Creativo Fotografia

35mm Silver Gelatin Paper Negatives

Somehow we have slipped into a ‘supersized’ world. Maybe as the world has become more consumer driven "bigger is better’, has become something we all seek as a means of making our limited resources go further. Big can represent, cultural, artistic and economic power. I realise that this is most likely a very western perspective. Even in the photography world we see the supersize penchant surface, in both analogue and digital. I watched this recently Beautiful yes, resolution to burn. Small is uncool. I have always taken a stand for the ‘little’ people among whom I count myself. I have found small to be way cool, affordable and in many ways back to the roots of photography. 35mm paper negatives have huge potential.

Shelter From The Storm

Since discovering the possibilities of the silver gelatin paper negative process, an aspect I have come to love is the ability to see the world thru any kind of camera, regardless of age, format or type. Recently I acquired by gift some more 35mm cameras and an assortment of interesting lenses. I love that these cameras, (and quite apart from the fact that they can shoot film) wont be sitting in a glass case doing nothing. Time for them to ride the range again, time to shoot some paper……..

Over The Hills And Far Away

35mm paper negatives are way way cute. Here are these little pieces of photographic paper, the size of digital full frame sensors and without the mortgage. I have in my possession some small as tintypes that are that small. Daguerreotypes were not massive plates. There is something about ‘small’ that is very okay, very detailed and very precious.

The purpose here is is suppose is to dispell the disheartened when it comes to the ‘big’ word. Good things come in small packages right? Right!

Here is my 35mm paper negative gallery as it stands at the moment.

Big Brother @ Dusk

While you could make cute little contact prints from your paper negatives, they woul;d be small………..but should that matter. Nope. Small has a mystery all of its own. 35mm paper negatives can have loads of detail……….so incredible are emulsions and lenses.
Even the negatives, which are one offs, can look cool mounted creatively.

The real power of a 35mm paper negative may be in the camera used and the lens, with its specific bokeh or strengths……….then taking that negative and digitally process that into a digital negative for a contact print or an alt process print. Eg, cyanotype, salt, van dyke brown etc.

I would like to do that with this print.

The Bridge

Small is beautiful, resist the urge to think big alone is beautiful………..
Quite apart from the images, there is some thing lovely about the click of a real shutter. DSLR shutters usually only lift the mirror, so its not the same…….and your IPhone……….well that dont do nothing at all.
Give 35mm paper negatives a shot………….there’s a whole new world waiting.
Its a small world after all.

Some Where Out There


  1. Cliff Davis Cliff Davis
    August 21, 2014    

    I absolutely love making paper negatives from 35 mm and medium format. You can scan them to print a good 8×10. If you use litho film you can make awesome little cyanotpes.

    • GrahamHughes GrahamHughes
      August 21, 2014    

      I agree Cliff. And have done the same. You cannot beat an emulsion for beauty in my book, well the beauty that seems to push my buttons. I wish ortho graphic film was more accessible. I am trying to get some xray film for a test run…..really appreciate your visit.


      P.S I find the little 35mm negs very very cute………and hope to do tintypes that size and mount them in all kinds of ways….

      • Cliff Davis Cliff Davis
        August 21, 2014    

        I tried x ray film and got some good results then it was like after a few shots all I ever got was blank shots think it went bad in the box. I can not figure the stuff out. There is a guy named Matt Marash who has good luck with it in 8×10 cameras.

        • GrahamHughes GrahamHughes
          August 21, 2014    

          Yeah Cliff……….I have come across him I think, and would like to get that kind of thing happening. Ultimately I would like to be making my own dry emulsions and working on glass………….time…..used to believe we had enough but now I am older……..all that time management theory doesnt wear with me….really good talking. Where do you post your work……..send a link or some info, that would be awesome. I know you are on Ipernity….

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