Beautiful chemicals

I am scanning my father’s positive slides and negatives, a Himalayan task. He took a good deal of photographs, starting in the 50ties. I am guessing about 3-4000 35mm negatives, colour and black and white. 12 boxes of slides, and an unknown amount of 9×6 I have not even dug out yet.

It is of course hilarious to see pictures of people, their comical haircuts and clothes, and to see my sister in orange turtlenecks, brown bellbottoms, and Pippi Longstocking-hair. The photographs themselves tells little stories, and these stories are sometimes interesting, sometimes boring, the meaning might be lost.

But another motivation for me to digitise the collection: the errors. The mechanical and chemical errors that can produces beautiful, swirly, abstract patterns and absurd double and triple exposures. The emulsions used in different film have different chemical properties, sometimes things just goes haywire. Exactly why or how, I don’t really care. I just think the results can be gorgeous. Sometimes the chemical pooling and trailing creates textures and contrasts to the remaining parts of a photograph. Here are some examples of this, from my father’s archive of negatives. Beauty in unlikely places.

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