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Mariah Peixoto's "Nemesis Divina"

"My name is Mariah Peixoto, I am from São Paulo, Brazil, and I am 26 years old. I work as a researcher at the University of São Paulo and, although I am not a professional photographer, taking pictures is one of my biggest passions! Photography has been in my life since my teens. When I got my first job, in 2015, I decided to buy my first digital camera, a Nikon D5200. I learned how to use it by watching some YouTube videos and exploring the manual functions by myself. Some months later, my father gave me his old Pentax ME Super, the same camera he used for taking pictures of me and my sisters when we were kids, and I fell in love with shooting film after doing my first film soup recipe, getting some psychedelic results from it.

After working a bit with the Pentax, I bought the Nikon F100 that I have been using until today. I tend to use it more often than the Pentax due to its double exposure function - definitely my favorite! I am mostly interested in the possibilities of experimenting with the analog format, such as doing multiple exposures, soups and trying some expired and special effects films. Those techniques allow me to create surreal and lysergic images, becoming one of my favorites aesthetics to work with! Also, I am really into seeing other people’s experiments and getting inspired by it! Magazines such as Alter/Analog have been my favorites since the beginning of my path through analog photography! It is a pleasure to collaborate here again!"

See more of Mariah's work on instagram at @mariahpeixoto

About “Nemesis Divina” (2019):

“Nemesis Divina” (2019) happened almost by accident...

Before taking the pictures that are part of this project, all my previous soup

experiences were done with color films and I have never seen a black and white attempt. I was, therefore, really curious to see if it was possible to make a black and white film soup and excited to do some new experiments.

When a good friend of mine gave me an Ilford FP4 125, 24 poses, I decided it was time to try... First, I decided to search online. I googled “black and white film soup” to see what I could find and, thankfully, I found a post by Amanda Jean where she shared some of her results. The website is apparently deactivated, but you can see one of her results here on Pinterest.

I noticed that the images got some stains that looked quite phantasmagoric, so I chose to shoot the roll at a cemetery here in my city, aiming to get some “ghosts”. After shooting it, I left it in the lab I used to develop my rolls but, at the time (beginning of 2019), they were charging a lot for digitalizing soups. I was experiencing a huge problem with analog photography at the time: the prices.

My main goal with shooting analog was to do some experiments. However, few labs here develop film soups (since you can’t reutilize the chemicals after) and I could not develop by myself. In addition, most of the labs also didn’t want to digitalize the soups, especially if you boiled the roll and the negatives were getting all wrinkled. I was aiming to at least be able to digitalize the films by myself but, back then, I did not have how to do it...

Due to all this trammels, what happen was that I developed the soup but I didn’t have enough money to pay for digitalizing all the frames, so I just didn’t... I left the negatives at home hoping that, sooner or later, I would be able to digitalize them by myself.. Or at least for a better price.

Later in 2019, I went to work in Canada and I managed to buy some gear that would help me to digitalize my negatives using my digital camera. However, when I came back, I could not find the negatives from this soup anymore. They just vanished in my room! It took me months to find them again and FINALLY, after more than a year, see the content!

I was extremely excited to see the results but, as the guy who developed it said, apparently I boiled the film for too long. He explained that the black and white films are much more sensitive to high temperatures, so you need to be careful! Well, instead of ghosts, my stains turned out more like flames... I lost a lot of information in the negatives, as if they were burned (they basically were, so...)

When I finally was able to edit the images, I noticed that some of the images looked like as the crosses were on fire. Due to this, I named the project: “Nemesis Divina”, as a reference to the album from Satyricon, a Norwegian Black Metal band. The results were completely different from what I was expecting. They look much more like a Black Metal inspired art than a ghost story... But anyway, I thought they fit perfectly with the atmosphere. Definitely it was a happy accident!

And now that I can at least digitalize the negatives by myself, I am looking forward to trying some other recipes! I did some this year, when I was living in Sweden, and I really enjoyed the results! But I want to try the black and white one at least once more... Let’s see what I will get!

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