Zeva Oelbaum's cyanotype botanicals (blue photographic prints) create an unexpected, otherworldly effect. Zeva's own words (further below, from the introduction), capture the scientific, photographic properties of cyanotype, but there is a romantic mood created by the simplicity of color and shape of these contemporary images from an antique and nearly-forgotten 19th-century process.
About her own work with blue print photography, Oelbaum writes:
"I became fascinated by the cyanotype process when I learned that it holds an important, if unrecognized, place in the history of photography. In 1843, British botanist Anna Atkins (1799-1871) published a landmark volume of over four hundred cyanotypes entitled British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. This book was the first to be illustrated entirely with photographs. To make the prints, Atkins placed the algae specimens on paper coated with iron salts, then exposed it to sunlight. When she washed the print in water, the outcome was a white specimen outlined on a prussian blue background. Images created in this manner came to be known as blue prints. In this way she created photograms, or 'shadowgraphs' as she called them, of each original plant."
The book is a striking example of the multitude of shapes and forms that nature provides, if we only know how to look. For more information on "Blue Prints," visit BellemeadeBooks(dot)blogspot(dot)com and search for "cyanotype."