Looking at a print 24 square meters large up close is impressive, but having it made from a contact print elevates it to quite a different level.
Contact print is a way of printing photographs in which the negative (or positive) is pressed against a the photo paper and then exposed. This creates a photo at the same size of the negative. (Long, long time ago, this method was used to create a full sheet of images from a roll of 35mm film).
So image the work needed to create a 24sqm contact print. Well, the first effort would be to get a same size negative. Team Branco Ottico did just that, they created a 24sqm negative and a 24sqm cyanotype sheet and took on creating what they call “the world’s largest contact print ever made”
Making such a big print does have quite a bit logistics and cost involved and being self financed, the team opted for the cyanotype process which is relatively cheap:
We chose the cyanotype as printing process due to its ease of realization and cheapness, the salt used to sensitize the canvas have in fact affordable costs, and this would have made the difference given the final dimensions of the work.
First a negative was stitched together, and attached to a fabric soaked with emulsion.
Then a test was made to determine the right exposure. The emulsion was quite a low ISO as even with the bright sun, exposure time was 12 minutes and 30 seconds
The contact print and negative was placed in a piazza and people were invited to imprint their hands to become a part of the process.
Lastly, the fabric was developed, washed and hung to dry:
The result, as you can see, is quite stunning.
[The Largest Contact Print EVER | BRANCO OTTICO]