A positive image is a normal image. A negative image is a total inversion of a positive image, in which light areas appear dark and vice versa. A negative color image is additionally color reversed, with red areas appearing cyan, greens appearing magenta and blues appearing yellow. This sometimes can have a reverse effect and cause the greens to appear a reddish brown.
Film negatives usually also have much less contrast than the final images. This is compensated by the higher contrast reproduction by photographic paper or by increasing the contrast when scanning and post processing the scanned images.
December 17th, 2011
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