Solarizing Liquid Light

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Liquid Light is one of the most remarkable inventions in photography. It is a silver-based sensitiser and is a liquid form of the same emulsion found on ordinary photographic paper. (1) Liquid Light allows you to print photographs on a large variety of surfaces, such as wood, metal, glass and even eggs. (2)

In 2007, the largest photograph in the world was created with Liquid Light. It took 6 artists and 400 volunteers 9 months to create the image, named “The Great Picture”. The negative was created in and took up most of an aircraft hangar in California and measures 3,375 square feet. It was created by converting the hangar into a pinhole camera, which was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Camera. A total of 80 quarts of Liquid Lights were used. (2)  One characteristic of Liquid Light is that it develops very quickly.

Solarization is the “complete or partial reversal of tones in an exposed and partially developed photographic print when given a uniform second exposure before being fixed and further developed to completion”. (3)

Recently, I experimented with Liquid Light on watercolour paper and got the (brilliant?) idea to attempt solarizing an image printed with the emulsion. This turned out to be a difficult endeavour as Liquid Light develops much faster than photographic paper. After a few totally black prints, a few tones began to emerge after shortening the already short time of the second exposure. And finally, success! Take a look at the original digital photo, the print using Liquid Light and the Solarized Liquid Light print.

(1) http://www.alternativephotography.com

(2) http://www.instructables.com

(3) An Introduction to Some Experimental Techniques, Elspeth Ross, 2012