These disparate images and techniques were somewhat united by their underlying evocations of touch (an enlarged finger, contact prints
, reliefs, and substances extracted from the body), a sensation that Backstrom also complicates by shifting the viewer's relationship to the body's scale.
"Fortunately we had the contact prints
of photographs taken by the photographer John Bulmer during one of the art festivals.
Every time I wanted to illustrate a book or an article, I would drive up to his house--often as the last visitor was leaving--and he would locate contact prints
of each project in a few minutes of looking in file drawers.
The original sepia-toned photos were usually made as contact prints
from same-size glass-plate negatives and are therefore often extremely sharp--truly windows into the past.
He says exploring the memorabilia was "like opening a cave in some ancient land, filled with treasure, except instead of piles of gold and silver, there were boxes and boxes of photographs, negatives and contact prints
, thousands of them.
Photograms have been fascinating since Niepce, Bayard and Talbot created cool contact prints
while testing their emulsions back in the 19th century.
His surviving images are based on contact prints
using objects or engravings that were placed on light-sensitive paper and exposed to light, washed, then fixed using a salt solution.
The reproductions are made from 8X10, 5X7, and 4X5-inch gelatin silver chloride contact prints
, and are printed in 600-line screen quadtone.
Until the early 1850s the only photographic technique available to Kerr would have been the calotype photographic process, which used paper negatives and contact prints
such as prints on salted paper.
In Fissures (16 mm, 2.5 minutes, 1999), home-movie footage is contact printed
then hand-processed and toned so that the images are warped and fractured, emerging from and disappearing into passages of darkness.
This shot and the unseen strip of contact prints
from the same session,as well as many other stunning black and white photographs,now appear in this new collection of 68 images called Once There Was A Way -Photographs of The Beatles.