Pet Portrait on Large Format Film to Cyanotype

This isn’t your mother’s pet portrait print method.

It’s not mine either, but it is her dog. Meet Moxi.

The first weekend of Spring arrived with invitations outside the kitchen window to go enjoy the morning air. I set up a borrowed 4×5 film camera for a photo of an oak leaf in the last lingering layer of ice on the pond I hope to see this month. Half in the frozen water, half reaching into the morning sun; it was an emblem of spring we could all relate to this sunny but still chilly Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Moxi ran around nearby. She sat still long enough for me to setup, frame and focus the Crown Graphic 4×5 camera. Once I got a film holder out, she was no longer interested in her favorite spot on the deck. It took my animal whisperer daughter Maddie to get Moxi ready (bribe with treats) for her shoot.

After developing the film I used another sunny day that following week to contact print the negative into a cyanotype. Many first attempts combined in the making.

What new idea will you try out today? -eB

Behind the scenes featuring animal handler and loudest dog whisperer Maddie
Reversed negative to approximate what a black and white print would look like

Tech specs

  • Camera: Crown Graphic 4×5
  • Film: Kodak Tmax 400 4×5 film
  • Development: Kodak HC-110 dilution B 1:31 standard time
  • Mod54 holder in Paterson tank. Easy stuff.
  • Cyanotype chemistry on watercolor paper

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