Sun Prints

Botanist Anna Atkins produced the first photographic book in 1843 using the Cyanotype process. It was called Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. 

 The process, using a compound of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate, darkens the iron  within it when exposed to sunlight. The result is a brilliant Prussian blue, and the contact print elicits a crisp and detailed silhouette.

The Van Dyke process is similar to the Cyanotype except that silver nitrate is added to the compound, resulting in a deep sepia brown, with silvery deposits that float on saturated paper. 

The resulting images straddle the interstice between scientific study, aesthetic arrangement, and Gestalt principles of visual perception.

Sun Prints by Ronit Novak

Using Format