Destroying Film to Play with Color


I have recently completed my first film destroy mission and have been amazed at the beautiful warped colours it has produced! The best way to play with colours is to use the unexpected. So why not add a bit of excitement to your pictures and take a risk? Read on to find our more about my film destroyer which produced psychedelic results!

What you need:

You need a film destroyer of your choice. For mine, I just used hot water and lemon juice. Simple but so effective! There are many crazy and well documented film destroyers on here so do a bit of research and select your weapon of choice.

The process:

I know everyone does it differently and there’s no set way to do this which is what makes it so great but here’s how I did it. I used an old hot drinks container, the type you take your coffee to work in to mix up the film destroyer. Its good to have a lid so you can give it a good shake cocktail style. I filled the container about half way using hot water then added about 250 ml of pure lemon juice. Popped the film straight in and gave it a vigorous shake for a few minutes then left it to stand for a hour. I went back every 10 minutes or so to give it a little shake and move the liquid around.

Its important to use a big enough container to submerge your film canister. You want the liquid to get in. After the hours I took the film out and allowed it to dry off for a few hours on the drainer in the kitchen then popped it on the window ledge in the sun for a few weeks to dry out before shooting. If your in a rush take it into a completely blacked out room and use a hair dryer to dry it off.

I had almost forgotten about the film when is was gazing out of the window one day and it caught my eye. Okay, I thought now is the time. I loaded up my reliable Olympus Trip and headed out. Took a shot, tried to wind on, nothing. Couldn’t get it to move! On returning home I went into the dark and pulled the film out of the canister and rewound it back in as it had not surprisingly stuck with the combination of lemon and sunshine. The second attempt at shooting went perfect and actually were more interesting than what I would of got the first time, everything is happens for a reason.

Upon returning home I was in a rush to see what would come out if anything so I developed it myself using my tetenal kit. Some of the warps were obvious on the negatives but I had no idea how beautiful the colours would be.

I instantly fell in love with the results. They were so varied. Some showed hardly no damage at all, others had bold psychedelic colours warped through the image giving it a real 60’s feel. Others had simply faded to soft hues, adding a real vintage look.

Try it and share your results!

written by crevans27 on 2012-07-23 in #gear #tipster #lemon #lab-rat #warp #bleach #colour #colourful #juice #lomography #film #destroy #retro #tipster


  1. freepeanuts
    freepeanuts ·


  2. izadrazi
    izadrazi ·

    Almost anything can be used to "destroy" films. Check out my results:……


  3. litumai
    litumai ·

    which film did u use for this results? one pic actually looks like tungsten!

  4. melodamyus
    melodamyus ·

    oh man. definitely going to try this!!

  5. sunarashine
    sunarashine ·

    this is such a nice easy way to do it!! I simply MUST.

  6. zeewierkoekje
    zeewierkoekje ·

    Lemon juice is such a good idea! I'l'definitely try it, I love destroying my films :)

  7. crevans27
    crevans27 ·

    Thanks guys for all the likes and kind words! @litumai It was actually a lomography color negative film. The closer to the spool inside the purpler/blue the tint became. Still have a film i destroyed with hot water and salt from that day to try out now the weathers good. Ill keep you posted on the results!

  8. original_j2
    original_j2 ·

    I'm starting to find that some of my color negative film can get boring- I'm gonna try this! I must experiment!

  9. sudhashunmu
    sudhashunmu ·

    nice one

  10. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    just made my own pre soak film soup: Lemon Juice/Vanish Detergent/Salt/Boiling Water and to give it a nice spicy whirl of bright orange/red tints a teaspoon of turmeric, if i remember this thread once ive had the film processed ill post a link :)

  11. ugoreyresprocket
    ugoreyresprocket ·

    nice keep up love your pic's!!

  12. ugoreyresprocket
    ugoreyresprocket ·

    So for example I just could buy a ordinary Kodak Gold 400 and place it in my hot drink container instantly after unboxing??

  13. hollyelizabeth_
    hollyelizabeth_ ·

    Brilliant article, I can't wait to try it!

  14. glenn
    glenn ·


  15. thestranger13
    thestranger13 ·


  16. dewitiara
    dewitiara ·

    Does this have to be done with a new roll of untouched film? Or can I submerge my already completed roll of film into the mixture? Also, would it make the roll of film sticky such that it would dirty my camera?

  17. crevans27
    crevans27 ·

    @dewitiara Im sure doing it to a already exposed roll would have just as interesting results. The roll does it a little sticky depending on what youve added in there. I have one that was done in salt and waiting to be exposed which is in quite a bad way. Use a camera that you think is suitable and dont mind a little dirt if there is one and take the roll once dry into a blacked out room and pull the film out and reroll it a few times to get rid on any excess stickyness that way you shouldnt get much in your camera!

  18. falsesymmetry
    falsesymmetry ·

    Really amazing colours in these photos! Can't wait to see how your salt ones come out :)
    Want to try something like this myself soon! :D

  19. sarah-addison-dobard
    sarah-addison-dobard ·

    Yeah I really want to try this! But like dewitiara said, I'm afraid of ruining my camera!

  20. sarah-addison-dobard
    sarah-addison-dobard ·

    Also, if you get destroyed film processed at a lab, it will mess up the developing chemicals and possibly ruin any rolls that are processed after it. Just FYI.

  21. meerly
    meerly ·

    Destroying my film now!

  22. alienmeatsack
    alienmeatsack ·

    I've wanted to try this as well but I wasn't sure what the best way to do so was. Most of the methods I've seen involve dunking a 35mm cassette into the "destroying liquid" and letting it soak, agitating to make sure it gets deep into the cassette. I personally think it would make more sense to put the film into a developing tank where you could add the liquids in, get full and complete coating of the film, then rinse it very well and load into a cassette once it was dry. This way you aren't putting stick or corrosive chemicals into your cameras and teh film gets a full on coat of crazy goodness. I think I need to try this. I want to try soaking an existing cassette, loading one of my plastic cassettes and soaking it, soaking just the film, as well as doing the process post exposure and before developing. Sounds fun.

  23. saylorpetz
    saylorpetz ·

    Im so anxious to do this, as i just received my new AE-1 Canon but I'm so paranoid about ruining it ! Do you think if i really let it dry I would be fine ? What do you suggest

  24. angelwulf
    angelwulf ·

    Thats it I'm going on a destroying spree. The hard part will be the waiting for a few weeks for the film to dry out as I don't have a dark room. But I'm still excited :D

More Interesting Articles

  • Film Experiments: In The Dark - The True Analogue Experiment

    written by mikekumagai on 2014-08-05 in #gear #tipster
    Film Experiments: In The Dark - The True Analogue Experiment

    Throwing chemicals, fire, and scratching emulsion are just a few ways of experimenting with film. But there's another process that completely destroys it (or, if you're lucky, creates something amazing), that is as spastic as a drunken man staggering his way home after a night at the pub - literally. And it all comes down to darkness.

  • Pushing Boundaries: Multiple Exposing Film Soup

    written by Amber Valentine on 2015-04-21 in #world #tipster
    Pushing Boundaries: Multiple Exposing Film Soup

    As you may have read in my previous article, I truly fell in love with Lomography when I combined my Fisheye camera with an old Canon AE-1 for magical photographic results. Last summer, I took so many pictures of flowers that it started to become almost boring for me. My waning interest and the coming winter meant that I had to figure out something else to do with my 35mm film.

  • 3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh, RPJL and Snaps and Cigarettes

    written by anamartaml on 2015-07-12 in #world #lifestyle
    3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh, RPJL and Snaps and Cigarettes

    Every week we will be selecting three Tumblr blogs with exciting, more often than not photography-related content. For this week's selection, we have a little bit of everything: from double exposures and breathtaking scenery in film to a play-doh artist inspired by photography. Three very different blogs that are equally fascinating!

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Going Monochrome with the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-06-26 in #gear
    Going Monochrome with the Lomo'Instant

    If you've ever used the Lomo'Instant camera, you know that the Fujifilm Instax Mini film ensures amazing and sharp results with vivid colors and natural skin tones. And although we love it the way it is, we also love to experiment. This time we ventured out with monochrome on our minds and got some pretty crazy results — check it out!

  • LomoAmigo: Larissa Lily at Kew Gardens

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo: Larissa Lily at Kew Gardens

    Larissa Lily is a UK based photographer and writer who agreed to share some of her Petzval shots with us and explain a bit about her love for film photography. She took it on a recent trip to Kew Gardens, and here are the results.

  • My Day in Analog: Bike Rides with My Dad

    written by mmxi on 2015-04-28 in #world #lifestyle
    My Day in Analog: Bike Rides with My Dad

    My dad and I have been riding our bicycles for as long as I can remember. We had no camera back then, so I only have the pictures from our recent rides. Each ride to the island of Khortitsa today is like a reunion with my childhood and my father's care.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Shooting theTaylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize event with the Petzval

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-12-05 in #news
    Shooting theTaylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize event with the Petzval

    We were recently invited along to the award ceremony of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. We decided to take two Petzval lenses along to document the evening. One with film and one with digital. Have a look at the results here.

  • 12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    written by Maaike van Stratum on 2015-04-12 in #world #lifestyle
    12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    My list of resolutions for 2015 consists of 12 projects, one for every month. March was for caffenol. You have probably heard of the amazing fact that you can develop black and white photos with coffee, sodium, and vitamin C. I had tried this before but with less than stellar results. Somehow, there's always something going wrong. Time to devote a few rolls to caffenol to finally get the hang of it.

  • 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.

  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    Are you ready for an adrenaline rush? A little while ago, we teamed up with the snowboard and film-making collective Yougofirst and gave them a LomoKino and some film rolls to play with. After a season of crazy riding, jumps and tricks, they have finished their latest movie HETEROTOPIA which features footage shot with our 35mm movie-maker. We had the chance to catch up with Vid and Matic from the collective about the new movie and their experiences shooting analogue on the slopes. It's also our pleasure to showcase the movie here!

  • LomoAmigos: The Ting Tings Go Analogue!

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-09-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos: The Ting Tings Go Analogue!

    The Ting Tings are a musical duo from Manchester who have more pop hits than you can shake a stick at. They are most famous for their 2008 hit "That's Not My Name" which got even the stiffest of people shaking in their seats. The Ting Tings are back with a brand new album called Super Critical. They are big film fanatics (check out their website for proof) so we gave them a Sprocket Rocket Camera and a bunch of film to document their life in sunny IBIZA.

  • Travel Stories: Trekking Mount Papandayan by shufi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-08-04 in #people
    Travel Stories: Trekking Mount Papandayan by shufi

    There are about 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia, one of the most popular ones being Mount Papandayan, located 2,665 meters above sea level in Garut, West Java. My boyfriend and I usually go hiking together so we decided to spend our long weekend holiday (three days/two nights) at Mount Papandayan.