Step into the Blue

Cyanotype is a 19th Century photographic process originally used by Victorian botanists and scientists. These beautiful handmade prints were created by painting a light sensitive chemical emulsion onto paper and placing a plant specimen in contact with the surface, then exposing it to daylight.

The process was developed by astronomer Sir John Herschel in 1842 and quickly adopted by botanist Anna Atkins who produced the world’s first book illustrated with photographs, British Algae - Cyanotype Impressions, in 1843. Scientists embraced the cyanotypes method to make accurate copies of specimens, notes and diagrams and it is the origin of the term ‘blueprint.’


At Step into the Blue we use a range of native Lincolnshire species to produce cards and prints and also hold workshops for schools, groups and organisations (see below).

A developing cyanotype print of Dryopteris Felix-mas, the male fern, from the specimen below.
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A university tutor and scientist with a background in Biological Imaging, Charles Simpson is a specialist in botanical detective work and an experienced workshop leader with a passion for plants, wildlife and the environment.



Inspired by Victorian pioneer botanists and photographers, we run fun and informative workshops that combine the cyanotype photographic process with an exploration of the natural world.

Suited to all ages and abilities, you will experience your local environment in a new way and make your own cyanotypes to keep. We also have a tailored program for primary schools, Year 3-6, which links into the National Curriculum and provides an enriching, enjoyable activity for all. For more info and to book  -                      

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A graduate of Glasgow School of Printing, Lynne McEwan is an award- winning photographer with 35 years experience and a life-long interest in early process techniques.