Vietnam in Cyanotype
This is a selection of some of my favourite photos of Vietnam and its people. They come from more than a half-decade exploring Vietnam on assignment, as a traveller and as a resident of this beautiful country.
I chose to use a 19th century cyanotype printing technique. These photos, in their monochrome format are, in a way, blueprints of Vietnam and its people; their simplicity and yet depth give a dreamy aspect to the prints. They add a layer of poetry, one that extends beyond simply the content within the frame.
Each print is unique and carefully handcrafted.
The cyanotype process was one of the first non-silver technologies used to create photographic images. Originated in 1842, by Sir John Herschel. He did not intend to use cyanotype for photography, but as a copying technique.
The botanist Anna Atkins used the cyanotype printing process in 1843 to create an album of algae specimens. She is regarded as the first female photographer.
The cyanotype processes was widely used to create copies of technical and architectural plans, and were called blueprints.
Cyanotype uses the power of the sun and iron salt solutions rather than the silver salt solution of black and white photography.