Cyanotype of Lastrea dilatata, 1853

Made:
1853 in United Kingdom
photographer:
Anna Atkins

A cyanotype of the fern Lastrea dilatata, from the album 'Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Ferns', made by Anna Atkins in 1853.

Atkins was a pioneering figure in photographic history, having produced the first book to use photographic illustrations - 'British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions' - in 1843.

This image was made by placing the plant specimen on top of light-sensitised paper and then exposing it to sunlight.

The cyanotype process was invented by Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) in 1842 and derived from his observations on the light sensitivity of iron salts. The brilliant blue colour of the resulting prints gives the process its more common name - the blueprint. The process was used for many years to duplicate engineers' drawings.

Details

Category:
Photographs
Object Number:
1995-5024/23
type:
photograph
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • processes and techniques
  • image making processes and techniques
  • photographic process
credit:
National Media Museum, Bradford