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*All images and words copyright of Diane Dobson-Barton dba as Barton Studio 2002-2007

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The Sabattier effect is often mistakenly referred to as Solarization. Solarization is the exaggerated overexposure of the film while still in the camera that creates a partial reversal of tone that appears similar to a Sabbatier. The best way to obtain a Sabattier effect is to do it in the darkroom with a test strip in a controlled environment.

1. You will start with making a test strip similar to what you do in the normal printing process, but develop only half way.
2. Do not use stop bath on the image. Instead you will rinse the developer off of the print and place it back under the enlarger. Some prefer to dry the print also as this will keep the dry side of the darkroom from getting wet. Just remember that the print is not light safe and has to be dried under a safelight.

Sabattier Test Strip Part 1

Sabattier Test Strip Part 2

3. Take the negative out of the carrier and expose as if making a test strip the other direction.
4. Place the print back into the developer and complete the development process.
5. Examine the test strip and determine which exposure creates the desired effect. Remember that you will count toward the darker end. So if each strip was 2 seconds, each darker strip is 2 seconds longer. It may help to write it down so that you do not forget. For instance; step one - 4 seconds, step two - 6 seconds.
6. You will then create a Sabbatier print by placing the negative back into the carrier. And printing the entire picture by the test strip determined amount of time. For instance 4 seconds.
7. Develop the image half way, rinse and dry image.
8. Place it back under the enlarger. Take the negative out of the carrier. Expose the image again to the predetermined amount of time. For instance 6 seconds.
9. Develop the image the rest of the way and take through the normal chemical development.

Completed Sabattier

Sabattier digitally enhanced

10. You can highlight light areas to make them more apparent by using a photographer’s bleach, such as what you used for Sepia Toning, with a cotton swab or paint brush. Or you can scan the image and increase the contrast a bit.

Note* The halo appearing above the examples head was a happy accident. A similar effect could be achieved by using bleach on a particular area.