The film image was and remains some­thing quiv­er­ing and dif­fer­ent from the dig­i­tal image. The film has a style that no imi­ta­tion appli­ca­tion, no fil­ter or twist­ed grain can replace. There­fore, it is still being filmed and will con­tin­ue to be filmed. For this warmth of the pic­ture, its rough­ness, the film is loved.

But just film pho­tog­ra­phy today will sur­prise few peo­ple. Even film medi­um for­mat pho­tog­ra­phy. Need some­thing else! I col­lect­ed such “more”: tricky recipes that will ele­vate film images to a new lev­el, unusu­al for the eye.

1. Cross process

A thing known to all film geeks of the 2000s, but today fad­ed into the back­ground.

Con­ven­tion­al 35mm film is most often a col­or neg­a­tive film that is car­ried for devel­op­ment through the C‑41 process. In addi­tion to it, there is a slide col­or film, it is devel­oped accord­ing to the E‑6 process. Each process has its own set of reagents for devel­op­ing an image (devel­op­er, wet­ting agent and fix­er).

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Cross-pro­cess­ing involves devel­op­ing a film of one type with reagents for anoth­er. The cross process is a C‑41 neg­a­tive film devel­oped using the E‑6 process. So the col­ors in the cap­tured pho­tographs show them­selves from a new side, become juici­er. It is impos­si­ble to pre­dict exact­ly how they will behave: it depends on the film, shoot­ing time, geolo­ca­tion and many oth­er fac­tors. Exper­i­ment! Blek­lo def­i­nite­ly will not.

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Recipe: Find one of the largest pho­to labs in your city and ask to devel­op cross-coun­try. Most like­ly, peo­ple will under­stand what you are talk­ing about and take your tapes. It will cost a lit­tle more than usu­al. As a last resort, just explain what you need to man­i­fest on E‑6 if peo­ple don’t know about this mechan­ic.

2. Reverse cross process

A more cun­ning sto­ry that is even rar­er. The mechan­ics are exact­ly the same: the film of one process appears in a non-native way. Only in this case it is a slide film (E‑6) accord­ing to the process for neg­a­tive (C‑41). Such fraud with reagents great­ly affects the pic­ture: a lot of ocher, pur­ple, beige halftones.

Unlike the clas­sic cross-process, the col­ors do not play punk rock, but are soft­ened by play­ing the piano. Soft, gen­tle, almost pas­tel. But it’s worth repeat­ing: this is not a sin­gle scheme, the out­put image is indi­vid­ual depend­ing on the film, the shoot­ing loca­tion and the cam­era.

Pho­to: lomography.com User: @_smg_
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Author’s pho­to

Recipe: You will need any slide(!) film. After shoot­ing it, also take it to the dark­room and ask to devel­op accord­ing to C‑41. This is not a com­mon prac­tice at all, it may be nec­es­sary to edu­cate the employ­ee and assure that this can be done. Non-native process will affect only the film itself.

3. Redscale

Show dif­fer­ent process­es have shown, you can do exper­i­ments before devel­op­ing! We are talk­ing about red­scale, a method when shoot­ing takes place on the reverse side of the film. Here the result is pre­dictable and does not depend on the aper­ture ratio of the lens and the brand of the film.

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Red­scale is all shades of beige! Every­thing seems to be shot through an orange fil­ter. Of course, it is vari­able: the high­er the ISO, the rich­er the col­or will be, some­times reach­ing hot orange and even red. And, con­verse­ly, at ISO 50 or 100 it can be a melan­cholic beige, sandy.

Pho­to: lomography.com User: @panchoballard ISO:100

Recipe: You need any kind of neg­a­tive film. We will shoot on the back side, so the first option is to do it your­self. In a dark room, unwind the entire film from the reel, turn it over to the oth­er side, fas­ten it and rewind it. Shoot as usu­al, devel­op­ing also accord­ing to the stan­dard C‑41. The sec­ond, light­weight option: some brands spied on this trick and imme­di­ate­ly release film reels wound accord­ing to this scheme. Look for the name Red­scale or check with the sell­er. Suit­able, for exam­ple, Lomog­ra­phy Red­scale 50–200.

4. Doubles

Dou­ble expousure is a dou­ble expo­sure when two shots are super­im­posed on one frame. In some cam­eras it is pos­si­ble to do this right away, but most involve fast for­ward­ing, with no option to press the shut­ter but­ton on the sec­ond cir­cle. For such cas­es, there is a life hack: once film every­thing that you would like to see as a sub­strate, the first lay­er. Tex­tures, flow­ers, clouds, archi­tec­ture will do — what­ev­er you want, there are no rules. Then wind it up and put it back in the cam­era. Remove already over the first lay­er.

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Pho­to: lomography.com User: @lalouve
Pho­to: lomography.com User: @lalouve

Dou­bles are always a game and incred­i­ble over­dubs. The case when it is dif­fi­cult to struc­ture in order to pre­dict the result. It’s almost poet­ry. See for your­self:

Pho­to: lomography.com User: @lalouve
Pho­to: lomography.com User: @lalouve
Pho­to: lomography.com User: @lalouve

Recipe: when insert­ing the film into the cam­era on the first lay­er, make a mark with a mark­er so that the frames over­lap even­ly on the sec­ond cir­cle. It is always worth remem­ber­ing that the film is a pho­to­sen­si­tive sub­stance. By expos­ing one frame sev­er­al times, you can eas­i­ly over­ex­pose it. To avoid this result, always divide your shut­ter speed and ISO by 2. For exam­ple, each lay­er is 1/125 instead of 1/60 in one shot. Keep this in mind, but don’t take it for grant­ed: it all depends on the lev­el of light­ing and what and how you shoot on both lay­ers.

5. Pour and soak

Per­haps the biggest exper­i­ment in this col­lec­tion: it is com­plete­ly impos­si­ble to pre­dict how such treat­ment of the film will affect the pic­ture itself, what will hap­pen and what will be the result. By soak­ing the film in some­thing before shoot­ing it, you start the reac­tion of this liq­uid along with the chem­i­cal lay­er on the film itself. And chem­i­cal reac­tions are often unpre­dictable.

Exam­ple: expo­sure of the film for a day in sea water and gin. As a result, slight streaks appeared, and the film was dyed in a blue-pur­ple col­or.

Pho­to: lomography.com User: Natal­ie Goulet

Anoth­er recipe with an unpre­dictable result is the com­bi­na­tion of Coca-Cola and green tea. In this mix, the film was soaked for about 6–8 hours. And as a result, beau­ti­ful stains and specks appeared on every frame.

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Pho­to: lomography.com User: Elzi Boba
Pho­to: lomography.com User: Elzi Boba

A third exam­ple is Indi­an green cur­ry sauce. The spices includ­ed in the com­po­si­tion launched a strong reac­tion on the light-sen­si­tive com­po­nents of the film.

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Recipe: choose the ingre­di­ent with which you would like to exper­i­ment, pour into a small con­tain­er that can com­plete­ly cov­er the roll of film, and feel free to throw the last one there. Let stand for a while (at your dis­cre­tion, from 5 hours to a day). Next, you will need to remove the film and, hav­ing rolled it along the entire length in a dark room, gen­tly wash it under cold water for sev­er­al min­utes. Then dry in the same dark room. You can try dry­ing with a hair dry­er on low pow­er so as not to over­heat, or leave to dry on a tow­el. After a while, when the film is dry, wind it back into the spool, shoot and devel­op as usu­al. Cross-process devel­op­ment will enhance the col­ors.

6. Washing

An equal­ly bold option than soak­ing the film in wine or tea is to wash it! Suit­able for both wash­ing machine and dish­wash­er. The result is unpre­dictable! Not only clean­ing chem­i­cals, but also hot tem­per­a­tures will come into con­tact with the film emul­sion.

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Pho­to: lomography.com User: @hti
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Pho­to: lomography.com User: @hti

The recipe is sim­i­lar to film soak­ing. After wash­ing / wash­ing in a wash­ing machine, the film will need to be washed under cold water in a dark room and allowed to dry. Every­thing else is stan­dard.

7. Fire

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An exper­i­ment that falls out of the gen­er­al list, because it needs a film already devel­oped, pos­i­tive. I man­aged to find only a few exper­i­menters of this style on the net, but an exam­ple of each of them is already a work of art, and not just a pho­to­graph. By ignit­ing the film, you can already see what is on it, and there­fore select the nec­es­sary melt­ing point. In a sense, this is post-pro­duc­tion. The results that you will get are sil­ly to describe, it’s eas­i­er to look at the exam­ples:

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Pho­to: word­press User: @experimental223
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Pho­to: lomography.com User: @nicktaurojr

Recipe: You will need devel­oped neg­a­tives and a can­dle — it is eas­i­er to work with. Bring the cut film to the burn­ing can­dle while hold­ing the tweez­ers and stop when you get the desired effect. Remem­ber that the film should only melt slight­ly, and not burn com­plete­ly. Be care­ful with the fire, don’t bring it too close and don’t over­do it! Suc­cess­ful exper­i­ments!