Some photographic “alternative processes,” as they’re called, include options like cyanotype – where images are rendered in a brilliant and beautiful Prussian blue tone, instead of the more traditional silver black and white.
Many of these alternative processes are older than silver printing, invented first before the more reproducible and controllable silver black and white processes were developed. They often require UV exposure instead of silver’s regular light exposure, which requires a different kind of darkroom or printing set up, and different processing procedures.
The sense of experimentation, however, that comes along with alternative photographic processes, is something that’s tremendously exciting.
Additionally, when you print images with alternative processes, you end up with images that will never be 100% alike – each and every image is unique in some way. In the image “That Look“, above, you’ll note that the darker blue edges of the photo are where I painted on the UV-sensitive cyanotype formula onto watercolour paper. Those edges will be different on each image I print.
And it’s not only those edges that will be different on each image printed. Each image itself will be subtly different, creating something unique and special each time. Alternative process prints are truly unique pieces and unique images with no two the same.
Alternative process printing is a way to add something special to your portraits or fine art photos. If you want an image that can never be reproduced and will always be unique, then alternative process is an excellent option.