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In Another Land by Richard Keeling on 500px.com

In a world where a button press in Lightroom or Photoshop can apply an infinite variety of tones and colors to any image, why would I spend time and energy using a strange, uncertain film like Lomochrome Turquoise to generate a weird looking image like this one?

Precisely because it is uncertain. All I do to control the colors is find a subject and the light to illuminate it. ‘Control’ is a very loose word here. The amount of light striking the film generates the unique color balance and if you are looking for a reproducible look, well, look elsewhere. This is a once off photograph and all the more valuable because it is such.

Randomness is a well established tool, understood by artists and mystifying to technicians.  For technicians control is paramount. Digital photography has been a gift to such thinkers, but just as much effort went into trying to tame film photography too.

In many cases, one wants a consistent and reproducible look. But it’s far too easy to get hung up on this and to squelch the discoveries that an aleatory approach provides.

So I deliberately embrace techniques that shunt me out of the conventional. By no means are all the results worthwhile, but enough are.

I don’t consider this an unlearned or naive approach. As I indicated above, it’s pretty much mainstream in the world of real art. But it does remind me, sadly, just how many photographers are not artists at all.