Sunday, April 29, 2012

Incompetence As Artistic Expression

"Unintentional Grunge" March 2012, Chicago, IL
(Canon F1, 24mm 2.8, Ilford FP4+, home developed and scanned)
Some photographers spend a lot of time and effort getting that "grunge" look for their photographs. They apply layers, filters and textures to make their pristine, perfectly exposed images look dingy, scratchy and poorly handled. I wonder if they know they can save themselves all that trouble with the application of traditional analog processes.

For example, to achieve the image above was simple three-step process: 1) don't open the gate on your bulk loader while rolling up a cartridge of film, thereby scratching the bloody $#!^% out of the film emulsion; 2) after developing the the roll at home, drop the still damp strip of film onto some carpet near the cats' litter box; and 3) scan as normal. Voila! Scratches aplenty; muck and "texture" galore all over the image.

And to think that if I had tried to emulate this look digitally, it might have taken me hours to get that "screwed up negative" look just right. All this took was a couple of moments of being an idiot.

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