A Film Risotto

21

From my Lomo-kitchen of international cuisine, I am giving you a big serving of my recipe! Just say "Buono!" if you want some more!

The Risotto Effect – achieved by adding rice grains to a film, closing it up and leaving it to fester for many months. The whole thing literally came alive! The conditions inside were too wet to develop so this is a scan of the negative. The effects you can see were made by mildew spores branching out and eating away at the emulsion.

In fact it’s pretty easy to make boring pictures look interesting. Use cross processing, filters or multi exposure too make your 1000st self portrait look somehow fresh and funky. Or, do as I did, add some LIFE.

The whole experiment started in summer 2006 when we were looking for interesting “analogue” techniques. One of them was to put a roll of film in a pot with boiling water. We had heard about that before but wanted to try it out before announcing anything. So I boiled 2 rolls and gave them to my trusty lab. The next day they gave them back to me, undeveloped, with a note saying that they were unable to develop the film. It had to do with film emulsion peeling off and destroying the chemistry and other films….. Ok, I couldn’t have expected anything else from a professional lab and I did not want to cause any trouble.

But “giving up” is not part of my active vocabulary (just now, after looking it up in the dictionary). I remembered the old trick of adding rice grains to a salt shaker. The rice sucks up the humidity and keeps the salt dry. I took a small zip bag, put in the 2 rolls, filled it up with rice and closed it. I wanted to wait until every drop of water was gone. However, due to the decision that the boiling-film technique was “too complicated”, my little bag of film-risotto eventually disappeared and must have found its way into some storage box.

In April 2007 I moved to a new flat. During the move I came across the little bag again, now filled with some indistinguishable mixture of dust, fibres, and spores. The whole thing went through the process of coming alive and probably dying again in this small environment. My first thought was to throw away this disgusting thing but I decided to keep it for some neurotic reason which also qualifies me for a top position in the Lomographic World Archive.

At end of 2007 I got a new task from the “department of advanced newsletter content allocation” which was: experimenting with film. I remembered the little bag of nastiness and decided to get the 2 rolls of film developed. First of all I had to clean them and this was really disgusting. My paranoia of mildew (especially on food) is quite acute – a great help in this situation. I held my breath for the whole cleaning period, washed my hands 5 times afterwards and almost had to throw up.

As I didn’t want to scare off my beloved lab I gave the ‘special’ film to the film development service in a supermarket. I didn’t expect too much and when I got back the films there were no prints included, instead there was a small preprinted note attached saying something like “printing not possible, negatives destroyed due to being moist”, (“moist” crossed out and replaced with a handwritten “wet” :)

And really, the negatives partially looked like something that could be described as destroyed, but there were still lots of exposed emulsion left. The big surprise became visible when I scanned the negs in. First I wasn’t sure what I was seeing, weird colours, strange reactions on top of some long forgotten images! OMG! the mildew has eaten its way throughout the film, branches and spores everywhere, photo emulsion washed away, colour layers gone crazy… ravishingly beautiful!

….and now one of the pictures hangs in my living room as 1×1.5m print.

written by mandi on 2009-04-04 in #gear #tipster

21 Comments

  1. olique
    olique ·

    wow!
    nice!:)

  2. mandi
    mandi ·

    btw. pic nr. 34 says "austrian institute for non-destructive testing" ;)

  3. zark
    zark ·

    Amazing Pictures!

  4. yoscolmi
    yoscolmi ·

    crazy! and great!

  5. stouf
    stouf ·

    YEAH ! I love that organic effect !

  6. oldskool_rider
    oldskool_rider ·

    wow i love shot 45

  7. maxpinckers
    maxpinckers ·

    great organic effect!!

  8. maxpinckers
    maxpinckers ·

    great organic effect!!

  9. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    kuurrraaaazzzzeeeehhhhh

  10. coca
    coca ·

    great!!!

  11. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    Piep Piep Piep / Guten Appetit!

  12. makeyuu
    makeyuu ·

    i have done this thing and i have the roll ready for dev. now but no one wants to develop it!! whattodoo????

  13. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    what a story ;)

  14. bravopires
    bravopires ·

    three times buono!

  15. purplellama
    purplellama ·

    Inspiring! Makes me want to go experiment with film!!!!

  16. cybervixen
    cybervixen ·

    wow :O These are so beautiful!! I think this is the most epic result of a 'happy accident'

  17. metzgor
    metzgor ·

    :-D what a great story and so strange results.. fantastic!

  18. sivy
    sivy ·

    was the rice boiled or steamed? :P i want to have a go myself :D x

  19. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    Great gallery!

  20. jaguarwomon
    jaguarwomon ·

    Stunning!

  21. kamilou
    kamilou ·

    My boyfriend is gonna love you: you helped me finding an interest in cooking :D great piicures, indeed.

  22. pzjo
    pzjo ·

    this is incredible! WOW. Do you reckon it would work the other way round? As in, shooting the film & getting them develeped, THEN adding the rice for a time?

More Interesting Articles

  • The Kitchen Through the Eyes of 35

    written by mikekumagai on 2014-10-10 in #lifestyle
    The Kitchen Through the Eyes of 35

    Far from the romanticized images we see on television, kitchens are marred by a mesh of savage industrial hardware, organic flesh and bones, and the souls that inhabit it, as photographer Mike Kumagai discovered. His series exposes some of the notions we carry of kitchens and cooking in the only medium befitting of the task: 35mm film.

    1
  • Film Manipulation: Kodak Slides and Bleach

    written by neonlights on 2014-07-30 in #gear #tipster
    Film Manipulation: Kodak Slides and Bleach

    I want to share with you my experience with some slides when I was in Russia. I'm very sorry for them because I messed them up. They're just ruined and they'll never be the same! But hey, I have thousands of them, so I guess it's not a big deal after all.

    4
  • My Week In Film: December 15th-21st, 2014

    written by alienmeatsack on 2015-01-06 in #lifestyle
    My Week In Film: December 15th-21st, 2014

    Another week in film done. This week, I have more Instax, some Konstruktor, a failed triple exposure of myself and shooting film for international film swaps. And this is just the stuff I’m telling you about.

    4
  • Shop News

    Capture your Special Moments in lovely Circles

    Capture your Special Moments in lovely Circles

    See the world through 170⁰ of fabulous Fisheye distortion. Browse them now and find selected editions discounted up to 30%!

  • Wes Anderson Films: From My Perspective as a Lomographer

    written by efrost on 2014-04-07 in #lifestyle
    Wes Anderson Films: From My Perspective as a Lomographer

    You could say that I love all of the works of Wes Anderson. Here I am going to show you just a few of the qualities of his films that I especially love as a lomographer.

    1
  • Using a 20mm lens to take pictures from the top

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-11 in #gear #tipster
    Using a 20mm lens to take pictures from the top

    While waiting for the new Lomography gem, the wonderful Russar+ lens, I took some photos at a fun fair with my wonderful Mir 20/3.5 super wide angle lens from the big panoramic wheel. Here I'll tell you some tips about the use of this kind of lens. Read more after the jump!

    1
  • Get Ready For a New Cine Film On Monday October 13th! Sign-Up to Hear about the Launch as Soon as it Happens

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-09 in #news
    Get Ready For a New Cine Film On Monday October 13th! Sign-Up to Hear about the Launch as Soon as it Happens

    Did you enjoy shooting with Cine200 Tungsten Film when it launched? Or were you one of the unlucky many who missed out on this ultra-limited edition emulsion? Well, we’re thrilled to say we have an exciting follow-up to Cine200 which will launch in just a few days! And as the other film sold out so fast, we wanted to give you the opportunity to sign-up to our list to get the news as soon as it happens.

    1
  • Shop News

    Still one of the Best - Horizon Kompakt

    Still one of the Best - Horizon Kompakt

    The Horizon Kompakt is a miracle in the shape of a 35mm camera. Just watching its multi-coated swing lens as it sweeps 120° degrees is a wonder to behold. With "Day" and "Night" shooting settings and battery free operation, it's also incredibly simple to use. Capture picture-perfect panoramas and get prints approximately the size of two standard frames. With the Kompakt, you'll see the world from a whole new perspective.

  • Tutorial: Tetenal Colortec E6 3-bath Kit - Develop your own color slides

    written by sandravo on 2014-05-29 in #gear #tipster
    Tutorial: Tetenal Colortec E6 3-bath Kit - Develop your own color slides

    This is a tutorial for the adventurous Lomographers, for those brave enough to do their own B&W and C-41 work but lacking the confidence to move onto E6. Fear no more! I am an enthusiastic home developer, just like the rest of you, I am not a chemical lab wizard! So if I can pull this off, so can the rest of you. Take a deep breath, relax, and read on. By the end of this article I hope you'll have mustered the courage to give it a go yourselves!

    5
  • Italian food by Lomography X-Pro Slide 200

    written by sirio174 on 2014-04-26 in #reviews
    Italian food by Lomography X-Pro Slide 200

    On a sunny April Sunday, I decided to load a Lomography X-Pro Slide 200 on my new Lomo LC-A+; both bought few weeks ago from the Lomography Online Shop to take some photos of some Italian food stalls in the center of my city, Como. Here my first impressions about this interesting film.

  • Lomography Day Trips: Ubud, Bali (Part 2)

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-03 in #world #locations
    Lomography Day Trips: Ubud, Bali (Part 2)

    Previously, I suggested that you walk around Ubud. For he second part of my Lomography Day Trip piece on Ubud, allow me to show you places that are worth visiting. Don't worry, you won't get lost! If you do want to get lost, just rent a bicycle and ride around!

  • Shop News

    Take the Harpy on a ride!

    Take the Harpy on a ride!

    Take your camera on a safe ride with your bike. This sturdy ZKIN leather bag protects your Diana F+ sized cameras and Lens. Remove the loops and you have a stylish shoulder bag!

  • Lomography Embassy Store - Prague

    written by clemencew on 2014-10-22 in #world #locations
    Lomography Embassy Store - Prague

    The Lomography Embassy Store of Prague is the place to be for Lomographers from all over the world! If you live in Prague, or even if you are just traveling around and need to buy some new Lomographic accessories, come and stop by to say hi!

    3
  • I am a Mad Analogue Scientist: New Experiments with 35mm Films and Chemicals

    written by blackfairy on 2014-08-07 in #gear #tipster
    I am a Mad Analogue Scientist: New Experiments with 35mm Films and Chemicals

    Unfortunately, it happens sometimes that your resulting pictures are not what you expected - the image doesn't look that good, the colors are bland, and the subject is banal. Indeed, it couldn't be picture of the year! Herein I propose a second chance for your pictures by modifying your 35mm negatives. Just pick up some ideas from here, experiment, and scan your negatives with the Lomography Smartphone Scanner. Anything is possible: burning, scratching, putting on hydrochloric acid, balsamic vinegar, nail polish, bleach, or raspberry juice... use your imagination and write down your new film soup recipe! You can find a sample of the effects in this article.

    12
  • Fresh From the Lab: Sicilian Dance and Music

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-13 in #lifestyle
    Fresh From the Lab: Sicilian Dance and Music

    Yesterday I picked up from my trusty photography shop in Como a developed and scanned color film roll containing images of the Sicilian festival held on May 1 at the city's historical center. A few hours ago, I made some scans of these images, which I'm pleased to show you in this article! Read more after the jump!