Rex Process PDFs
Cyanotype Rex (Blue Prints)
Chrysotype Rex (Gold Prints)
Manuals, in PDF format are now available for both the cyanotype rex and the chrysotype rex processes at cost of 16.00 GBP each.
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My general approach to alternative photography is to keep it simple and to avoid unnecessary complications. I tend to be suspicious of newly invented old processes. As Captain Abney said in 1900 ‘ ...the only advantage of such extra ingredients is that they are often more expensive’.
Simplification can, though, lead to elegant and simple ways of doing things that are more efficient, more beautiful and sometimes even cheaper than approaches that have been with us for well over 150 years. This is certainly true of the two ‘new’ processes here.
But given my attitude to new ‘old processes’, the names of both ‘new’ processes are intended as a reference to things much older still.
Chrysotype Rex stemmed from some experiments during a ‘Wedgwood to Bromoil’ workshop at the end of the 1980s. We knew that Herschel had said that he had made gold prints but that he was not satisfied with the results. We got an encouraging result but have not pursued the matter until recently.
The process is simple to use. The cost, given that we are working with gold, is low, but what is perhaps the most exciting, is that the results are beautiful with colours varying from delicate greys or mauves through to strong browns and blacks and even metallic gold.
Here are a couple of results:
Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds
Cyanotype Rex was a technological fallout from the gold experiments. As can be seen from the cyanotype page of this site, good conventional cyanotypes need a negative of a relatively limited density range and very long exposures. Exposures for Cyanotype Rex prints were as short as 45 seconds while densities could vary from the minimal to the very dense, (the density does not need to be absolute). The examples demonstrate how the toning of cyanotypes made according to the ‘rex’ method, tone so beautifully and so easily that they belie the comment I made many years ago, that the trouble with cyanotypes is that however beautiful they are in terms of tone and gradation, they are blue.
Southwold Harbour, Suffolk
Crossing, Wells Cathedral, Somerset
Southwold Harbour, Suffolk