The beginning of my Photography domain.

Research: The Effect of Solarisation

Throughout the research and developing stage of my FMP, I intend to embark on a variety of effects I can create with my photographs. One of these that gave interest, was the effect of Solarisation.



The term given as ‘Solarisation’, is the effect in physics where the properties of the materials are affected by electromagnetic radiation. When looking at it in the form of photography, the image that is taken is on a negative or photographic print that is slightly reversed in its tone. For instance the dark areas will appear to be lighter and vice versa. This very term is in tow with the ‘Sabattier Effect’.


The Sabattier Effect

So, Solarisation is the effect that is used to describe when there is a lot of over exposure to a negative in the camera. It is one of the earliest effects found in photography; the first to have called it Solarisation was a man named, John William Draper. This effect can be created in the darkroom, when it can then be called pseudo-solarisation. This was firstly described in print form by, la Blanchere in the year of 1859.


So, how does it work?

This type of effect is usually caused by accident, as I’ve said above the over-exposure on a plate or the film itself during the developing process. This technique is said to have been perfected by that of, Man Ray and has also been invented many times after by a number of other photographers. In modern day photography, this effect is created by a brief exposure to the film to light during chemical development. This effect is now more commonly seen in printing because the speed is now much quicker. It is said that you must have a careful choice in the amount of light you use, also that you must be precise in the development of the photograph and the colour. Photographing in different lights will be used in order to get those effects of Solarisation, both in the likes of black and white film and even in digital photography.


My Thoughts and Influence

As I’ve expressed previously I hold influence under the likes of the late Man Ray. Having found out through research that he himself used this effect makes me want to experiment with it more. Also basing on the fact that it can be created through both forms of photography, b0th digital and black and white film, gives me as the photographer the ability to widen my knowledge on certain effects such as solarisation and find ways in which they will add depth to my photographs. There must be reasons as to why photographers use this effect in their work, what message and meaning are they trying to convey through this particular effect and why?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on January 11, 2014 by in 360mc - Part 2.
%d bloggers like this: