As a photography apprentice Viggo probably wouldn't pass his exams producing all those pictures full of flaws. Fortunately an artist doesn't have to follow the rules. :-) Viggo isn't the only one photograph using those effects. Under CONNECTIONS you will find some other interesting photographers. He isn't tossingh his camera yet, but he uses other accidents, including broken camera or lens.

* Thanks to Maike Kollenrott for providing the name!


Can have two causes: The object is out of focus, or the camera or object (or both) are moving while exposing the film Usual considered as a flaw, the effect can be also used , e.g. to show movement, or in extremal case like Viggo's, to "paint with light".




From Caught in his own picture by Trine Ross, Politiken, jun 28, 2003"

My camera was broken and when I first saw the developed photos I got rather cross because I thought they were ruined. But then I saw that they might have ended up being better. With the next rolls of film I experimented with controlling the error so I could place it almost as I wanted to."

From A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen: An Interview with Viggo Mortensen by Scott Thill, 20 September 2002

ST: I was trying to figure out the process for those flares. I thought that burn came from the development process.
No, it was in the camera. The wiring that advanced the film and activated the flash got messed up. I was fishing and dropped the camera and it got wet. When it dried out, it started doing that. I shot a roll, saw it and thought, "Oh, shit." But when I looked at them, I thought that some of them looked kind of interesting. So on the next roll, I tried moving the wire all the way to one side and the flares would go to that side. Then I moved it to the middle, the right, and on the bottom and shot maybe eight rolls of film before it stopped working altogether.


According to Farenheit (an article I lost the track of) the camera was a Yashica 35mm, probably this one:



Overexposed areas "bleed" into the black frame of usually unexposed film. Never seen this before, but I think it might be caused by wether a light reflection inside of the film carrier, or some photo-chemical reaction. Seems to be quite common effect though, as one can see looking at Miyelos or Still Point film stripes from 45301.

Added on 6. May 04: The first (d)effect I was able to copy using b&w material. (bottom picture)



Can be seen on some Miyelos. Extremely overexposured areas of the film can turn into its own negative. As seen on Miyelo 10 and 12 here, the center of the sun turns darker.


BTW, Don't mix up this "real" solarisation with an effect used making prints called solarisation too, although its real name is Sabbatier effect (involves exposing the partially developed negative to a controlled dose of light and then continuing development which produces a part positive/part negative effect .)


Added on 19.June 2004: Another (d)effect I was able to repeat with the black and white material. The series shows four pictures taken with increasing exposition time (lower shutter speed) until ca. 5 sek. The pictures were developed shorter than usual to compensate the overexposure (push developing).




Something I certainly DON'T understand -- rows of stains/darker/different coloured areas on the edges that seem to match exactly the sprockets of the film Here is a discussion on something that seems to be a similar effect.

Theoretically it could be caused by a camera leaking light, or pulling the film to strong, but Miyelos were taken with a panoramic Hasselblad XPan, Leaving Christchurch and Shoe Fence -- with the "flaring" Yashica in 2000. Sueño der Retiro was made in 2001 so most probably we have three different cameras that unlikely produce the same effect. What remains is not enough developer agitation (tried to repeat that but had no luck), or something that happened while making prints. Again, without knowing if the used material was negative or dia/slide film and without seing the cameras (what would I do to get those cameras in my hands for a little while) it's impossible to say.



Mostly at the film strip end -- the part one need to put the film into the camera -- gets exposed also on the edges. 45301 is such case, it seems to be the first picture in the roll. Why it appears on Long Lead NYC -- it's hard to say.



Caused by one of the lenses Viggo uses with his Hasselblad. Shouldn't be mixed up with a "fisheye" effect caused by a special lense that distracts the perspective.

(...) "when he puts his Hasselblad camera down it gives a rolling clonking sound because the end bit of the lens is loose. Another thing he has taken advantage of photographically". From Caught in his own picture by Trine Ross, Politiken, 2003

"We know how he got the tunnel, we know how he got the circle.... The lens of one of Viggo's camera broke slightly meaning that the barrel would move without the lens so thus you get the slightlyblurred edges and colour reflections inside the barrel. Thank you so much to Lis Steinkce the museum curator for that piece of information." Hellcat From Farthest Outpost, discussion on Ephemeris, Jul 01, 2003

It is strange, how the framing influences the photos' mood. They all seem to concentrate on details, even if there are no details in the picture, but at the same time the frame build a distance, they look like a microscope sight, or distant memories...

And now, thanks to Henry and the new book The Horse Is Good, we can see the famous Hasselblad camera with the famous broken lens. At least it looks like this...



Double exposing caused by no (or not completely) advancing the film in the camera. Instead of being exposed once the area of the film stores two overlaying images. Wether it is deliberately done or not -- only Viggo knows...



Caused by various metal clips, probably while developing the film stripes.