I was approached recently by Phil Boulton from Lip International (publishers) to do some 16×12 prints off a set of vintage negatives. He had purchased them online a few years ago and was keen to see what could be revealed in the prints. The images are street scenes in Chicago and New York and look to be from the fifties. Phil sent me one negative to begin with and as soon as I saw it I had a hunch that these were by Maier. After I had begun the prints, Phil revealed that they were indeed original Vivian Maier negatives!
There are some really great images in the set and I’ve loved printing them. A few were very underexposed, and even printing on the maximum grade 5 I couldn’t get a decent print from them. For these, I scanned the negatives, boosted the contrast and retouched some horrendous marks out, before making a copynegative and then printing properly in the darkroom. The final print looked just as though it had been made from a normal negative. The image below is the one I am referring to.
Her work has been attracting a lot of attention and I think she will eventually be seen as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century.
Posted 24/03/2014 at 4:45 pm
Would you be able to elaborate a bit more on making a copynegative in one of your future posts? It seems like an interesting and useful process to know.
- Andrew Sanderson
Posted 24/03/2014 at 10:32 pm
Dear Alex, I will cover this topic soon.