Sometimes we look at images and truly wonder how they were made. In the case of photographer Pierre Mottron, a happy accident happened. These are occurrences that are far more common in analog photography than they are in digital. Film photography processes simply allow for things like this to naturally occur. Many times, the effects are actually really fun. So when he was developing this photo, Pierre had something go “wrong.” But some of us might say it went very right!
After shooting this image on his Konica T4 with a Hexanon 85mm lens, Pierre got to work developing it. “The incident occurred both during measurement and while washing the fixer,” Pierre tells us. “I may have misread how many milliliters were to be used for one or all three chemicals, and thinking I had lost my image, I did not take the time to wash it properly.” Of course, it resulted in this cosmically stunning image. However, that’s not all Pierre did!
“I’ve always worked with both analog and digital gear but really got into the process when I started developing and experimenting with negatives,” Pierre tells us about how he got into analog. “I discovered a far more intimate and manual way of approaching photography.” He also doesn’t have a recurring list of essential cameras. Instead, he tends to work with whatever he’s got around and tries to adapt based on what he’s using.
“I get even more creative in situations where I’m lacking something rather than the opposite.”
This photo was shot on Kodak TMax 400. For those of us who shoot film, you’ll know how gorgeous this film can be. In fact, it’s the sharpest ISO 400 black and white film. I’d argue that it’s sharper than most of the others out there except for maybe Acros 100. Of course, because it’s a black-and-white photo, it’s really weird that it’s got this look. But Pierre tells us that he colorized it.
“I enjoy colorizing my images the way naive painters approach colors – I like everything to be flat and bounded. In this specific picture, I made a mistake while developing (did not wash the fixer properly) and ended up with an interesting stain pattern which also adds to the effect.”
So far, Pierre hasn’t tried to repeat the process to get the same exact effect. He cited the cost of film stocks and experimenting over and over again to get the same thing as being really prohibitive. “I have to leave it the chance and hope for the stars to align,” he states.
Looking at this image, one would think that maybe an AI made it, but it’s an accident! When we asked Pierre what he thinks of AI photography, he admits he hasn’t given it a lot of thought. But he doesn’t think it’s part of the photographic debate. “Photography is a medium, but it is also a discipline, a conscious act, a statement and a means of expression, therefore a very human matter,” says Pierre. “AI images may live in the same sphere but are, I believe, only related by denomination.”
Pierre Jean Manuel MOTTRON – composer and photographer born in 1987 in Tours, France and raised in Montreal, Canada. Be sure to follow him on Instagram, his website, and his Saatchi Art. Want to be featured? Click here to see how. All images used with permission from Pierre Mottron.