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Solarisation

Solarisation is a phenomenon in photography in which an image captured on a photographic print is completely or partially reversed in tone. As a result a positive print looks somewhat like a negative. This happens when the photographic paper is re-exposed to white light during the development process. The areas that are already developed will remain unaltered, but the areas still developing will undergo a tone reversal, because these areas still have a lot of unexposed silver available for re-exposure. A successfully solarised print has an eerie silver finish because it contains distinct white or light lines between the shadows and the highlighted areas. Desired results are very difficult to manage by this process.


Catherine Yass, Corridors, 1994