If you’ve been obsessed with film back in the days, you’ve probably heard about cross processing. It’s when you develop one type of film with the process meant for another. For example processing slides with C41 process intended for negatives or processing negatives with E6 meant for slides. This was a known “trick” with wedding photographers before Instagram was ever even thought about.
But what happens when you start going crazy with the fluids used for processing film? Photographer Matthew Cetta asked this question exactly, and started experimenting with all kinds of processing formulas, from absinthe through Olive Brine to Hydrogen Peroxide and Nail Polish Remover. (the photo above was processed with Color Safe Bleach)
His results are covered in a portfolio called Photogenic Alchemy, and are hypnotizing to look at.
Here is how Matthew describes the project:
“Photogenic Alchemy is an exercise in controlled chaos and a study in the science of art. By breaking down silver salts and celluloid to its elemental form, I’ve created a dark and gritty apocalyptic world. It is a world that seems to be dissolving right before our eyes. Toxic and fascinating, each new roll of film left me intrigues. I couldn’t wait to try the next substance on my ever increasing list.”#
And here are a few examples of his work. For the full list of crazy substances and processes head over to Photogenic Alchemy, you’ll be surprised at what can be considered as developing substance.
P.S. If you wanna go experimental but stay on the safe side, try Coffee And Vitamin C
P.P.S Or go a bit crazier Developing Paper With Red Wine
Thanks for the tip Elon