There is then something of the early underwater photograph about these cyanotypes, whose washing-to-blue plunges the image into the intense depths of colour.
The cyan blue of the cyanotype being Prussian blue at certain times brought it into direct photographic, economic and artistic rivalry with indigo; both became the stuff of colonial photographic practice.
For example, a cyanotype made by botanist Anna Atkins while she was studying flora in Ceylon in 1850 was exhibited next to a salt print of the Arch of Titus made the same year by Giacomo Caneva, while an encased daguerreotype portrait of three men from 1850 by an unknown artist stood near a large-format photogravure of Alfred Stieglitz's The Steerage, taken in 1907 but printed in 1912, and a light drawing made by Barbara Morgan in 1940 hung next to a brightly-colored abstract dye-transfer drawing made by Clarence John Laughlin in 1944.
The third history, "camera-less photographs," began with a cyanotype or blueprint, of the original Isaac Delgado Museum of Art and continued with abstract photodrawings and photograms.
The prints are in a variety of sizes, mostly eight by ten and five by seven, and processes--albumen, silver gelatin, and even a few cyanotypes
John Dugdale's blue cyanotypes
and allegorically posed models seem but a short step from the pre-Raphaelite painter, Julia Margaret Cameron.
Anna Atkins' cyanotypes
get a chapter of their own in Carol Armstrong's recent study, as do Lewis Carroll's photographs of small girls in Carol Mavor's memorable book (neither is mentioned here, but both shed their own distinctive light on these and other photographs treated by Smith).
Printed as blue cyanotypes
and cropped into smaller sections in order to allow the viewer to see each part of the image in greater detail, they suggest yet another mass media source for the modelling of aggressive modes of behaviour.
Dark blue impressions known as blueprints or cyanotypes
, normally associated with architectural design, is one of the most permanent photographic processes known.
A newly discovered album of forty-one cyanotypes
, blue-toned photographs depicting scenes of Ipswich, is a highlight of the exhibition, which also features Dow's paintings and woodcut prints.
With the assistance of family and friends, Dugdale creates cyanotypes
, a photographic process first created in 1842 by Sir John Herschel and used in engineering circles well into the 20th century as a simple way to reproduce their work.
In 1899, Dow made an album of forty-one cyanotypes
, blue-toned photographs depicting scenes of Ipswich for Everett Hubbard.