The Photographic silver process
Photography is the process of producing images on a sensitized surface ( a film ) by the action of radiant energy and especially light. The light creates an imprint of darks and lights upon the film which resemble the image from which the light has been reflected.
In the process of black and white photography, silver plays a great role in the development of an image. Silver halides coat the film thus creating the light sensitive surface responsible for the appearance of the image. The silver halides or dyes in the emulsion of a film determine its sensitivity and how much light is required in order to activate them. Furthermore, the concentration of these silver halides in the grain of the film are responsible for the sharpness of the finished print. For example a fine grained film of low saturation is ideal for portraits whereas a large grained film of high saturation would be model for moving images.
The difference of grain saturation in an image is also responsible for the speed of a film. The greater the saturation the higher the speed of the film, as well as larger grain. The higher the speed the larger the grain. This results in the ability to capture more detail in an image as well as the ability to capture motion. However, the increased saturation causes an image with many grains which creates a rough looking appearance. Too much detail in an image is not ideal. This is why films of less saturation and of lower speed are said to be ideal for images of fine detail. In printing, the resulting image is smooth and offers a softer variation of dark and light, unlike the rough appearance of higher grain film.
In black and white photography silver takes its leading role, and further more it is responsible for the creation of an image. Silver is what in fact makes the photographic process possible because of its sensitivity to light. It imprints an image upon itself, thus retaining a memory forever.
Word Count: 342