Seagull Cyanomation

Cyanotype animation an on going exploration of alt process photography and moving image.


Using the technique shared by Ed Carr of the stainable darkroom and #AnimatedEcologies I created a very short and simple animation. I’ve been exploring the motif of birds for symbols of the self for a number of years. Sometimes funny, and sometimes inanely picturesque or graphic in style.

Cyanotype seagull animation cells

I’ll most likely draw into the cells to evolve the animation. The original film of me as Stephen was filmed after a zoom session using the built-in camera on my computer.

I then chose 5 seconds of footage to split up into stills. I used a free software called Adapter, and it allows me to choose the resultant frame rate. I opted for 12 per second which is nice a juddery. This gives me 60 individual stills.

More Stephen

I drop all 60 images into photoshop, and I used the Actions window to program the following actions so that I can easily apply the same settings to each image.

  • Edit the image to obnoxiously contrasty but not gauche using the curves
  • Invert image
  • Greyscale mode
  • Save and close

Using photoshops automated contact sheet option I add in all the images. Setting the contact sheet to 4 rows and 4 columns. I then printed 3 of the sequenced contact sheets onto acetate.

Bonny gull

I then print the animation cells onto different surfaces using cyanotype. There’s lots of crazy experiments still to come with what I have. It took me 1 day from filming to printmaking to final animation.

I’m just a seagull divvent shoot us!

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