STROUD photographer Simon Pizzey has been using the lockdown as a time to tap into his creativity.

Like millions of workers worldwide, Simon, a professional freelance photographer, saw his work dry up as the outbreak spread.

But he said it has given him an opportunity to try something different.

Instead of heading out with his camera, he has been creating cyanotypes, inspired by the sunny weather.

A Victorian camera-less technique, the cyanotype was invented by astronomer John Herschel in 1841.

A mixture of two chemicals is painted onto paper or textiles in the dark and then exposed to sunlight, with objects or plants placed on top. Infusions of tea can be used to change finished images to warmer colours.

Known as blue prints, artists and architects used a modified technique to copy documents and drawings.

Simon said: "My normal work being mostly on hold during lockdown I decided to try out a process I haven’t used before.

"I’m a huge fan of old photographic methods - I have made photograms with standard photographic paper, experimented extensively with pinhole cameras and tried wet plate photography.

"There is a lot of leeway, serendipity and possibility in cyanotypes and you nearly always get an arty result of interest.

"It’s a simple process and you are in the sunshine, and it’s a chance document the beautiful plants from my garden and to see them in a different light.

"It has been such an exceptional spring and start to summer. For everyone the coronavirus situation has been a bit weird and unsettling, but being creative has helped keep me focused on the positives.’

If you have been creating interesting art work and photographs in lockdown and want to share them please send jpeg images to:

Cynotypes by Simon Pizzey