Paolo Romani is a researcher in the print in color from negative film.
MY STORY: for more than 40 years I have researched and explored the craft of printing color negative.
In 1981, I submitted to the Kodak of Rochester my patent for the printing of color negative in the darkroom with enlarger, to locate a printing with no dominant color with a very simple system.
Despite the advent of electronics, I continued my research in the darkroom, with open eyes, discovering new things.
In 2011 I experimented direct printing of an electronic image in color on Kodak Endura paper with Developer, Bleach-fix replenisher in the darkroom, creating a hybrid EXCLUSIVE, for the first time.
During these years I have done professional work, including a folder on Venice for the Palazzo Grassi Museum, which was the Christmas gift of Gianni Agnelli for the "Friends of Palazzo Grassi"; I made a poster for Ferrari when Enzo Ferrari got the World Championship Marche 1983; I also worked with Mondadori for three illustrated commercial books.
My works are handmade prints in color, unique pieces, made in the darkroom without electronic devices of any kind.
A printing technique "dated" as the darkroom is able to offer a 'art without time and be perfect for infinite creativity, even in color printing.
No one knows the potential of manual work in the color darkroom, which joins the current color photograph to the "Pictorialists" of the late nineteenth century.
Had I lived in different era, most probably I would have founded "the new school of colour photography" along the lines of Stieglitz's school in Philadelphia in 1898.
For many years I have worked in the dark room with colour, with open eyes, experimenting and discovering things: easy, new and diverse.
Everything that in appearance is not understood about the technique is not magic but mastery acquired through time. That helps my visionary fantasy..
The image is conceived, thought of and dreamed of before entering the dark room. Along the way it gets refined, modified, polished and re-tried. In the process one despairs and then gets to start all over again.
I admit having arrived in wrong era for artisan work. Unfortunately it is not my fault if in the computer era I discovered that my research is nothing more than the continuation of the B&W "Pictorialist" current of the late eighteen hundreds, but in colour.
Everything has changed: the printing paper, the emulsions, the chemicals the negative film, and the camera. Notwithstanding all this I discovered that there is still room to return to artisanship. Paraphrasing Gerard Richter: I do not want to imitate painting, but to elevate the photographic paper medium to the noble level of the painter's canvas, free from any bondage of "software.
Technical characteristics of color printing by hand
1) These are instantaneous snapshots, taken without special techniques, using 35 mm color negative film (or any other format), printed by hand without any kind of electronic support.
2) Each picture is printed from the negative on color photographic paper.
3) The colors come only from the photographic emulsions contained in the paper.
4) The printing is done by hand, using a technique resulting from personal research.
5) Each print is a unique copy, with few exceptions.
6) ) It is possible to create prints of many different colors and styles from one negative. Printing a variety of versions requires time, as it is necessary to plan and then to execute trials concerning the technical problems, continuing until the results correspond to the original idea.
7) Creativity is stimulated by the continual challenge in overcoming new technical problems.
8) The means of obtaining an image on the negative is not important, as long as it is capable of doing the minimum expected of a camera, that is, to fix the image on the negative.
9) I am not aware of anybody else who prints color photographs by hand without any kind of electronic support.
10) ) I consider my results exclusive, the product of personal research
11) ) The maximum dimensions of a hand-printed photograph of this kind are at present 30 x 40 cm.