Making visible

Simon Gregory

These were failed attempts to create an orthochromatic, monochrome film emulsion for use on another project. One of the influences of the project was exploring the believability and fallibility of photographic evidence, especially images produced within the Victorian era.

The emulsion was taken from a recipe in the dictionary of photography from 1906 and translated into current measures and available chemicals, rather than coating glass plates, these were coated onto acetates and exposed in a 5×4 plate camera with an exposure of around 10 minutes. In some of the images vague, recognisable features are visible, but in most the emulsion broke down during the preparation, processing or both and the plates were abandoned to one side in pursuit of a more ‘usable’ image. After a few weeks I noticed that there were some interesting salt deposits and friling of the emulsion present so decided to make some high resolution scans of the failed plates.


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