technique that never made a big career in the 19th century; chiefly because it was considered to lack permanence (at least by the standard of the day). Things look different in the 21st century; errors leading to lack of permanence have been eliminated and the technique itself enables the photographer to achieve outstanding results, not inferior to other techniques which were once more popular.

Retro photography - iron techniques

Toned cyanotype. © Radosław Brzozowski

The participants will learn :

  • to make cyanotype prints,
  • to make Vandyke brownprints,
  • to make recipies for both processes,
  • which papers are recommended for both processes,
  • to sensitize papers for both techniques,
  • to prepare large format negatives for both techniques,
  • to prepare digital negatives for both processes,
  • to process pictures in both processes,
  • to tone cyanotype prints.
Retro photography - iron techniques

Vandyke brownprint. © Radosław Brzozowski

The fee includes:

  • watercolour paper appropriate for both Vandyke brownprint and cyanotype,
  • ready made recipies for both processes,
  • chemicals necessary to prepare both recipies
  • practice negatives,
  • facilities and materials to print digital negatives from own pictures (5pcs) as well as access to the school studio for preparing participants’ own pictures,
  • aubergine-black toner for cyanotypes,


Tutor: Radosław Brzozowski, the author of the first Polish textbook on cyanotype printing

Location: Tricity School of Photography, 34 Wierzbowa St. Gdynia, Poland

Date: March 3-4, 2018

Price: 180 eu. For participants booking a workshop before February 1st 2017 we offer a reduced price of 165 eu.

Retro photography - iron techniques

Cyanotype. © Radosław Brzozowski




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