The legendary Kodak photographer discovered that microscopic bacteria had invaded the individual layers of photographic emulsion of some of his vintage advertising pictures kept in an unusually damp part of his basement.
The results are a stunning juxtaposition of vintage madmen-era advertising photography with an amazingly detailed and unexpected metamorphosis between the real and the surreal. They have been totally transformed into beautiful abstract colors that you see these images. And none of this work is digitally manipulated in any way – no Photoshop, no tricks - nothing.
Kodak film scientists have verified that these images were caused by microscopic bacteria getting into images in the layers of film. Millions of the microbes are attracted by the gelatin within the various layers. As one of the technicians said, "the bacteria eat into the gelatin because it's like food to them" (think Jell-O).
I've been told that they've never seen any thing like this before and that it is probably the first time anyone has seen this kind of transformed film product. Interestingly, these photos nearly never saw the light of day. In fact, during a mission to clean out his basement, Neil had already tossed these slides into the garbage when he decided to take another look. At first glance, they appeared to be ruined after decades of improper storage. But after further inspection, he began to realize the amazing transformation that had taken place - Jim Montanus
television news story summarizes how the bacteria
Neil poses next to his bacteria
collection of images at an exhibition in the prestigious Vignelli Center