Saturday, 11 August 2012

Tutorial: How to create a solarised photograph in Photoshop

Example of a digital solarised print

The best part of being on holiday is getting the time to learn new techniques to teach my students. Solarisation is a method that has always interested me and you never know what your getting as you expose your print for that brief second in the dark. For those of you who are unaware of what solarisation is... it is a photographic effect that gives the print the appearance of being both negative and positive at the same time. In the darkroom it is achieved by subjecting the print to a brief second exposure during the development stage. The lightest tones of the print are affected the most by the second exposure thus altering the normal tonal values of the print. A white line or halo will appear between the first and second exposure creating a 'solarised' print.

In this video tutorial I will be showing you how to create a similar result digitally in Adobe Photoshop without the mess and unpredictability of the darkroom. If you like this tutorial then why not make the effect into a lesson and have a battle with darkroom vs digital solarisation methods. You could even look at the sabattier work of Man Ray to inspire your students outcomes. Let us know which one wins and have fun solarising!

- Kirsty 

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