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When an Experiment Goes Beautifully Wrong (Expect the Unexpected)

What happens when an experiment goes wrong? It's the end of the world? Think again! Expect the unexpected!

It is always fun to test the limits of your creativity by experimenting on certain aspects of the photographic process. It may be in terms of preparing the film, the use of masks and filters, or the manner by which the film is processed. In any case, experimenting with analogue photography is always a win-win situation. If it the turns out as you have expected it, good for you; if it turns out as complete crap, at least you now know what not to do. Most of the sometime though, the end product seems to be more than what we bargained for. Experiments are case of hits and misses; no matter how much you plan your execution, basic presumptions may cloud our vision of the photographic future. So, if you even dare think that you’ve got it all figured out, think again; expect the unexpected.

One of my favorite cameras is the Lomography Supersampler. There is just something about the four vertical frames that mesmerizes me. So many times, I have toyed with so many ideas and stuffs that I want to do with it. One of which is the concept of the chequered image. In theory, the technique is quite simple. It is a double exposure technique of reloading the film that has already been used, plus the use of a chequered mask.

For this, I followed these simple steps:
1. Cut a piece of acetate, the size of the 135 frame.
2. Using a permanent marker, create a chequered pattern in the acetate by alternately shading the lower half and the upper half of each of the consecutive four vertical frames.
3. Tape up the mask on the Supersampler’s frame.
4. Load the film and shoot.
5. After the roll is done, rewind and unload.
6. Reverse the chequered mask.
7. Reload the film and shoot again.
8. Rewind, unload, and process

The steps I followed seem to be reasonable enough; however, I missed one critical aspect of the process. When I performed this experiment, I was still clueless on how to align frames for double exposures. I simply thought that the first frame falls practically on the same spot all the time. I didn’t know that you have to mark the first two frames as reference when you load the film for the second time.

Despite what happened, it was fortunate that the results were not horrible at all. They may not the chequereds I anticipated, but they look just as enticing! A random explosion of colors!

I encourage everyone to experiment! Discover! Invent! Modify! Do not be afraid the thread uncharted paths. Make your own. And even if you lose your way, we know that we shall stumble upon that unexpected pot of gold!

written by renenob

1 comment

  1. duckduckninja


    I think the Supersampler's finicky winding mechanism in conjunction with the brute force of the ripcord makes it impossible to shoot exactly over the same frame position. I had the same problems for my Supersampler Tipster: http://bit.ly/hEobuI

    over 3 years ago · report as spam

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