Cyanotypes

Continuing to explore early imaging processes, the photographic response of iron salts are my favorite. Of these, the cyanotype is the most uncomplicated yet is decidedly sophisticated. In addition to an exceptionally beautiful blue color, the process performed with awareness is also capable of a long and rich tonal scale. Such attributes produce images that surpass appearance expectations.

Matching process to subject matter, certain landscapes translate well in blue. Out in the middle of Kansas, small areas of exposed rock concretions formed during the Cretaceous geological epoch provide a glimpse into the past. A global warming period occurring 145 million years ago, the Cretaceous was an era with a relatively warm climate and high eustatic sea level. Concretions form when a dissolved mineral in ground water crystallizes about a nucleus creating a hardened composite mass. Over time, these hardened structures resist erosion more than the surrounding material.

Several of the sandstone concretions are near perfect spheres, offering physical manifestations for contemplation. An ancient and universal symbol, the sphere shape represents unity, completeness, infinity - the whole universe. In several other iterations, these unique sandstone formations feature hard rock perched atop softer rock. Over time, the softer rock underneath eroded away leaving a "mushroom" cap balanced on a stalk. These extraordinary structures seem to confront logic and resemble giant petrified mushrooms. Covering the stems are names, numbers and inscriptions dating back to the eighteenth century. Carved into hard rock, random graffiti ideogram messages communicate forward in time.