Here, following part #3 , "1.1 About me," of my series, "Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!" is this part #4, "1.2 The Shroud's image is a photographic negative!"
[Click on the above image to enlarge it.]
Logically this topic, that the Shroud's image is a photographic negative, should be later in the series when I get to 4. History of the Shroud, where the lawyer and amateur photographer Secondo Pia in 1898 discovered that the Shroud's image on his negative photographic plate was positive!:
"The Image as Photographic Negative Those who have seen the Shroud in the original report that the image, which is a sepia tone with a slightly darker color forming the `blood' spots, is extremely subtle-almost indistinguishable to the unaided eye. British Shroud historian and journalist Ian Wilson writes, `... the closer one tries to examine it, the more it melts away like mist.' But in photographic negative, the image is unmistakable; subtlety sharpens into clarity and the face of the Man of the Shroud is revealed, his features strikingly like those that artists since at least the 6th century have given Christ. The first photographs of the Shroud were taken in 1898 by a man named Secondo Pia. What astonished Pia, and continues to astonish Shroud scholars, is that the image that appeared on his photographic plate was not a characteristic negative in which light areas are dark, dark light, and left and right reversed. Instead, Pia's negative showed all the qualities of a positive print. The image of the Man of the Shroud showed gradations of tone that gave the body depth and contour. The face had the qualities of a photographic likeness, not the flatness of a negative. Thus, it seems that the Shroud itself must be, or possess some of the properties of, a photographic negative. It is as if the cloth were a piece of film." (Culliton, B.J., 1978, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin Challenges 20th-Century Science," Science, Vol. 201, 21 July, pp.235-239, p.236. Emphasis original).
And I will cover that in more detail then. But since this is based on a PowerPoint presentation to groups of people who may know little about the Shroud, I thought I should start with something that would stimulate their interest.
The above quote is remarkable in that it is from an article in Science one of the world's leading scientific journal.
Here are more quotes about the image on the Shroud being a photographic negative, centuries before photography was invented, "in the first decades of the 19th century":
"Invented in the first decades of the 19th century, photography (by way of the camera) seemed able to capture more detail and information than traditional mediums, such as painting and sculpting. Photography as a usable process goes back to the 1820s with the development of chemical photography. The first permanent photoetching was an image produced in 1822 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce, but it was destroyed by a later attempt to duplicate it. Niépce was successful again in 1825. He made the first permanent photograph from nature with a camera obscura in 1826. However, because his photographs took so long to expose (8 hours), he sought to find a new process. Working in conjunction with Louis Daguerre, they experimented with silver compounds based on a Johann Heinrich Schultz discovery in 1816 that a silver and chalk mixture darkens when exposed to light. Niépce died in 1833, but Daguerre continued the work, eventually culminating with the development of the daguerreotype in 1837. Daguerre took the first ever photo of a person in 1838 when, while taking a daguerreotype of a Paris street, a pedestrian stopped for a shoe shine, long enough to be captured by the long exposure (several minutes). Eventually, France agreed to pay Daguerre a pension for his formula, in exchange for his promise to announce his discovery to the world as the gift of France, which he did in 1839." ("Photography: History," Wikipedia, 15 October 2011. Footnotes omitted).
"No human being could have painted this negative that lies hidden in the stains. ... If it was not painted, not made by human hands, then ... Pia felt a numbing certitude that he was looking on the face of Jesus":
"A small, red light shone feebly in [Secondo] Pia's darkroom as he gingerly placed the large glass plates in a solution of oxalate of iron. When the first vague outlines began to appear under the shimmering liquid, the anxiety left Pia's eyes and the frustrations of the past few days began to lift. ... In the dim, red glare, he held the dripping plate up before his eyes. Clearly visible was the upper part of the altar with the huge frame above it containing the relic. But the brown stain-image seemed somehow different from the way it looked on the cloth itself. It had taken on a molding ... a depth ... a definition. Turning the plate on its side, he gazed at the face. What he saw made his hands tremble and the wet plate slipped, almost dropping to the floor. The face, with eyes closed, had become startlingly real. `Shut up in my darkroom,' Pia wrote later, `all intent on my work, I experienced a very strong emotion when, during the development, I saw for the first time the Holy Face appear on the plate, with such clarity that I was dumbfounded by it.' All his life Pia was to remember that moment, speaking of it as a great glory. ... His first reaction to the unexpected sight in the negative, however, had been mixed with uncertainty. What he saw violated all the laws of photography and he knew it. The stain-image, diffuse and flat on the relic, now stood out like a picture of an actual body, the contours indicated by minute gradations of shading. The face, so bizarre when viewed on the cloth, had become a harmonious, recognizable portrait of a bearded man with long hair. Emotions frozen in death emanated from the features; a vast patience, a noble resignation spoke out of the countenance. Even with the eyes shut, the face was suffused by an expression of majesty, impossible to analyze. All this on his negative plate! Pia knew that in any negative there should be only a rearrangement of lights and shadows and a reversal of position. Light areas should become dark and dark areas light. Left should be right and right, left. The result should have been the usual grotesque caricature of the original that would make good sense only when printed in positive. Instead, here in his negative was a positive portrait as real as any Pia had ever seen. As he carefully lowered the plate into a fixative bath of hyposulphate of soda, he turned over in his mind the possible answers to the phenomenon. Had there been some kind of rare photographic accident, something never before encountered? Perhaps some strange property of lighting or camera could account for it. But Pia was an expert with a confidence born of a quarter-century of experience; he had a sure grasp of photographic principle. He soon rejected any explanation but the obvious one: what showed on the negative was exactly what his camera had seen on the cloth. ... Later that morning, with a positive print made from the negative, he compared the two. There was no longer any doubt. This incredible portrait existed in the stain-image. Although to the naked eye the brownish stains on the relic presented only haphazard outlines, they must, in reality, form a negative, or at least they must possess, in some mysterious way, the qualities of a negative. Thus, when a picture is taken of the cloth, and the negative plate developed, the stain-image is reversed in light values and relative position and shows positive characteristics. Exactly the same process would occur if a picture were taken of a real photographic negative. As dawn crept through the streets of Turin, Pia sat before the negative and its print, occupied with a sudden, stunning thought. No human being could have painted this negative that lies hidden in the stains. ... If it was not painted, not made by human hands, then ... gazing fixedly, Pia felt a numbing certitude that he was looking on the face of Jesus." (Walsh, J.E., "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, 1963, pp.24-27. Emphasis original).
"On the glass negative there slowly appeared before him, not a ghost of the shadowy figure visible on the cloth, as he had expected, but instead an unmistakable photographic likeness. ... Pia ... had discovered a real photograph, hitherto hidden in the cloth, until it could be revealed by the camera":
"According to his [Secondo Pia's] own account, his first thoughts were of relief when he saw the negative image begin to appear under the developer. Seconds later, they were to turn to astonishment, then to a chilling awe. On the glass negative there slowly appeared before him, not a ghost of the shadowy figure visible on the cloth, as he had expected, but instead an unmistakable photographic likeness. The double figures of the Shroud had undergone a dramatic change. Now there was natural light and dark shading, giving relief and depth. Bloodstains, showing white, could realistically be seen to flow from the hands and feet, from the right side, and from all around the crown of the head. Instead of having a masklike, almost grotesque appearance, the man of the Shroud could be seen to be well-proportioned and of impressive build. Most striking of all was the face, incredibly lifelike against the black background. Pia found himself thinking that he was the first man for nearly 1,900 years to gaze on the actual appearance of the body of Christ as he had been laid in the tomb. He had discovered a real photograph, hitherto hidden in the cloth, until it could be revealed by the camera. Throughout history, saints and holy men have claimed to see visions of Jesus. None has ever been able to provide material evidence. In archaeology, ancient tombs have been opened up to reveal, for a fleeting moment, the perfectly preserved remains of someone from the distant past-only for these immediately to crumble to dust. Yet, here, an ordinary man had an amazing `vision' on a photographic plate, a vision capable of endless reproduction. And, above all, a vision seemingly of none other than Jesus Christ." (Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.27-28).
"... no one could have faked that image. No one could do it today with all the technology we have. It's a perfect negative. It has a photographic quality that is extremely precise":
"If I had known Stewart would need a profile of the man in the shroud, I would have brought along the photographs made by Leo Vala, a photographer of British royalty and a pioneer in the development of the 3D visual process and cinemascope movie screens. By manipulating light through photo transparencies, he produced an image on a normal screen that enabled sculptors to make a three-dimensional model which could then be photographed in profile or indeed from any other angle. In perfecting the process Vala had selected the shroud face as a subject `because it's such a beautiful image.' After publishing the results of his experimentation in the March 8, 1967 issue of Amateur Photographer, he became an outspoken critic of anyone who thought the image could have been produced by human hands either through artistry or technology. `I've been involved in the invention of many complicated visual processes, and I can tell you that no one could have faked that image. No one could do it today with all the technology we have. It's a perfect negative. It has a photographic quality that is extremely precise.'" (Wilcox, R.K., "Shroud," Macmillan: New York NY, 1977, pp.130-131).
"It was only in the nineteenth century that the very idea of a `negative' came into existence. ... A 14th century painter could not possibly have had the faintest idea of a negative":
"But it was Pia's negative of the face which excited world-wide interest. Until then no one had-or could have had-the slightest suspicion that the real features of the Man in the Shroud were hidden in the apparently ugly face depicted and could be extracted therefrom were there available a physical process for reversing light and shade. We are nowadays so accustomed to photography that we may fail to grasp the extraordinary nature of this discovery. It was only in the nineteenth century that the very idea of a `negative' came into existence. The physical method of obtaining a negative, and then a positive therefrom, is of quite recent origin. The blackening effect of light on silver salts was known to the alchemists and further studied in the 18th century by Schulze and Scheele. By contact with paintings on glass, Wedgwood (1805) made shadow-negatives on paper or leather impregnated with a silver salt. Herschel (1871), inventor of the word `photograph,' discovered the fixing properties of sodium thiosulphate, commonly but incorrectly called hyposulphite; this was in 1819 but he did not utilise the result until twenty years later. If permanency is taken as the criterion, the first photographs were produced in 1827 by Niepce (1833); they depended on the action of light in reducing the oil solubility of a preparation of asphalt and lavender oil spread upon a plate of silver or glass. ... Not until this inversion was effected (first in 1898) was it possible to interpret the markings properly, or indeed to locate the mouth or the eyebrows correctly. ... From a comparison between the negatives and the originals we can deduce that no artist would dream of making an unnatural negative for the purpose of subsequently having even a monochrome positive. Before photography was invented, the very idea could not occur to him. And even to-day it is almost impossible to copy any graded negative without spoiling the resultant positive. ... A 14th century painter could not possibly have had the faintest idea of a negative. Even if he had, he lacked the technical means of verifying it. Now why should a forger go to the trouble of concocting impressions which were not discernible for five centuries? Even forgery, being a business, must supply in accordance with demand, it must give customers what they want-not a negative whose existence could not even be suspected for centuries. Meanwhile their devotion had to be content with what was really a caricature." (O'Rahilly, A. & Gaughan, J.A., ed., 1985 "The Crucified," , Kingdom Books: Dublin, pp.46-48,52. Emphasis original).
"Why would a fourteenth-century forger have painted a negative image? Not until the nineteenth century did anyone understand the concept of [photographic] negativity":
"When the exposition drew to a close in May, 1898, a local lawyer named Secondo Pia was allowed to take the first photographs of the Shroud. His equipment failed on the first attempt, but Pia made good exposures on May 28. That night, in Pia's darkroom, one of the abiding secrets of the Shroud was first revealed. Pia removed his glass negative from the developing solution and discovered that the negative which he held in his hands was actually a `positive'--a `print' which was far more lifelike than the image viewed with the naked eye. This meant that the image on the Shroud was a negative. When printed, the dark areas of the image appeared light and the light areas appeared dark, and there was a left-right reversal of details. ... The most important scientific implication of Pia's discovery was that the Shroud was not an obvious forgery. Why would a fourteenth-century forger have painted a negative image? Not until the nineteenth century did anyone understand the concept of negativity: an image resembling the original would be created if light was projected onto a light-sensitive paper through a film in which the light-dark values were reversed. It seemed improbable that anyone would have known this in the fourteenth century. It was almost ludicrous to suggest that a painter, depicting Jesus' body as it might have appeared on his burial garment, would have chosen to do so with an artistry and detail that would have not been discovered for more than 500 years, until the invention of a photographic process which his age knew nothing about." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, pp.56-57. Emphasis original).
"A negative image? Hundreds of years before the invention of photography? ... how could a medieval artist have produced a negative image, and why would he choose to do so?":
"It would not be the shroud's first brush with science. That happened eighty years before, in 1898, with the first photographs of the relic. Those pictures uncovered the most surprising of the shroud's many mysteries. When the photographer, Secondo Pia, examined his first glass-plate negative as it emerged from the developing bath, he almost dropped it in shocked excitement. He was looking not at the usually unrealistic, confusing photographic negative, but at a clear positive image. Highlights and shadows were reversed from those on the cloth and were far more lifelike and realistic. Moreover, they showed details never before seen in the shroud, which was now revealed as a negative image. A negative image? Hundreds of years before the invention of photography? The idea that the shroud was a hoax suddenly seemed less plausible, for how could a medieval artist have produced a negative image, and why would he choose to do so?" (Weaver, K.F., 1980, "Science Seeks to Solve...The Mystery of the Shroud," National Geographic, Vol. 157, June, pp.730-753, 743. Italics original).
"What artist, centuries before, would have fabricated details that could only be discerned with the help of a nineteenth-century invention?":
"The modern history of the Shroud might be said to have begun on May 8, 1898, when Secondo Pia was permitted to photograph the Shroud for the first time while it was being exhibited at the Cathedral in Turin. Pia was flabbergasted to find that his glass-plate photographic negative was turning out in the developing bath to show, in fact, a photographic positive image. The Shroud itself had somehow been stained in such a way that the body imprint on the cloth was a negative. This feature alone would seem to rule out the claim that the Shroud is an ancient or medieval forgery. What artist, centuries before, would have fabricated details that could only be discerned with the help of a nineteenth-century invention? And the photographic process, subsequently confirmed by the photographs taken by G. Enrie in 1931, brought out a wealth of hitherto concealed details." (Sullivan, B.M., 2005, "Reading the Shroud of Turin: How in fact was Jesus Christ laid in his tomb?," National Review, July 20, 1973, Reprinted March 24, 2005).
"The question that obviously arises is whether any forger, centuries before the age of photography, could really have managed to create such an extraordinary image, working in negative, yet without any means of checking his work":
"Of extraordinary interest, therefore, is what happens to the Shroud's image when it is reversed by black-and-white photography into a photographic negative.... The now famous discovery associated with this took place in the year 1898, at the time of one of the rare expositions, when a prominent Turin councillor, Secondo Pia, was asked to make the first-ever official photograph of the Shroud. Photography was still a relatively new science at this time, and for Pia the assignment presented some special difficulties. ... After an abortive attempt on May 25, the night of May 28, Pia successfully took two exposures on large glass negative plates customary for the photography of the time, then hurried back to his darkroom to develop them. Because of the already shadowy and ghostlike nature of the Shroud image, Pia expected that anything he had managed to capture on the photographic negative plate, itself invariably a ghost of the original, would be even more difficult to distinguish. Nothing, therefore, prepared him for the shock that awaited him that night. As under the developer recognizable features of the Shroud began to appear, the cloth now black, the dark scorch marks from the 1532 fire showing up white, he observed an extraordinary change in the Shroud's double-figure image. For the first time visible in natural relief, with lifelike highlights and shadows as on a real photograph, the body could be seen to be well-proportioned and of an impressive build. The apparent bloodstains, showing up white, similarly took on a striking realism as injuries to the hands, feet, chest, and crown of the head. Instead of the owlish, mask-like face, the photographic negative revealed a hauntingly majestic countenance, with eves closed in death ... . As Pia came to believe that moment and for the rest of his life, the image on the negative must be the actual appearance of the body of Christ when laid in the tomb. Somehow the Shroud itself was a kind of photographic negative, which became positive when reversed by the camera. ... The question that obviously arises is whether any forger, centuries before the age of photography, could really have managed to create such an extraordinary image, working in negative, yet without any means of checking his work." (Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.4,10-11. Emphasis original).
As well as helping to illustrate my points in this series of posts here on this blog, quotes like this will be part of my resource base when I give my presentations, especially for helping me answer questions at its end
See also: "Shroud of Turin Negative Images," Shroud of Turin Facts Check, Daniel R. Porter, 2004.