For many years a practiced a film processing technique called colour acceleration. It was something I came across at Brooks Institute of Photography while doing a colour theory degree.
It was presented to the students as a technical way to increase film speed, when 400 ISO speeds were still in the future. It worked, but had a side effect – massive colour shift.
The assignment we were given was to test some film in a studio environment. We were given a plastic bowl of fruit and some lights…boring!
Me being the curious type thought I would try something totally different and take this technique into the world. The reason this had not been done before was it was awfully hard to control the effects of the process. Exposure was critical and had to be based on specific dilutions of bleach and development times (all this I learned later!)
I was completely addicted after my first “successes”. And spent the next 10 years improving the process with different films and chemicals. All very stinky I assure you!
One thing I was really aiming for was capturing a good skin tone. But it was really quite difficult and had little success.
Once digital came around colour acceleration started to take a back seat to all the new fangled stuff I had to learn. And slowly the process became my history.
I still have all my labs sheets for every roll I processed. Maybe someday I will go back and try again but it seems to be something from the past now.
Anyway, here is a selection of images done with colour acceleration.
Below is a statement I hung at gallery shows so people didn’t think it was all Photoshop!
Colour Acceleration is a “dual film” process not a “cross process”, as most altered film is. In the first phase the film is processed in black and white chemistry, fixated, then bleached and re-exposed to light. The result is a negative that has been “solarized”, which I control in the bleach step.
The majority of images in Arboreal Dreams are printed on Fuji Supergloss polyester(plastic)based photographic paper. In my experience it is the best photographic paper for my images. It’s qualities are deep saturation and high contrast with an archival life of five hundred years(they say!).
The image colours are natural and are inherent qualities of its negative and are not manipulated digitally or enhanced.