Distorted Photos Created by Repeatedly Rephotographing Prints

For his project titled Back Yard, Japanese photographer Daisuke Yokota applied the musical ideas of echo, delay, and reverb to photography by shooting, developing, printing, and re-photographing the same image over and over. In an interview with American Photo, he states,

[…] first I used a compact digital camera, and printed the image out. Then I photographed that image with a 6×7 film camera, using color film, even though the image is later black and white. I developed it at home, in a way so that imperfections or noise will appear—I make the water extra warm, or don’t agitate the film. Even before that, I let some light hit the film; I’m developing in my bathroom, so it’s not even a real darkroom, which helps, but I’ll hold a lighter up to the film, or whatever is around. I’m always experimenting—the goal is to not do it the same way twice. So then, to produce more and more variations in the final image, I re-photographed the image about ten times.

Basically, Yokota is introducing distortion through what’s known as generation loss.

Back Yard by Daisuke Yokota (via American Photo)

Image credits: Photographs by Daisuke Yokota and used with permission

  • Amadeusz Leonardo Juskowiak

    Almost as useful as enlarging ur cameraphone pic with scanner (found some time ago here on PP). What’s the point? Art?

  • Diego Llamazares

    A mediocre photo will always be a mediocre photo no matter how corrosive the treatment is, art has come to a point where the tediousness in the creative process is the only thing that matters..

  • Knur

    another hipster’s poo

  • pogi

    +1 When people cant think of anything original, it comes to this.

  • Kevin Fox

    I like it. It shows thought, creativity, and it inspires imagination.

  • DaGuerre

    There’s a wonderful Yiddish word for this kind of stuff: Dreck. Look it up. ;)

  • John Milleker

    I’m not a fan of these, but I know quite a few people who are fans of the chaos of being sloppy in the darkroom on purpose, and I can respect that. It’s just not for me.

  • Brandon McWilliams

    If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Leaving snarky hateful comments only illustrates your own bitterness towards someone trying something a little different.

    I actually bothered to look up you commenters’ work and it sure could benefit from a little imaginative thinking. Taking the same old photographs over and over might get you paid, but there’s no inspiration in being a waffle iron.

  • MikeAlgar42

    I was talking about photography and art the other day with a friend. We were debating the order of importance between, meaning, subject, method, originality, overall picture, mood. We thought that whilst a method may be interesting if the outcome of the pictures is awful then the idea is only ‘interesting.’ The top picture actually is quite engaging, and so method in this case enhanced the picture and made the overall outcome. So well executed idea.

  • Crest

    People assume that the process is the point of these photos. if anything the artist might simply be sharing some various ideas.

  • kendon

    “dreck” is actually the german word for dirt.

  • DaGuerre

    You need not correct me. I know what it means. It has several meanings.

    dreck   [drek]
    noun Slang . 1. excrement; dung. 2. worthless trash; junk.

    1920–25; Yiddish drek; cognate with German Dreck filth; compare Old English threax, Old Norse threkkr excrement

  • kendon

    it is rather an addition than a correction. also, jiddish is a “branch” of german.

  • Jamie Leeson

    I think the process has created a really interesting photograph especially the top pic and the bottom one. The top looks like massive rain drops and the bottom looks like the figures are fused with to a plaster or wax disc. They are also a bit spooky. I love the idea and the outcome, it is a YES from me.