《NEPO Film & Her Book》- Bigshilin Photonepo
NEPO= Negative + Positive
1: ＂Don`t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible＂ Edwin Land-Polaroid funder
3：用FP-100B的洗底得到的負片，在書內的命名為＂NEPO＂film它就是一種負片，具有表達影像的能力，在相反則不軌( Reciprocity law failure)的呈現上,相對的提前。
This project grew out of my nostalgia for analog photography. In particular, I loved and missed the process of developing film: the smell of the chemicals, the texture of the paper. As analog film became scarcer and scarcer, replaced by digital cameras, I longed to immerse myself in that process again. I was also fascinated by negatives, those inverted images printed on transparent plastic film, in which light and dark change places.
When I learned that Fujifilm’s FP-100C – at that time, one of the last remaining peel-apart instant films – produced large and detailed negatives, I was fascinated. I learned how to reclaim the negatives, using water and bleach to strip away the light-sensitive emulsion coating the plastic, revealing the image underneath. My nostalgia was satisfied.
But I have always been a lover of black and white photography, and I yearned for similarly large, clear negatives of black and white images. A friend introduced me to FP-100B, a black and white version of the peel-apart film with which I was already familiar. Unlike FP-100C, FP-100B was rarely processed in order to remove the emulsion and reveal the underlying negative images. I began to experiment.
As I did so, I found that the chemical process to reclaim FP-100B negatives was more complicated than the one used for FP-100C. I also discovered something startling: once the emulsions and coatings were stripped away, FP-100B negatives were characterized by vivid color. Unlike the positive image printed on the photo paper, the negative would emerge in brilliant shades of blue, red, orange, and yellow. In addition, certain portions of the negative image would actually contain positive shapes. It was this strange coexistence of positive and negative in the same film that led me to name FP-100B, as well as these reclaimed negatives, NEPO – that is, NEgative POsitive.
The unique appearance of these negative images inspired me to take more photos, and I began to experiment systematically. I discovered that these negatives could themselves be a creative medium. Out of my nostalgia-fueled attempt to obtain conventional black and white negatives emerged a new medium.
In order to achieve this, however, I needed digital technology. While the colors themselves were not altered digitally, their true brilliance, along with the details of the images, was only revealed after the negative images were scanned and displayed on a computer screen. The images in this book thus connect the analog and the digital eras. Useless scraps from analog processes have been transformed into digital art.
This is appropriate, because in the process of developing the NEPO images and writing this book, I developed a profound feeling that peel-apart instant film epitomizes the dependence of photography on industry. Scientific research and business imperatives enabled the development of this technology; however, as soon as there was no more profit to be made, the industry moved on, and these remarkable films became obsolete. Yet, as I hope I have shown, these negatives – which were originally waste products, remnants thrown away after the positive image photo was obtained – still have value.
The eminent Dr. Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid, once said, “Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.” Gradually, I have come to understand that Dr. Land’s words describe my own experience, as well as the philosophy that guided his own remarkable career. Although it was not my original intention, I was pushed by circumstances into undertaking a project – the development of NEPO images – that met both of Dr. Land’s requirements. As an analog technology whose potential can only be fully realized with digital era tools, such as scanners and image editing software, FP-100B negatives have truly moved from the realm of the impossible into that of the possible.
In closing, I wish to thank those who have supported me throughout this process of discovery. In addition to an understanding of the scientific background, passion for photography, and focus, the support and encouragement of family and friends has been essential to this undertaking. For me, their help was the foundation of it all; any warmth found within these pages comes from them.
A positive image is one in which light and dark appear as we see them with our own eyes. A negative image is one which light and dark have been reversed, so that, for example, a tree appears to be bright, while the noon sky behind it is dark. Film negatives received their name because they provide a negative, or reversed, image, which is then used to produce a positive image print on photographic paper.
A peel-apart film is designed to be used with an instant camera. When you take a photo, it produces both a positive image snapshot on photo paper, and a negative of equal size to the print. These emerge together from the camera and must be peeled apart, hence the name.
Originally, I believed that FP-100B combined the characteristics of traditional negative and positive films. Now, however, I believe that this effect – in which positive images suddenly appear in an otherwise negative image – is due to the negative film being exposed to levels of light that are too high for it. When this limit is exceeded, the light – which would normally produce a dark shape in the negative shape – suddenly produces a bright positive image instead. The technical name for this phenomenon is Reciprocity-Law Failure.