I’m about to begin year two of my photography degree at UCA – I’m so excited and inspired to get going!  Last year was pretty great, though marred a little by admin issues with the uni, but judging by yesterday’s induction session, it sounds like massive changes and improvements have taken place over the summer.

Today is a gloriously sunny day, so I’m going to make the most of it and take some reading out in to the garden.  That probably means my brain will be scrambled by bedtime though, I’m a bit out of practice after the summer break!

We were set a summer project before the hols; ‘The Engaged Citizen’.  After ponding how to interpret the theme, I decided to engage with my immediate surroundings and learn about the wildflowers growing within a mile of home… something many people would walk by and not engage with particularly.

I identified them, learned their names and created images of them.  Inspired by Anna Atkins I decided to create a number of cyanotypes so I could put in to practice some of the techniques I learned in last years’s workshops at uni.  I love the ethereal feel of them, and I think I’m going to print a few up at A3 size for the house.

Here are three of my favourites – Welsh Poppy, Cow Parsley and Hedge Bedstraw.

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I identified them with the help of a fabulous little book – DK’s pocket nature: Wild Flowers, which groups by colour of flower – so much easier than some of the other taxonomies!

If you’re interested in finding out more about cyanotypes, the Silverprint website is full of great information, and they sell all the kit you’ll need (though their paper didn’t work for me, I used some Bockford Hot Press watercolour paper from my local art shop instead) and Lux Darkroom in London run workshops regularly.