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Analog photography

Analog photography

In traditional, analog photography an image can be recorded with or without a camera or a lens. Examples of the ways photographs can be made without a camera are by placing an object or chemicals directly on a photosensitive surface (photogenic drawing, photogram, chemigram). Photographs are taken without a lens when pinhole techniques are used.

A negative is a matrix used to print positive images. The visual content is reversed from left to right, and the light areas of the negative correspond to the dark areas of the subject photographed and vice versa.

Direct positive
A direct positive is an image created directly on the light-sensitive surface without using a negative. Like a negative, in a sense, a direct positive is a unique image, not a multiple. The daguerreotype and the ferrotype are examples of direct positives, but despite a common misconception the ambrotype is not: it is a collodion-on-glass negative that is placed on a black background to invert its values and turn it into a positive image.

Printing-out prints
Printing-out prints are made using a solution of sodium chloride and an excess of silver nitrate. Mostly employed in the nineteenth century, these processes weren’t very sensitive to light and were therefore essentially used for contact printing—thus providing prints that were the same size as the negative. The image had warm tones and a very fine grain. Examples of printing-out processes are salt prints, albumen prints and Aristotypes (using gelatin chloride or collodion chloride).

Developing-out prints
Developing-out processes are more sensitive to light than printing-out processes. They became common starting at the end of the nineteenth century. The latent image produced by exposure to light is made visible in a development bath, then fixed. The prints obtained in this way have neutral black colors that can be influenced by toning. Examples of developing-out processes are Blanquart-Evrard’s silver iodide technique, gelatin silver chloride papers, gelatin silver bromide or chlorobromide papers, dye diffusion instant photography processes like Polaroid, chromogenic prints, dye destruction prints, and dye-transfer prints.

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