In photographic terms Solarization is the process by which a photo is manipulated in the dark room creating a reversal of colors. Normally done in black and white photography to take advantage of the silver content of B&W photographic paper. This is done as follows: slightly under expose the paper with the negative in the holder, develop the paper but do not put it into the stop bath, squeege the paper off and place it back under the enlarger. Remove the negative. Stop down all the way (f22) to the smallest opening in the enlarger's lense and re-expose the paper. Develop as normal from then on. This process will cause white lines to be black and black lines to be white. The process works best with VERY contrasty negatives. It is possible to solarize color paper despite the lack of silver. Results very and it is once again best to have a very contrasty negative to work with.

You can also do a really cool and much less controlled solariztion using a lighter and a cardboard sheet.

Just hold the sheet vertically on one side of your horizontal print after it has been exposed to the image. Light the lighter on the near side of the sheet and pass it over the print, allowing the light acces to the work of-art-to-be. Do this for a very short time! Develop the print normally.

This creates a cool image, though it takes a few trys to find the right pattern, and it doesn't require any special fancy equipment.

Also try solarizing prints made from slides, this will reverse the originally reversed tones created by making a negtive print. It'll make the print positive like the slide was originally, but with the added burn and silver depth of a solarized treatment.

So`lar*i*za"tion (?), n. Photog.

Injury of a photographic picture caused by exposing it for too long a time to the sun's light in the camera; burning; excessive insolation.


© Webster 1913.

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