A selection of black and white portraits made mostly in Polaroid PN55 with an MPP camera. Mainly orders for press and magazines, many of them for Liberation.
PN 55 is that wonderful Polaroid film suitable for large format (4 “x5”) cameras, which I have worked with for over 25 years. In thirty seconds of development, the “Pola” delivered a control positive and a negative which it was enough to wash and dry then to pass it under the enlarger to obtain magnificent black and white prints.
I have worked with this system in all kinds of conditions outside and in the studio, with or without lighting. The production of this legendary film will have ceased in 2009, like a turning point in the history of photography, to the advantage of digital sensors. These have indisputable qualities, and in particular the medium format sensors which are incredibly precise, but the smoothness and exceptional rendering of large format silver films will remain above the rest, it is another world.
Over time, I developed a project with these polaroid films. A part of my negatives, often the non-choice of the production, have undergone deliberate degradation by long stays in damp cellars, or buried in semi-waterproof boxes for several years. The negative is slowly degraded by the proliferation of a mold, a kind of fungus. After 10 or 15 years in the cellar or in the ground, the negatives are dried and digitized in very high definition. The results, when the image has not completely disappeared, are astonishing.
The project has now reached maturity, it is called Gelatinium and can be seen here …