Texture, and different papers

Texture – in this image it was the result of using black tissue paper. The holes and the weave created the effect, but it was the outcome of particular conditions. It worked because the paper was a little damp. I soaked it in developer so it stuck to the surface of the photographic paper. When it’s dry it floats free, a millimetre or two above the surface so you lose the details. But that precise degree of wetness will only work for a short period, perhaps two or three attempts at an image. After that the paper gets too wet and screwed up (and it starts to smell).

It also worked because I used Ilford Ilfospeed paper which retains sharp black and white tones. I also use Multigrade a lot of the time because it produces lovely subtle greys but it’s no good for these tissue paper images. It’s an aspect of the craft that fascinates me – developing an intuitive sense for what different photographic papers will do.

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