The Latent Image


An abstract photogram chemigraph in sepia

After exposure, the photographic image on a negative usually exists without discernible expression. For a time, an invisible configuration of silver halide crystals quietly harbours the latent image until the point of development or destabilization. This can be true for other photosensitive materials too. Here, evidences of my clumsy grasping at photo paper years ago, in university darkrooms with chemically laden hands.


Fingerprints. Fogging. Possible light leaks. Signs of wear and paper exhaustion. Years of latent markings suspended in an inconspicuous sheet of Ilford MGIV RC De Luxe Satin, sealed away in a packet marked 2015. Chemical development bridged the years between darkrooms - paper stocks slipped into the black light-tight bag for rediscovery 6 years later.