Reticulate the negative

07 April 2024

Ray French

More than half a lifetime ago, I acquired my first 'proper' camera - a Canon AE-1 - and took some very timid steps into 'proper' photography, including recording various motor racing meetings at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. On this particular day in 1980, armed with said camera and a few rolls of Ilford film, I set out to capture the glitz and glamour of the British F1 Grand Prix with, it must be said, mixed results - some very pleasing images, and quite a few duds too. A few months later I read an article about inducing crazing and 'reticulation' in negatives and decided to give it a whirl. It was a very hit-and-miss process involving hot water and ice-water baths, and most of the negatives were effectively destroyed in the process, but I recently rediscovered a print of one of the better attempts that I had inflicted on an HP5 negative from that sunny day in July. To twenty-something me, the results were very cool...

This image is now part of the Random Images gallery on and may, in due course, make its way onto my Shutter Hub portfolio page here:

HZG-13001 Dider Pironi, Brands Hatch, 1980