Photographs Produced from Discarded Astronomical Negatives and Prints


During her work as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Chile’s Astronomical Observatory, Los Angeles-based photographer Aspen Mays conceived the unique project, Sun Ruins. She found an abandoned darkroom at the Observatory containing discarded astronomical prints and negatives, some more than a half-century-old. For the series Sun 1957, she used a collection of mid-century silver gelatin prints of sunspots. Contact prints of the negatives were made into prints arranged to simulate a sun calendar. The series Punched Out Stars was created from old silver gelatin prints, using a simple hole punch to remove star images from the photos—a technique that yielded some beautifully abstract forms.





Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Carolyn Rauch is a Photo Editor.

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