Negative prints have the appearance of a film negative and are the reversal of a positive print. Dark subjects render as light; light subjects dark. Well-made negative prints are eye catching and mysterious, since people are more used to seeing things as they are, rather than in reverse. Photographer Man Ray experimented with negative prints in addition to Rayographs and solarization.
Negative prints can be made the same way that contact sheets are made, using and enlarger in the darkroom. Students began with one of their most interesting shots from the “Shape & Pattern” photo shoot. This 5 x 7” print was used as the positive for this lesson. To achieve this effect in the darkroom, the emulsion side of the print is sandwiched with the emulsion side of the photographic paper. More light and time than usual is needed to filter through the paper to create the negative image and developing is normal. Once developed and dried, both prints are mounted side by side to create a symmetrical design.
This was a very fun project to participate in. I believe what I did with this project and these photos, is the best work I have done all year. To get this great photo, I peered up to the sky, through trees and took a photograph of the tree branches and the clouds. When I took this photo, I said to myself, this is the one; the one where I step up from a beginner photographer. As a regular print, this photo looked great, but the negative looked even better. In the negative, the tree branches looked like lightning in a night sky. This was very interesting to me; how simple tree branches can become something totally different. Then to finish the project I though of which way would be the best to mount it and I believe I mounted it just right. It ended up looking sort of like a lighting butterfly. I really liked it and was a fun project.