Developing Film Wrong Feels Oh So Right [NSFW]

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Developing Film Wrong Feels Oh So Right [NSFW]

Using a Holga 35mm toy camera, Photographer Matthew Cetta went out to create an interesting photographic series using film. However, upon seeing his work, he still felt uninspired, and generally unimpressed with what he was able to create. That is when a beautiful idea struck, why not develop these photos, incorrectly? His results were surreal, compelling and gorgeous.

Using techniques like soaking the film in Ambien before shooting with it, Matthew was able to create a series of work that was very different than anything ever seen before.

“It came to a point where I wanted to explore the medium of film itself. I embarked on a journey that has led me here. Where is here? Here is a place full of what ifs. What if I electrified my film and then froze it afterward? What if I introduced absinthe to the emulsion? What if I was to soak the film in Ambien before I shot it?”

Check out some of the amazing images Matthew was able to create, and check out his series on his website for more.

Ambien-
Coca Cola-
Ginger Juice-
Iodine-
Kerosene-
Lemon Juice-
Hydrogen Peroxide and Nail Polish-

     

Photos by Matthew Cetta; used with permission. [twitter | Facebook | Website]

 
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11 Comments

Meh

It's kind of cool but kind of meh

Bravo to anyone who spends a day trying something outside the box. Thanks for sharing

Bob Bell's picture

Cool, that Ambien one is nuts. Good work!

Spy Black's picture

I dunno, I think he may have gotten better results taking the Ambien with some Rum & Coke...

This is really cool. I feel the medium of film has developed [pun, yes, whatever] over time to capture images very precise images. I love that you have experimented and explored the medium to get something new and exciting. I truly see this as art. Well done.

-"Ambien" is now my current desktop wall paper.

If there are any young photographers out there that might be confused about what to think when confronted with photographic work that has been intentionally abused by improper technique, then maybe a little "information theory" can help...

Imagine that two people are speaking to each other on a telephone line with low "noise." If there is low noise, then when one person speaks the other will hear his words and message with little or no distortion. On the contrary, if the telephone connection were to experience difficulties in transmission then the original message would be hindered by noise (dropouts etc) that would prevent the listener from acquiring the full unobstructed words of the speaker. The important part to understand is that the original words between speaker and hearer have not changed in either example, but the message has still been altered and distorted in the latter example by the noise on telephone line or "channel" itself.

When a photographer processes film with inappropriate chemistry and the intention of creating distortion, then he is doing the equivalent of adding noise to a telephone line. The main content of the original image between photographer and viewer does not change regardless of film processing. but bad processing distorts the presentation of the message while proper processing does not.

All of this may seem sort of obvious, but there is a subtle point to be made. A photographer with a clear vision (aka message) shouldn't want any distortion to come between his image and the viewer. However, a photographer with an unclear vision probably won't care how much "noise is on the channel."

if you are in the traditional photography realm... This is likened more to something like painting, the process is important, like many good painters since turner and impressionism and even those such as rembrandt the content isoften second to a light, and ambience and set of colours. He just uses film rather than paint. But the end result is a montage quality about it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, if just for the reason he's a photographer...its just a tool...i wonder if you are prepared to say this about all painters, and that their job is to capture a likeness? well people used to say this. However this experimentation has happened since the dawn of photography...ever hear of Man Ray, photograms (cameraless photography), well every good photographer since daguerre has done stuff like this to develop their craft...

If I were to compare this person to a painter, then it would have to be Jackson Pollock. Pollock couldn't draw, so he splattered paint all over the place. This guy can't shoot, so he splatters chemistry all over the place.

He could draw, but chose not to. And its pretty arbitrary to the process if he could anyway, unless you are trying to win a competition or something, instead of trying to be a good artist.

I suppose the randomness of the effects lends a certain mystery to the images.