Experimental Photographs
Photographs that go beyond the “straight photograph” using special materials and or techniques.

Bas Relief:
Bas-relief is a technique which gives the illusion of a three dimensional sculptural image
resembling a wood cut or low relief sculpture lit from one side. Optimum results with bas-relief
can be achieved using sharp, relatively even-contrast negatives with a few bold dominant forms.

1. Contact print your negative to lith film. This positive should be relatively equal in den-sity to the original negative.
Use lith film processed in paper developer to create the positive and use dilutions of any
where from 1-2 to 1-12. A good starting point may be 1 part developer to 7 parts water.

2.Next sandwich the positive and negative together, emulsions to emulsion. When they
are in register, (examine them on the light table), you should see a uniformly gray or black
surface since the negative half cancels out the positive half.

3.Now move the film pieces slightly out of register—this reveals a line image on the
borders of the dominant forms in the image. Varying the degree and direction of offset
will alter the width and position of the lines. Once a position is selected, tape the edges
of the negative and positive together and, if possible, place between two small sheets of
glass and place the glass in the enlarger.

4.Enlarge the sandwich. Varying the grades of paper used can produce bas-relief image
with or without intermediate graytones. Select the one that looks best with your subject.
Bas-Relief Slides can be made by contact printing the negative onto lith film and projecting the sandwiched negative and positive in a glass slide mount.

Photo One Home

Paul Pearce