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Andrew McClees' "Desaturation #01"

Andrew McClees' "Desaturation #01" is a series of gritty, grainy washed out images created by processing color film in black and white developer.

"My alt process is a somewhat well known one: I used a rodinal stand at a little over 1:100 dilution on expired color film to develop my images, which preserves some of the base color, but it tends to leave the images murky and a little washed out, which I intentionally used to get the desaturated and blownout effect."

Andrew is on instagram as @andrewdmcclees

ALTER/ANALOG:  Can you explain stand development?

AM: Stand development, per my definition, is basically when you let your film sit in developer with minimal or no agitation over a long period of time, in either a low dilution of developer, or regular dilution or to push the film. Most commonly stand development is done with BNW film in rodinal at a dilution of 1:100. I’ve heard of people using HC-110 for stand developing, and I’ve left FP4+ in Xtol for an hour and a half to push it to 6400. I’ve also heard of people doing c41 stand development, but that’s a little beyond me. Here, what I’ve done is use Rodinal at 1:100, but with C41 film, which seems to actually work with the silver halides in the base, but also weakly develop some of the color (green/blue) in the color film I was using.

ALTER/ANALOG:  What effect did using expired film have on the image?

AM: In this case, I’d wager not much, or a slight increase in grain, maybe some of the background dye color is different than it might’ve been fresh. I bought the film nominally-expired in a bulk 100ft roll, where it’d been stored as dead stock in a refrigerator it’s entire life. The biggest impact it being expired had was the cheapness of the film ($1.70/40 frame roll), and my willingness to experiment  with it, where I might be less inclined if it had cost me more. 

ALTER/ANALOG: What got you into shooting film?

AM: I wanted to study photography in high school when I was 15, so I actually took a weekend course at the local art college, where the entire class was done on 400 speed black and white film, and I ended up taking the actual photo class at my high school. After that, it was still cheaper to keep buying film rather than shell out for a (halfway decent) digital camera, and I’ve kinda stuck with it ever since.

ALTER/ANALOG:  What is your favorite thing to shoot?

AM: I have to say my favorite thing to shoot is -- I dunno, I actually tend to feel compelled to shoot everything I see/come across, and kind of escape the trappings of style or genre. There’s a bunch of stuff I don’t like shooting, but I don’t really wanna drag down the article with negativity and hot-takes. All that being said,  I do really love traveling and hiking to go shoot landscapes.

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