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Solar Printed Portraits

   These PORTRAITS D'ESPIRITS are created using a nearly two-century old photographic printing process where the sun (or an ultra-violent light source) creates an image on a surface coated with an iron-salt emulsion.

   The result is a print called a cyanotype. In Greek, cyan means “dark blue substance.” Although the process was invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, a remarkable astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus, it was first used to make solar prints of botanicals by his botanist friend, Anna Atkins in 1843. She's considered the first female photographer.

   Cyanotypes are initially shades of dark blue but can be toned using a variety of natural, non-toxic substances.

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