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VENICE 'campo de La Salute'
Silver halide print 2012
ILFORD GALERIE FB 30,5x40,6 cm

 
 
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silver print  
   
     The “traditional” silver print — nowaday “historical” — has been research field for the photographic matter, from the fourties of the ‘800 to the seventies-eighties of the 900 (http://www.heliogravures.it/pdf/proce.pdf), decreasing only from the steep digital upcoming some year after the appearence of T-grain emulsions and dedicated developers.
     The simple silver salt (AgNO3), core of the lightsensitive Ag system, is not self-sufficient to justify all the qualities of density, softness, detail and deepness that the silver photography can produce, but we must recognize that other stuff had contributed to give to it sturdiness and pliability.
     The improvements from collodion to albumin to gelatin, talking of the binding agent but not only; from the ‘waxxed paper’, to the glass, to the pliable ‘film’, to deal about the transparent surface where to impress the light; to the developing agents, singles or in synergy, … to make the caracter of a negative and — to follow — of a print, we can’t deny the sophisticated technology that matches these 150 years of silver photography.
     For all this, silver photography at his maximun degree, does not fit the individual craftsman, even if equipped with a modern dark-room and a fat library! The craftsman- photographer needs a dedicated industry to be fed with dairy material that — differently from others old photographic techniques, he can’t prepare by himself.
     Leaving out the shooting equipment, three big categories of stuff contribute to the phisical-chemistry of the process and to the inimitable personality of the silver salts’ technique: the film (the transparent medium over which to lean the sensitive emulsion), the developpig process (the liquid/s to make visible and then stable the image) and the printing paper (where to appreciate the positive process result).
     Just these three categories, even not all, give infinite potentiality to the process, that with good evidence show itself still strongly tied to the operator’s manual skill and background.
 
 
            
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