As a keen Lomographer I am constantly experimenting with different techniques to try and make my images more interesting and unique, one great way of adding that special something to a photograph is to manipulate your film to create certain effects.
Creating light leaks by opening the back of your camera while a film is inside is a popular and simple technique to use. Then there are slightly more complex techniques which involve exposing your film to a chemical wash in a dark room, drying it, and then loading the film back inside its cassette, all before shooting. There are other ways to manipulate your pictures, techniques which you could apply after your film has been processed.
One of my favourite techniques to use is negative burning. This involves burning or melting certain parts of your negative image. The reason I love this particular technique is because you can use it on images that you don’t particularly like, or have no use for. It can bring new life into images that were once dull and drab.
If you fancy trying this technique out, I strongly suggest testing with unwanted bits of film first. I also suggest being very careful! You don’t want to permanently melt your negatives to your fingers!
For these particular photographs I used a pair of pliers to hold my negatives over the flame from a candle. If you hold the negative too close it will simply catch alight and singe the edge of your photo, I found that holding the negative a few centimeters away created a much better effect. By holding the negative about 3cm away from the flame it will start to bubble and burst rather than singe, this makes for a much better final result. The heat from the flame will cause the negatives to crumple in shape slightly so you might want to bare this in mind if you plan to scan your negatives. I put my negatives inside slide clips which helped to flatten out any bends and creases.
What’s your favourite after effect? Or have you experimented and found a new trick to try on film negatives? Please share your thoughts with a comment below!
Danny Wood is the frontman of a punk rock band called The Panicstruck, he also works as a Web Designer, is a keen Lomographer and runs his own Analogue Photography Blog.