Everything you ever wanted to do to film but were afraid to...


Film is the medium that makes all our Lomographic ambitions reality. Understandably, for some people it's highly disrespectful to do kinky experiments to such a precious item. So for our next Lab Rats newsletter we are going to investigate the things you would like to do to film, but were too scared to try yourself.

Film is the medium that makes all our Lomographic ambitions reality. Understandably, for some people it’s highly disrespectful to do kinky experiments to such a precious item. So for our next Lab Rats newsletter we are going to investigate the things you would like to do to film, but were too scared to try yourself.

Please post some ideas and suggestions for interesting, crazy and realistically “doable” tests in the comments section below this blog entry. Mandi, our Lab Rat commander and chief, will choose the best ones. If your proposal gets selected, there are 5 Piggy points in it for you!

To get inspired and to stop you from suggesting one of our earlier investigations take a look at our Lab Rats webpage to see what we have been doing to film so until now.

written by ca-ro on 2008-06-24 in #news


  1. jeepeng
    jeepeng ·

    use a ballpen without ink to write on the film in darkroom before develope, just simply and randomly write whatever is thinking in your mind, just keep writing and writing and writing...

  2. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    this is the address of one of my albums called "neuronale". to do a stuff like this take a developed film and some china ink, black in this case. draw with the ink over the emulsion side of the film then put the film under some eat like a lamp or a phon until the ink getting dry and start "to create" by itself. I use o do this putting the film inside some slide mounts then putting it in the dia projector and watch the lights magically appear( becouse of the projector lamp eat) over the wall.

  3. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    r.i.p.- film....: make a grave for your negatives and dig them in earth for a week or two...

  4. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    stamp! take your negatives and use a stamp (maybe your childrem have some or you have some.... like your adress, anything) and scan it

  5. graefin
    graefin ·

    use the film the other way round -> the back of the film will be in contact with the light not the front of it (which is usually used ;-) )

    Or: What happens if you cut out your medium format film? Like doing a zig-zag pattern across the edges in a darkroom. Then roll it up again and take some shots.
    Or: Use a needle and scratch the film before you use it.
    Or: what happens if you put the film into sparkling water?!?! I mean the unused one when it is out of the cartridge?

  6. peter
    peter ·

    Perhaps films can be developed by digesting them in our bodies. But I guess it's hard to get the timing right for when to drink the developer/stopper.

  7. larslau
    larslau ·

    Peter > GREAT IDEA! (:

    I would really like to do "doubles" with UV- and IR-film, where they are first shot in a regular camera (which shouldn't give much of an effect to the UV-film) and afterwards (or beforehand?) are exposed to heavy UV-light/X-rays or IR-radiation/extreme heat. Unfortuannaly UV- and IR-films are expensive and UV-light sources aren't that easy to find.

    I would also really like to go to the physics department at my university, to get someone to leave a roll of film with a badass neutron source for a couple of minutes. That could possibly give quite an interesting effect.

  8. larslau
    larslau ·

    I would also like to se what happened if I soaked my film in something with bromides (probably easiest to get a hold of something with chlorine or iodine) and then shot the roll. That could be a good experiment for the lab rats!

  9. graefin
    graefin ·

    wahh chemicals are always a great idea larslau!
    I think we had chlorine bleach already.

  10. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    a friend once told me that if you pee on the film before you develop it you get some crazy effects. never tried it but im sure the urine will have a nice effect on the film.

    burning a portion of the negative would be cool also and then develop it, or heating up the negative so you can maybe warp the film.

  11. fash_on
    fash_on ·

    scrub the developed film with baking soda toothpaste, random motions, then soak it in mouthwash for a couple of hours? try different coloured mouthwashes, blue, red, green.

  12. fash_on
    fash_on ·

    doodle on the film with with a bleach pen.

  13. menonita_rocker
    menonita_rocker ·

    put the film in the microwave for 5 seconds before you shoot it . and then 5 more after you finish the film

  14. champi
    champi ·

    @ menonita: remember to not put the metallic parts (eg 35mm canister) in the microwave... That could be much more explosive than a rat lab experiment!! My idea instead: I've tryed once to transfer some prints from a stamped sheet of paper to the film! I used acetone as a solvant for the Ink but it wasn't a great success! Part of the ink did effectively transfer to the film but the acetone and the film don't like each other so much, and the film tends to roll on itself... Anyway I think it could be a cool idea to think about and develop, in order then to be able to transfer the ink from color printed papers as flyers or stuff like that... Gotta give it a try again!!

  15. eazy360
    eazy360 ·

    1. What if you run sandpaper over the film a couple times?
    2. What if you saute the film on a skillet?
    3. What if you subject the film to drops of hydrochloric acid?
    4. What if you expose both sides of the film? (Redscale sandwich!)
    5. What if you scribble over processed film with a permanent marker?

  16. ishoxi
    ishoxi ·

    go take a swim to the beach and take your film in the pocket, the salt and the sand should make some interesting textures

  17. mattdude1081
    mattdude1081 ·

    iron black and white film like you iron your clothes and see what happens. I have always wondered

  18. lomodirk
    lomodirk ·

    Take for developing black & white film only half of the chemicals, roll the tank on the table or wherever for 30 seconds and shake it for the next ten seconds like Tom Cruise did in Cocktail. For the next 20 seconds let the tank stand still. Do your whole development this way and you`ll get nice bubbles on the pictures, sometimes it looks like a 3D lava lamp effect :)

  19. wilber
    wilber ·

    Expose the film to extreme colds, then instantly extreme heat. or something like that.
    Bathe it in some flaming samboka? :-)
    Perhaps, boil in some water with turmeric or some other "colourful" spice etc. Who knows.


  20. menonita_rocker
    menonita_rocker ·

    ahaha , crazy ideas!

    ok no microwave anymore!

    ok well , how about getting the negatives developed ,( just negatives) and then , put them in the microwave for 3 seconds , or maybe 4 , and then scan them .

  21. ndroo
    ndroo ·

    Walk to the streets, find some parents dining with their childen. Say this : I AM GONNA SAY THE F WORD! IT IS A 4 LETTER WORD!

    Get someone to video the scene ... then shout FILM!!!!!

    Run for your life and post the videos here (if you don't get killed).

  22. mandi
    mandi ·

    :D gimme more!

  23. larslau
    larslau ·

    Maybe this could have a nice effect:

    Get a hold of some liquid nitrogen (I think a liter is about €20-30.) Unwind the film in a darkroom and cut it up to suitable pieces, and put them into the nitrogen. Put the frozen film in some kind of camera and give it a good loge exposure. I think the film will react quite a bit slower (??) when it's −180 °C, so one could try to freeze only half of a frame and take a picture and so on to see the effects...

    This could take up an afternoon of fun...

  24. larslau
    larslau ·

    I ment to write 'long exposure'

  25. jrjw
    jrjw ·

    doesn't liquid nitrogen make things shatter? i'm not sure it would work...

    how about throwing some film in the bath, plug the toaster in and then chuck that in too - just remember to unplug the toaster before reaching into the bath to get those films out.

    perhaps some more animalistic participation is required... ants? snails?

    i think mandi is going to have his work cut out dealing with all these mad ideas! good luck!

  26. larslau
    larslau ·

    jrjw > the film will only shatter if you try to break it or something.... And maybe not anyway... The reason why frozen things shatter when dropped is usually the high percentage of liquids in them, which turn into solid matter.

  27. warshock
    warshock ·

    after shooting your roll, churn your film over a barbeque grill. the film will respond to heat, and will form minor cracks. instant texture.

  28. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    X-trem X-ray.,.... they always say that you yould not have contact with x-ray-.machine.... so... WHY?! try!

    digesting is a good idea, peter.... what happens, if film is put into a fake stomache?

  29. gringa
    gringa ·

    A fake stomach?? And how the hell do you find that? But talking about stomachs, how about 7 in a row? I mean as in a cow. Have a cow eat a roll, recuperate it (oooh, Mandi will love this) and shoot it (the roll, not the cow.)

    I'm pretty sure this would be considered as cruelty towards an animal, but I would still be pretty interested to see how those natural gastric chemicals affect the film!

  30. janisthewanis
    janisthewanis ·

    A complete dark room, some peices of bread, and a hell of a lot of cockroaches. Place the bread next to the unrolled film in the dark room let the cockroaches do what ever it is that they do in the dark with the film. I would recomend shooting the film first as ya'll probably don't what cockroach shit in your LCA's or Lubitels or whatever you use. Rats or any or Newts or whatever nocturnal creatures could be used too. Maybe shoot whatever you are letting consume or nest in your film for a nice thematic approach too.
    Solution to the stomach issue, Any hunters out there? Kill whatever and jam the film into the stomach of the deceased creature-sorry to any animal lovers out there, its only an Idea.

  31. janisthewanis
    janisthewanis ·

    leave the film on the dash of your car for an hour or so on a really hot day and see what happens
    place the film on the end of a fishing line with some of that really nasty cheese on it and cast her out into the blue beyond and see if you get any bites.
    What does beer, wine, and the hard liquer do to film? I don't know because I've never tried.
    In regards to my previous statement, you wouldn't nesseraly need an entire dark room, but just a box made light tight, you could even put a shutter and a pinhole on it and capture the creatures scurrying around on your film, ewwwww.
    What about dripping gasoline on your film and lighting it on fire for a second or two, only use a little gas for safety reasons and because its more expensive than your film.
    dip the film in your favorite sauce and lick it off, the more oils and such the better I would imagine.
    take a completely exposed roll of film lay it on top of an unexposed roll and roll it back up, and shoot through the exposed roll to the unexposed roll. When I say exposed I mean the entire roll is black, I know that with digital cameras exposed film acts as an infared filter, of course you would have to compensate the exposure here.

  32. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    give the negatives to a kindergarden and let they be creative.... paiting, washing,... whatever they want to do....!

  33. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    i think you have to shoot the cow, too, after giving it a film....

  34. larslau
    larslau ·

    When one already have some liquid nitrogen (my previous tip), one could try to freeze some negatives and smash them with a hammer. Then use tape and puzzle-skills and scan some mosaic-pictures...

  35. artemis-the-phoenix
    artemis-the-phoenix ·

    why not do a mythbusters style experiment for the stomach...

    other ideas-
    boil in some chunky soup,
    bake in the oven ,
    sprinkle with sugar and flame it "brulee" style,
    soak in alcohol/ various cleaning solutions ie windex/ lemon juice citric acid (anything acidic)/ vinegar/draino/ baking soda/ ammonia
    various coloured vegetable juices ie: carrot, red cabbage, tomato, beetroot

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