negativos de segunda generación

English translation: second-generation negatives

14:16 Feb 20, 2019
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Photography/Imaging (& Graphic Arts)
Spanish term or phrase: negativos de segunda generación
This is in reference to negatives of photomontages by Grete Stern from the 1950s.

Es evidente que al principio Grete se preocupó por documentar casi sistemáticamente sus obras originales, dando por supuesto que serían irrecuperables. Sin embargo, después del primer año de trabajo abandonó la rutina de reproducción sin que sepamos la causa -tal vez por simple fatiga, sumada a una cierta desconsideración de la importancia de los fotomontajes-. Lo cierto es que los dos tercios de la producción completa de los Sueños no tienen negativos de segunda generación que permitan lograr hoy una copia de excelencia fotográfica,

the hits for "secong-generation begatives" are few and not originally in English, so that does not appear to be the best translation. Maybe "not negatives of the original works" or a phrase like that?

Wendy Gosselin
Local time: 12:15
English translation:second-generation negatives
It gets plenty of hits when I Google it. It means new negatives made from original ones.

Prints made from the first generation negative (original) are second generation.
If a negative is made from the first generation negative (original) that would be a second generation negative and any prints made from it would be third generation.
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4 +1internegatives
Charles Davis
4second-generation negatives



11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
second-generation negatives

It gets plenty of hits when I Google it. It means new negatives made from original ones.

Prints made from the first generation negative (original) are second generation.
If a negative is made from the first generation negative (original) that would be a second generation negative and any prints made from it would be third generation.

United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 32
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1

Phil is quite right that "second-generation negative" is a valid term. It occurs in respectable native sources. However, although of course it's the literal translation of the Spanish, I don't think it's actually the best term to use here.

A second-generation negative is a negative made from the original negative. It's also called a duplicate negative. It can be done by printing a positive image from the original negative and then making the second-generation negative from that positive image (which is called an interpositive). There are also ways nowadays of making a negative directly from another negative without an interpositive.

However, that's not exactly what's involved with these works by Grete Stern. There are photomontages, which means that she took two (or more) negatives, printed positives from them and combined the two paper positive images by literal cut-and-paste, making a collage. That's what photomontage means (in the pre-digital age).

Now, if you want to exhibit the photomontage as an artwork, what you do is photograph the collage, giving you a single negative, and then print it as a single photographic image. This negative is "second-generation", in the sense that it's derived from printed positives derived in turn from original negatives and combined in a collage.

"Photomontage is the process and the result of making a composite photograph by cutting, gluing, rearranging and overlapping two or more photographs into a new image. Sometimes the resulting composite image is photographed so that a final image may appear as a seamless photographic print."

But Grete's actually photomontages were for publication in magazines, and she simply gave the magazine the cut-and-pasted composite image, without rephotographing it.

"Si nos atenemos a la descripción de la propia fotógrafa, el montaje era, sin duda, el mejor lenguaje para abordar este encargo que ascendería a casi 150 obras, publicadas desde el primer número de la revista Idilio, que saldría el 26 de octubre de 1948. De esas obras solo existen en al actualidad 45 negativos fotográficos realizados sobre los collages originales que la autora entregara a la revista. Ni la propia Stern ni la revista conservaron los originales –excepto un único ejemplar encontrado–, un fenómeno propio de trabajos que se hicieron sin un sentido de trascendencia ni durabilidad, sino como meras ilustraciones de un magazine de cuestionable fama para mujeres de clase media y empleadas con aspiraciones de ascenso social."

So in 45 of 150 cases Grete did photograph the photomontage she delivered to the magazine, which printed them directly from the collage. This produced the 45 surviving negatives, which she made for herself, in order to preserve the works (the magazine didn't need negatives). But in the other 105 cases she didn't. That is what this is talking about: that's why it says that in two-thirds of cases there is no "negativo de segunda generación".

So this term refers to a negative derived from photographing the original paper photomontage. And the term for that is an internegative.

Internegative can be a film term, but it's also applied to still images. By analogy with interpositive (see above), it means a negative derived from photographing a positive. It's used for the negatives we're talking about. Here are a couple of examples from solid sources:

"Paul Citroen joined the Bauhaus in 1922, and this Photomontage was exhibited in the school’s first exhibition, in July–September, 1923. The original Collage was constructed from two hundred images excised with a sharp blade from newspapers and postcards (of which Citroen was an avid collector) and meticulously pasted and arranged on a secondary support. [...]
It is likely that Citroen created the photomontage’s essential internegative by photographing the collage on an easel or pinned to the wall"

"Health Through Sport " : Reevaluating a Photomontage by Max Ernst"
"Presumably, the combined image would have been used to create an internegative that was later used to create the final print." (p. 7)

"To createher photomontages, Dr. Adele Rowland, O.P. selects two positives, eachslightly overexposed, to make an internegative from which her images arethen processed."

Note added at 1 hr (2019-02-20 15:43:06 GMT)

I meant to write "They are photomontages" in paragraph 3, instead of "There are photomontages".

Note added at 4 hrs (2019-02-20 19:04:17 GMT)

You could just put "negatives" if you don't want a technical term; it wouldn't be open to misunderstanding. But "second-generation negatives" really wouldn't be the right term here; the negatives in question are not "second-generation". I'm not sure whether "negativos de segunda generación" has been misused in Spanish; it's a very rare expression and I can't find a definition.

Charles Davis
Local time: 16:15
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  philgoddard: I don't disagree with any of this, but it's a synonym of my answer. They could have said "internegativos", but they chose not to use a technical term.
23 mins
  -> I don't think so, Phil. It's not a synonym, as I've explained. "Negativo de segunda generación" is not (apparently) an established term, whereas "second-generation negative" has a clear meaning, defined in your reference, which is not applicable here.

agree  JohnMcDove: Totally agree. :-)
6 days
  -> Thanks very much, John ;-)
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