Pseudo-solarisation

Pseudo-solarisation is associated with the Sabatier effect and is visually similar to solarisation. It is characterized by a partial reversal of the negative image to the positive one under the influence of additional — even illumining — photosensitive material during the development. As a result of pseudo-solarisation, a positive image with a weaker negative image superimposed is created; both images are separated by a bright borderline called equidensity, created as a result of the Eberhard effect. Pseudo-solarisation was discovered in 1862 by the French zoologist Armand Sabattier. Probably, the main cause of pseudo-solarisation is the desensitization of the emulsion by the growing silver pieces. The master of pseudo-solarisation was the American painter and photographer Man Ray.

Elaborated by Małgorzata Kanikuła (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved

See photograph “Wawel: Cathedral’s courtyard” by Jan Motyka.