About Us
Our Team
Our Impact
Contact Us
Corporate Programs

Let the Sun Shine-Development of the Digital Negative/Cyanotype Printing

Page Views: 5406

Email This Lesson Plan to Me
Email Address:
Subscribe to Newsletter?
Log in to rate this plan!
Overall Rating:
(4.5 stars, 2 ratings)

Keywords: cyanotype, photography, sun print, photoshop
Subject(s): Art, Technology, Photography
Grades 9 through 12
School: Pewaukee High School, Pewaukee, WI
Planned By: Jeanne Bjork
Original Author: Jeanne Bjork, Pewaukee
UNIT: Let the Sun Shine-Development of the Digital Negative/Cyanotype Printing
STANDARDS: A12.1, A12.2, A12.3, A12.4, B12.4, C12.1, C12.2, C12.4, C12.7

This lesson involves students learning the old process of cyanotype printing. This is sometimes called sun printing. Traditional cyanotype prints use chemicals that are painted onto paper in a light sensitive room. These are then exposed to the sun and rinsed with water to reveal the print. There are two ways to do a cyanotype print. The first is to place actual objects such as plants, lace and other textured materials onto the prepared paper and then sandwich them contact print style with a piece of glass and expose. The second technique is to create a negative that is sandwiched in the glass and exposed. The process reverses this image producing a print in the sun. This lesson will have students produce both a traditional cyanotype, a digitally printed negative that uses Adobe Photoshop to create the negative (this will be large 8 x 10 inches and printed onto transparency film) and then lastly students will learn how to actually do a simulated cyanotype print by utilizing the Hue and Saturation menu in Photoshop.

The student will understand that:
• A quality work of art starts with the interpretation of the 3 Cs: composition, concept and craftsmanship.
• Developing an awareness of the elements and principles of art can greatly improve and affect their work.
• There is a long and rich history of photographic media.
• The photographic process relies on the manipulation of light to create an image whether utilizing traditional techniques or modern digital techniques.
• Most traditional darkroom photographic techniques can be replicated through the use of Adobe Photoshop software.

• Written: Self-reflective written artist statement about the process of creating a cyanotype print.
• Authentic Assessment: Presentation and discussion of individual finished cyanotype prints.

The student will learn to:
• Research the history of the cyanotype print.
• Utilize knowledge of the technical aspects of digital cameras, inkjet printers and Adobe Photoshop software.
• Create a digital negative image to use as the basis for a cyanotype print.
• Critique their own and their classmates’ digital prints.

• Use of a digital camera and Adobe Photoshop software
• Use inkjet printer

List connection/support of other subject areas. Example:
• Math: calculation of exposure times for cyanotype printing process
• English: Written analysis of photographic works.
• Technology: Use of digital camera, Adobe Photoshop software and inkjet printer

Materials: Digital SLR, Wacom Tablets, CDs and DVDs, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards