a film photoblog

X-Pro Highway

X-Pro Highway. (Kodak Ektachrome E100VS — Cross-Processed. Nikon F100. Epson V500.)

X-Pro Highway. (Kodak Ektachrome E100VS — Cross-Processed. Nikon F100. Epson V500.)

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9 responses

  1. James Gahl

    this is so cool. i really like the patterns.

    April 4, 2009 at 4:14 AM

  2. gillharman

    Amazing work. It intrigues the hell out of me.

    April 4, 2009 at 4:29 AM

  3. Terry Cuvier

    I’m digging this cross-processed stuff, Chris. Really adds a wild dimension to things.

    April 4, 2009 at 4:39 AM

  4. Warning! Skunk at lawn party has just arrived. I find myself not “digging” or being “intrigued” by these cross processing shots as much as the initial ones. Do too many have a way of undermining the value of them? I don’t know. The first ones I found intriguing but with each new one I find I can’t tell where the photographer is. And, since I like the photographer, I’m in a bit of a quandry. This image is a good example. And, you know I love trucks, too! I’d be interested in what you like about this photograph, Chris. It looks so distorted to me that composition and form is lost. So, I am, as the viewer, a bit lost, too. Exit, skunk.

    April 4, 2009 at 10:22 AM

  5. James – Thank you. There are some neat lines in this.

    Gill – As long as it gets you thinking, I’m happy. Thanks for stopping by.

    Terry – Yeah, people either hate cross-processing or they love it. I’m very glad that it pleases you.

    Pat – lol. I’m glad you feel comfortable enough to bite so deeply. Actually, I’m not the least bit offended or even bothered (in case you were at all wondering . . .) Actually, you’re partly right: cross-processing can strip an image of something essential; of course, it can also add something or enhance what’s there. Depends on your philosophy, really. Is reality the goal, or is it O.K. to veer?

    In case I haven’t expressed this previously, I take photos not because I want to copy exactly what I see with my eyes. How banal! I take photos because I want to see how the world looks on film. In other words, I want to see how the world doesn’t look. That’s why I shoot film – because it renders the world inexactly, and with texture. I have absolutely nothing against digital, but it seems that digital photography is progressing towards a point of extreme realism. What’s the point of that? Where’s the ART in that?

    What do I like about the above image? I like that it’s strange, but in a good way (at least according to most who’ve seen it). I like that it’s a bit unsettling, but still inherently warm (at least according to me and a close friend of mine). Yes, cross-processing this particular film does result in a kind of bleached image. But the framework (the skeleton, if you will) is still very much there. Whether or not it’s distorted (for better or for worse) is completely up to the viewer. I wouldn’t call this a winner, but I also wouldn’t call it a stinker. Why? Because that would be a slap in the face to those who actually enjoy this image (my mother, for example). Believe me, I hate most of my pictures. But I know that some love those same images I can’t stand. Who’s right, then? I like to think no one is ever right about these things.

    Again, I love that you respect me enough to pick apart my work. I’ve never felt comfortable doing the same to others (even close friends), but that doesn’t mean I avoid criticism. In fact, I respect criticism much more than flattery. 🙂

    April 4, 2009 at 11:05 PM

  6. Yes, I do care if you would be offended but I gambled that you wouldn’t! Something about your comments as well as your seriousness about photography made me feel it was alright to say something. It is not like I am the final arbiter…god help me, I’m not messin’ with your Mother, I can tell you that! But, I do think we share an ability to see more into a image through our imaginations and then our knowledge of our materials…in your case film, mine is digital. Many of my photographs as you know are not what I see with my eyes, but my imagination. So, it was an observation of someone who respects what you do and just finds this cross processing aspect interesting in some images but confusing and degrading (image wise) in others. Viva La Difference!! I also think the digital can go toe to toe with you on ways to see how the world doesn’t look, by the way!! Rendering inexactly and with texture? The capacity for that is there in spades and in excess, actually. The extreme realism capability is more commercial photography, no? Some days I call myself a photo illustrator. But, that’s when I’ve been taking myself a bit too seriously! Anyway, I’m glad you took my thoughts in the spirit in which they were offered. A tribute to you, really.

    April 5, 2009 at 12:59 PM

  7. I just noticed that I forgot to address something in your critique. You said that you couldn’t tell where the photographer was in this image. I’ve wondered about this for some time. To tell you the truth, I hope that my presence goes overlooked in my work. I appreciate that your style is often perspective driven, but I’d prefer that my images distract viewers into forgetting about me entirely. I guess it depends on how you view it, really.

    April 5, 2009 at 6:57 PM

  8. OK, I understand the forgetting about the photographer goal, but surely not with cross processing images or their Photoshop equivalents…I’m confused now!! Seriously. Don’t you think any photograph whether manipulated through Photoshop or through cross processing with film calls attention to the photographer by nature of its departure from “realistic” images? It didn’t get this way on its own. So, the very departure from the norm makes the viewer realize first and foremost that there is a photographer and that their presence is molding this image for some purpose…to reveal what is not seen. So, when I wonder where is the photographer with your image, I am wondering “what does he want me to see through this cross processing that the realistic image hides? Hey, this is as dangerously close to an academic argument as I get, she said as she ended the sentence with a period.

    April 6, 2009 at 10:13 AM

  9. It depends on the viewer. Yes, some will miss the point and say, “Hey, that photograph isn’t normal.” But others will be taken in by the image, seeing in the familiar something unfamiliar. It’s why so many people still shoot black and white film (and so many begin doing it every day) – because we desire to see the familiar transformed.

    I’ve recently been shooting infrared film. Why? Because it has the potential to transform the familiar in a very unique way. Humans, as you know, can’t see infrared. This fact only enhances the experience. (The same goes for black and white – most humans don’t see in black and white.) Sure, maybe some will look at an infrared image and be overwhelmed with feelings of discontinuity. But I’m betting many (if the image is striking enough) will only consider the product for its wonderful unfamiliarity. That a photographer produced it is wholly secondary.

    As for what I want you to see, it’s irrelevant. What you see is what you get. The viewer may see “what is not seen,” or the viewer may not. A cross-processed image merely injects the unfamiliar into the familiar.

    April 6, 2009 at 10:51 PM

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