NEGATIVE is an intermediate image of an object used to obtain a positive (final image). Of course, it can also be the final image if the image is taken for spectral analysis, astrophotography or radiography.

Quality his are evaluated by the transfer of gradations of brightness of the subject, as well as by photographic latitude and graininess. For color negatives, color balance is important (coordination of color separations). Normal is the one that prints positively with well-defined details and a wide dynamic range of color.

negative image

On the negative, light areas appear dark, and dark areas (shadows) appear light. On color - the colors of the object are displayed in complementary colors in the image. The positive is the negative of the negative.

An example of a negative

This is an example of a negative and a positive image.

Negatives and positives

original, suitable for replicating positives. With it you can get an unlimited number of positive prints. Film negative circulation stability is limited, because during printing it is transported by the tape transport mechanism of the film copier and wears out. Therefore, in order to obtain large print runs of film copies from the original negative, several takes. Deviations in optical density and color reproduction as a result of exposure errors can be corrected in a relatively wide range in printing, giving a normal positive. With reversible and single-stage photoprocesses, which immediately give a positive image in a single copy, deviations are practically irremovable.

camera roll

Until the beginning of the 21st century, a huge amount of film was produced, both positive (slide) and negative.

photo negative

Reversing Images in Photoshop

The method is extremely simple Walter and done in a few clicks:

  • Menu "Image" - "Correction" - "Invert".
  • Or press Ctrl+I

Creation negativity successfully completed

Negative on plastic

~(flexible polymer substrate) - is a transparent base with a photosensitive emulsion. There is sheet and roll film. The roll has holes located along the edges of the film (perforation), which are designed to pull the film in the path of the camera. In the twentieth century, the use of photographs and film to create photographs became massive after the advent of the camera. Leica I. Unexposed film will light up when exposed to light. Negatives on cellulose nitrate film tend to ignite.

Year, the inventor of the negative

  • Process: 1887 USA. G.U. Goodwin (Hannibal Williston Goodwin). Obtaining a transparent flexible film roll from nitrocellulose
  • Industrial production of celluloid photographic film: 1889 USA. George Eastman, company Eastman Kodak
  • Invention of the small-format film camera: 1913, Oscar Barnack
  • Massive use of negative film in small format photography: 1923 Germany. Launch of the Leica I camera

Technology dates

  • 1889–1950 – cellulose nitrate
  • 1920 - cellulose acetate
  • 1930 - diacetate
  • 1947 - triacetate
  • 1955 to present - polyester, polyester

Storing the negative

Хwounded in envelopes, in "sleevers", in containers

Format, size

  • Sheet film, European size: 9x12cm, 13x18cm, 18x24cm
  • Roll film: 24×36 mm (35 mm perforated film), 120 type (medium format)


  • On paper – calotype (1840–1855)
  • On glass - wet collodion plate (1851–1880), silver-gelatin plate (1880–1945)
  • On black and white film in photography (from 1913 to present)
  • On color film (from 1935 to present)

Resilience of negativity to external influences

Chemical instability is the main factor in the destruction of film materials, especially early ones.
Improper storage can cause the greatest harm. Optimal storage conditions originals on tape - low temperature (from +10 to +12), relative humidity 30-40%, preferably a dark room. Improper storage may cause them to stick together. Under adverse climatic conditions, there is a very high risk of slight condensation forming, which may cause it to stick to the envelope or other material in which it is stored. Cotton gloves are recommended to avoid fingerprints.

Film negatives – brittle, fading, sticky, warped – require respect for them. The best option for their preservation today is considered to be digitization.

Digitizing the negative

Negatives can be processed digitally. For example, in the article

I'm talking about my way of converting to digital negative и positive photographic films. Classically, photographic film is converted into a positive print in a photo lab, but you can also scan or reshoot the film and then print it. The positive result of such a transformation will be the "eternity" of storing material on digital media. Information, as we know, is not subject to aging in this case.

photo negative

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