Nicholas Abriola is a fine art photographer from Connecticut and has been passionate about shooting film since high school, first starting to experiment with the medium almost 10 years ago. His work explores the relationship between identity and the natural world through interpretation of the human form. By combining images of natural elements with portraits, he is able to express a thought process through each unique canvas.
‘I first encountered Impossible film a few months after graduating from college while working at a camera shop that sold the film. After buying a couple of packs, I shot some test shots to start. As I watched the images emerge from the squares of deep blue, I felt a sense of wonder and excitement that can only be compared to developing my first prints in the darkroom almost a decade prior. The moment was revelatory and I was officially hooked. I have been regularly shooting Impossible film since then, for the past two years. My focus was nature and landscape images when I was first starting with Impossible film. The translation of natural beauty to film allowed unique tonal accentuations to take shape. I began shooting portraits and then decided to push these portraits further by incorporating double exposures. I began to merge nature imagery with the depiction of the human figure.
Moments in time come and go and we are left with impressions that become memories, but memory is imperfect.
These images are a selection from an ongoing body of work called Coalescence. These images were made by shooting double exposure images in-camera with Impossible film with a OneStep 600. My latest work is focused on the human form to abstract it through layering two or more images in one frame. This series of images is focused on the human form and its infinite ability to express. I believe that the body is a mortal vessel that carries imprints of human experience. In this series I am layering wild natural elements with the expressive figure to abstract and distort identity. By layering organic patterns and shapes onto segments of the male body, the images take on a life of their own through distortion and ambiguous presence of the subject matter. Elements of the human form are apparent through a veil of color and shape that push the readability of the overall image. Intimate interpersonal experiences and the growth of a close relationship are at the core of these images. I ask myself how I can capture these moments and acknowledge that even these recorded slivers of time are also imperfect, inexact, fallible?
There is an organic sensibility to the images created with Impossible film. There is a softness and certainty to them that exist simultaneously. The chemical processes and their incredibly unique reactions to light and temperature place these images in a category all their own. Impossible film images are ones that could not be less removed from the tangible world – and perhaps offer us glimpses into the metaphysical dimension as well. My experimentation with the format has grown exponentially which has led to some really exciting imagery and some of the work I am most proud of. Impossible is a format that depends on creative risks and experimentation in order to reveal all of the complex inner workings of the format which results in unique imagery. New doors have opened for me and my creative processes have evolved because of my love for this format. I am excited to see how my work continues to grow shooting with Impossible film.”