A View In Blue: Cyanotypes in the Garden

A View in Blue: Cyanotypes in the Garden by Kassandra O'Shea

This book was created as part of an exploration of photographic processes that influence and invigorate visual narratives. The creation of the cyanotypes is inspired by the amazing work of botanist and photographer Anna Atkins. 

I have drawn on the early influence of photography to document the real, specifically in the scientific setting, by examining the plants (and objects) within my garden. I have carefully considered the composition and framing of each object and the process of exposure to the sun. 

The cyanotypes were created with a Sunprint Kit. Objects were placed on the sensitised paper and left to expose in the sun for 2-4 minutes depending on the UV intensity. The paper was then washed in water to remove the excess chemicals and left flat to dry. After one day of drying, the paper had changed to a rich blue.

Creating the cyanotypes has allowed me to develop a stronger relationship with the medium of photography. By examining early processes, I am confronted with an apparent reality of optical recording and how this has shaped both the technological and sociological impact of the image. 

Improvements could be made to the paper and chemical process of creating the cyanotypes. Ideally, a chemical kit would provide a better result. 

Thank You

Thank you to Sandra Thompson and Claire Bailey for assistance with identifying the various species of plants in the garden. 


  • Sunprint Kit by Laurence Hall of Science 
  • Drawing Creation Kit (Photoshop Action) by sevenstyles 
  • Cyanotype font by maghrib 
  • Mrs Eaves font by Zuzana Licko & John Baskerville