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‘Fading’ Portraits Captured by Hand-Painting Developer Onto Exposures

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These are not Photoshop creations and they are not double exposures. In a world of digital manipulation, Hungarian photographer Judit Cholnoky‘s portrait series Fading Memories is a beautiful example of the power of film photography and alternative processing.

Currently a 2nd year Photography student at the City of Bristol College, Fading Memories is Cholnoky’s graduation project before moving on to study at the University of the Arts London. Each portrait is captured on 35mm black & white film that Cholnoky developed using a process called “uneven development“. By hand-painting developer onto the exposed paper instead of immersing the sheet in a tray, Cholnoky turns regular portraits into an artistic representation of memories fading as time goes by.

“Evoking someone’s face we know but have not seen for months, years or sometimes for even decades sounds easy, but when we try to remember details of their faces we usually fail,” writes Cholnoky in the project’s Artist Statement. “There is a feeling rather than a visual memory. We might be able to remember particular facial features or a movement, but not the whole detailed picture of their face.”

The portraits that make up Fading Memories, inspired by Timothy Pakron’s “Silver Drips” project, capture this reality beautifully—each one a unique, non-reproducible hand-painted 16×20-inch gelatin silver print:

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fading-Greti-nyomtatni-574500850d65f__880

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fading-Karolina-nyomtatni-574500a6a18a6__880

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To see more of Judit’s work, you can find it on her website and Instagram.


Image credits: Photographs by Judit Cholnoky and used with permission.

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