Fashion Photographer Treats Old Negatives With Chemicals To Create Surreal Distortion

From our friends at Beautiful/Decay, today we bring you a look at the chemically manipulated photographs of Rohn Meijer, whose work combines happy accidents with a trash-to-treasure approach to art making. Author  notes: ”Meijer claims that 90 percent of each batch he creates is trashed, but apparently he has a large arsenal of film that he doesn’t mind tossing, as they were most likely going to end up in the garbage anyway.” This article was originally published on  

High Society,

Rohn Meijer. High Society, n.d.; photograph from manipulated negative.

Dutch fashion photographer Rohn Meijer applies a chemical cocktail to old negatives in order to produce stunning effects of surreal color and distortion. This idea occurred to Meijer when he discovered some old negatives that were damaged by moisture. He then decided to concoct his own chemical-water treatment (the specifics of which he’d like kept secret) that would interact with the silver nitrate on the back of the negatives and enhance the effect of crystallization. Though he does like to treat entire negatives with the caustic bath, he will sometimes deliberately apply the cocktail to certain parts of the photograph in order to draw out or deepen the effect.

“What I’m looking for is the way that colors play out, sometimes a bleeding effect, other times more harsh effects,” he says. “It’s a different kind of developing I’m doing, it’s not done in a laboratory.”

Read the full article here.