Photographer Polina Washington from St. Petersburg has been experimenting with film and multi-exposure for many years. The last of her series in this technique, Bloom, is an unexpected combination of exposures, amazing deep colors and mysterious plots. About work on it Polina told our magazine.
I did not plan a series of Bloom in advance, basically I always took a film using multi-exposure. Developing this technique, in which it is important to understand which expositions you combine, I suddenly decided to try to release the process, that is, not to track the overlap, but to rely on the case. If earlier I did double shots in the course of film movement, then I decided to just load one film into the camera twice, thereby increasing the lack of control over the overlays. Basically I shot interesting shapes and natural drawings, light, without focusing on some main object. The first such a film I soaked in the film “soup” invented on the move and as a result received the first three photos of the series. For almost a year I did not show or exhibit these works – the received footage came out some very unusual and special for me, but I myself could not even understand what it was about.
The combination of techniques of multi-exposure and soaking the film greatly diversified the image palette, reinforcing the sensation of something non-existent, as if it were some subtle matter frozen on the film. A couple of frames from the series – not even footage at all, but scans of empty areas on the film, painted with stains from soaking.
In Bloom, there are no heroes, the main objects of shooting. Even if there are people on the pictures, it is very vague. This series is an attempt to go beyond the real image even further, turning the surface of the photosensitive material into a canvas where you not only fix the surrounding world, but also let it through the prism of your perception, using all sorts of visual means.
I love photography and image precisely for visual language, for the ability to convey some very subtle things without words. And it’s not necessary to see the same thing in one picture – everyone notices something of their own, very personal. In some ways I wanted to imitate abstract painting to talk with the viewer in the language of shapes, colors and lines. I have no specific indication of what he should see in Bloom, there is no explanation of what it is. For me it is an attempt to present subtle matter around us, but someone else can find in it something quite the opposite. I would like the photo to be perceived through feeling, not through an imposed opinion.