Underexposed Films are Gems. We Can Build a Mask Out of It.


The idea is simple, just like creating regular mask only out of our film. There is a good tipster in the past for building a mask. This has the same technique, just different medium.

Which films are good candidates for this experiment? Here is the guideline:

1. Find films that are transparent enough for your eyes to easily look past through it. Underexposed ones are much transparent than properly exposed ones. Dig those!

2. My favourites are neon signs, lamps, crystal chandeliers, and billboard lights which are exposed but the rest of the frame is blank if you scan it.

3. Or: Splitzerized image. Remember when you exposed just 1/4 of a frame using splitzer (and maybe shoot it 1 ISO higher thinking it’ll go nice with MX) but actually forgot to MX it afterwards to full frame? Those were gems!

4. Forget rule 1 to 3. Just this: “Transparent is good!” and you’re ready to dig.

If you still couldn’t find it, then you make one. We are lomographers after all. Shoot with rule 2 and 3 in mind. Shoot with 1 ISO higher. Shoot with splitzer. Expose only less than half a frame (or not). You should be able to make a nice mask out of it for future use.

Now, the hard part is over. The rest is easy peasy. Just cut and paste.

1.Open the back of your camera. Cut your film according to the frame size of your camera. And this is the beauty of the whole experiment. Because our mask is from a film, it usually fits smoothly. Just a little bit of cutting and sticking it with scotch tape to the camera. See the pictures for reference.

2. Because of the way the optic in your camera works, the mask has to be turned upside down AND from left to right when placed. So your mask has to be placed totally inverted to look right. Up is down. Left is right. If your underexposed film contains a symmetrical image (like circle or star shapes), then don’t worry about this.

3. Before inserting a brand new roll, try winding your camera first. If it doesn’t wind properly, you have to cut a bit of the sprocket hole of your mask on top of the winding teeth so the winding teeth can move properly.

4. Put your fresh roll as usual.

5. If your mask is dark – say transparent chocolate like most negatives, or purple like Elitechrome – you’d want to shoot with one or half an ISO lower especially in low lightning.

6. Set!

Start look through at your collection of films and happy experimenting.

P.S. : This whole tipster is inspired because of a twitter message. I was once doing a double with Cinzinc. The minute I walked out of the lab, I tweet-ed Cinzinc “Just processed the film. It looks weird. Like transparent weird.” We were experimenting with expired film and some of the films were underexposed by trial and error. The minute I started building a regular mask out of transparency, I remembered THAT twitter message. Hence, the tipster. Bless that expired film. :p

The blue St. Dupont picture is the mask when I scan it and crop the lower blank portion out.

written by elindudut on 2010-11-06 in #gear #tipster #development #underexposed-film #lab-rat #film-processing #tipster #transparency #film #mask

More Interesting Articles

  • Chris Pollard Photographs the Tweed Run with the Petzval Lens

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-07-12 in #people #lomoamigos
    Chris Pollard Photographs the Tweed Run with the Petzval Lens

    Chris Pollard is a regular name on the Lomography circuit now. He has been testing out the Petzval Lens at various fashion locations for the past few months. Chris recently took the lens out on a day trip to the Tweed Run to capture a very British day out.

  • Leslie Lindell Takes the Petzval Lens to Dance with Native Americans

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-02-23 in #people #lomoamigos
    Leslie Lindell Takes the Petzval Lens to Dance with Native Americans

    Leslie Lindell is a Californian photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shoots photos of regular people doing regular things, capturing life and lifestyle. A cookbook which contains photographs that she took won the 2014 IACP Cookbook of the Year award. That same year, Lindell attended the 51st Shoshone Bannock Powwow Festival at the Fort Hall Reservation just outside of Pocatello, Idaho and shot some colorful pictures with the Petzval Lens.

  • Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-06 in #gear #reviews
    Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    There are quite a few perks that come with working for a film photography company, and the best perk of all is testing out the latest cameras. I can remember buying my LC-A back in 2009 and being really inspired to shoot film again. When the LC-A 120 came along, I couldn't wait to try it out around London. Join me as I test out this super medium format beauty.

  • 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!

  • Photo Stories: Away With You by lomomowlem

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-06-18 in #world #lifestyle
    Photo Stories: Away With You by lomomowlem

    It is clear from the wild variety of photos in the website that Lomographers will do just about anything to get a good shot. Some swap rolls with friends overseas while others concoct unheard-of film soups. And then there are the masters of operations, the ones who spy and crouch their way to a share-worthy picture. This is one such story.

  • LomoChrome Turquoise Film: Transform Ordinary Photos Into Magical Scenes

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-04-07 in #gear #lifestyle
    LomoChrome Turquoise Film: Transform Ordinary Photos Into Magical Scenes

    LomoChrome Turquoise XR 100-400 is a regular color negative film which gives fantastic results. Color tones transform from one color spectrum to the next, and in turn, create wild and wonderful outcomes! Let this colorful gallery inspire you to try out our limited-edition film!

  • A Summer Of Festivals – Discover Electric Castle

    written by dop on 2015-07-18 in #world #lifestyle #locations
    A Summer Of Festivals – Discover Electric Castle

    There are quite a lot of festivals to choose from every summer and for sure everyone has his favorite. This June @danika, @hinny and @tomas_bates joined me for one of my favorites: Electric Castle Festival. Armed with loads of films & cameras, good mood and a lot of patience for the road to the heart of Romania, we set off to discover Electric Castle. Read on to find out what this off the radar festival has to offer!

  • Shop News

    New Item: Revolog 36exp Plexus

    New Item: Revolog 36exp Plexus

    Feeling experimental? We have the perfect film for you. Load up a roll of Revolog Plexus 200 on your favorite 35mm camera and shoot as you normally would.

  • My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-11-12 in #gear #tipster
    My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    I backed the Kickstarter project for the Lomo’Instant earlier this year and was thrilled to receive it last week. I love how the camera naturally encourages you to experiment with its different features, whether it’s through flashing your multiple exposures with different colors or trying different creative techniques after your shots has been ejected. Here are a few tips from what I’ve discovered from playing with the camera so far (and a couple of tips I want to try out in future)!

  • Creative Vision, Personified:The Community's Most Creative Lomographers

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-03 in #world #lifestyle
    Creative Vision, Personified:The Community's Most Creative Lomographers

    As Steve Jobs puts it, "creativity is just connecting things." It's all about tracing one's experiences and pushing the boundaries of what's already known to establish new things. The Lomography community is no stranger to these instances. In fact, the community is filled with brilliant minds who are always ready to refine existing techniques and look for innovative ways to express their visions and ideas. Here are just a few of the creative lomographers we've come to love over the years.

  • First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-02 in #gear #news
    First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    In case you missed it, Lomography has just unveiled the latest member of its Art Lens family: the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens, which boasts of the same optics that the legendary LC-A camera has and brings the classic Lomographic style not only to analog but also to the digital platform. Over the next few days we'll be sharing with you the first impressions of and photographs taken by members of the Lomography team, who had gone out and put the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 to the test. First up is graphic designer Andrea Cislaghi, who coupled this lens with the Bessa R2 and Sony Alpha 7.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • How to Break the Ice with the Lomo'Instant

    written by antoniocastello on 2014-11-20 in #lifestyle
    How to Break the Ice with the Lomo'Instant

    New York is full of interesting people. Everywhere you look you, will find good-looking, smart, and powerful characters; models, actresses, entrepreneurs, managers, artists. Because of this sometimes it can be a little intimidating for a regular guy in the Big Apple to step up, talk to the girl you like, or make new friends. So here are a few tips, courtesy of the Lomo'Instant, that will help you to break the ice.

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • Early Inspirations in Film Photography: A Tomato Project

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-21 in #lifestyle
    Early Inspirations in Film Photography: A Tomato Project

    I’m lucky enough and old enough to have grown up in an era where film was the only form of photography available. I’ve always had a passion for film but it was a certain series of images that inspired me and changed my idea of photography forever. Find out what that was after the jump.