|Cell phone photo (with filter effects)|
To get into experimental techniques, you need to start with a few things- a little research, some extra time, creativity, an adventurous attitude, and patience. The following describes how I created the following images, a recent experimental series.
Starting out, I knew I wanted multi-colored images for this series. Color ranges that are beyond black and white materials capabilities. So, I've settled for color materials as the basis of this experiment. I wanted chaotic colors, not color photographs, so color accuracy wasn't important. But I also wanted to still concentrate on the silver part of the image. I visualized chaotic colors and appearances on stabilized subjects. I chose to use a negative type of duplicating film, which is tungsten light balanced. Initially, I thought my planned experiment would throw the color components of the film out of whack, which is exactly what I had hoped to create. I exposed the images at the manufacturer's ASA rating + compensation for a red filter that I used in front of the lens, and for reciprocity failure. I treated this part of the experiment as if I was shooting with black and white film.
I wanted the images to be solarized also, somehow, and I knew that I was going to have a lab process my film, and that meddling with them at the lab in this situation was impossible. So, I took a different approach and first processed the film as if it was black and white film with black and white film developer at home. Then, I solarized them with a green gel light, while they were still developing. I did this thinking about the reddish-yellow film base. You know, green is the complimentary color of red. Well, in the light spectrum anyway. What this green light would do to the images, I really had no idea. But hey, this is an experimental process, and I was prepared to just have fun with the ideas and the process of experimenting.
I then put the film in a stop bath for the required time, after they were finished with the developing. Then, I rinsed the film thoroughly for a few minutes with running tap water. And, I remembered not to fix the films just yet because I still wanted the dyes to couple with the silver during the bleach/fix process of the color film developing. I put each sheet of film in its own plastic baggie, and into a dark box and ran it to a commercial lab to have them color processed. Since the film was color film, everything that I had done so far, except for the solarization part, was done in total darkness. When I got to the lab, I asked for the film to be cross-processed.
When I got it back, the result was a pleasant surprise. I was totally happy with the way the images had turned out.
Resources and Inspriation:
+ Flickr Groups (There's a bunch with great discussions, recipes, and photo sharing on related topics in these groups)-
* Experimental Photography Techniques
* Experimental Techniques
* Film Recipes
* The Colour Twelve
* Film damaged by radiation, heat, water, time, in processing...
- Kris Phimsoutham