This is an out-take from the marathon of a day I got to spend in the darkroom making something tangible of black and white negatives from my roadtrip. It’s easy to lose focus in the darkroom, and sometimes ‘bad’ things happen – like you drop something under the sink while you’re developing a print, and due to exhaustion, you reach over and flip on the lights real quick to find it. I realized my mistake immediately, but I ran the print through the developing process anyways. It almost has a nice quality to it. This effect, when done intentionally, yields much more dramatic results (sometimes what almost appears to be a positive/negative reversal), and is actually a very old photographic technique known as solarization.
Photographer Man Ray is one of the more well-known photographer who implemented the use of solarization in his silver prints, or at least he’s the first one that pops into my mind. His portrait of artist Marcel Duchamp (below) has a similar tonal quality to the one I got… sort of.. not really. Either way, if I find steady darkroom access again in the future, I may try my hand at an intentional use of solarization.
If you’re curious, you can find some of the more extreme examples of what solarization can do by looking it up on a search engine.