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Lomo LC-A Instant Back+ Negative Tipster by Mandi

Here's a cool tip for extra-fun LC-A Instant shots! Our resident Film Lab Rat chief Mandi shows you how to achieve a unique "negative" effect to your Instant shots. Come check it out!

  1. Get your Lomo LC-A Instant Back+ ready!
  2. Attach a flash to the Lomo LC-A+ (or Lomo LC-A vintage), set camera to the closest distance and shoot something in front of your lens.
  3. Eject and wonder: the image looks partly like the negative of the original motif. Extra spice with colour flash!

Dark areas won’t be affected too much, bright parts can even become black if you are too close. The flash itself reflected on shiny surfaces or the sun will become a small black spot (you might have seen this before on other Instant products). If you are too far from the subject or if the flash is too weak you will get normal colours or “normal overexposure” aka white.

How can this happen?
The image is recorded in a special way, so that you will end up with a positive image. When you expose the Instant film, it first records the image like a normal negative would do: there are 3 layers, sensitive to blue, green, red. But then there is an additional dye layer for each of the 3 mentioned before: yellow dye for the blue sensitive, magenta dye for the green sensitive and cyan dye for the red sensitive.

As soon as you press the eject button, the developing process starts: When a part of the sensitive layer was exposed, it prevents its associated dye layer from being transported to the actual image receiving layer (the part you are looking at in the end).

Vice versa, when the area is unexposed the associated colour dye wanders to the image layer. This means, if you have a blue image, the blue sensitive layer is exposed, it prevents the colour yellow to be moved on, but the other 2 sensitive layers will give way for magenta and cyan. If you mix cyan and magenta you get: …. right, blue! (The fascinating world of colour theory. There is a lot more to explain, but it’s getting boring already ;)

My theory:
Due to the heavy overexposure the sensitive layer flips from blocking the colour to giving way completely. Let me give you an analogy: There is this guy whose job it is to take a care of a bucket full of yellow colour. When he gets the “development signal” he has to pour some of the yellow colour, the brighter the blue, the less colour, if there is just a glimpse of blue, a lot of yellow. Now comes the Lomographer with his flash and uses it right in the poor guy’s face. The guy gets so frightened that he just drops the full bucket and all runs out.

If anyone out there has some experience in molecular physics or quantum chemistry and can give a good explanation: I’d be glad to hear it!

written by shhquiet

13 comments

  1. wil6ka

    wil6ka

    "There is this guy whose job it is to take a care of a bucket full of yellow colour"
    This is an instant classic by Herr Mandi! ;)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. lawypop

    lawypop

    i dun own a lc-a back yet but this is interesting and great tip!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. kaho152

    kaho152

    wow this is a superb tipster!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. pulex

    pulex

    onna try it with my diana!!! thanks!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. a10101100

    a10101100

    interesting article! just got my instant back (working) and now, time for some fun!
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. vicuna

    vicuna

    does this work with the Diana instant back as well?? I should try....

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. mandi

    mandi

    in theory this also should work with the diana instant back, you only need a super-powerful flash. the flash intensity depends on the distance and aperture, diana has a much smaller aperture, thus you should get very close. maybe with the 55mm + close-up lens....

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. deng

    deng

    wow

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. dogtanian

    dogtanian

    i wondered my ringflash instant picture came out like it did!!! haha

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  10. zulupt

    zulupt

    Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  11. graefin

    graefin

    this is such a great effect!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. Hey regarding the flash part, my come out way too bright, so my photos come out white ): Is there anyway to fix this?
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. cherots

    cherots

    this was my first shot of my lc-a+ instant back came out, i thought there's something wrong with my camera or the film to the point i contacted the customer service of Lomo. it turned out to be a 'technique' :) maybe i shot my photos too closes with the colorsplash flash :) thanks!
    over 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: ภาษาไทย.