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I am a Mad Analogue Scientist: New Experiments with 35mm Films and Chemicals

Unfortunately, it happens sometimes that your resulting pictures are not what you expected - the image doesn't look that good, the colors are bland, and the subject is banal. Indeed, it couldn't be picture of the year! Herein I propose a second chance for your pictures by modifying your 35mm negatives. Just pick up some ideas from here, experiment, and scan your negatives with the Lomography Smartphone Scanner. Anything is possible: burning, scratching, putting on hydrochloric acid, balsamic vinegar, nail polish, bleach, or raspberry juice... use your imagination and write down your new film soup recipe! You can find a sample of the effects in this article.

Before running to your kitchen with your lab coat and gloves on like a real crazy chemist, check this list to know what you’ll need:

  • exposed negatives (note that it’s impossible to revert to the original after subjecting them to any of these chemical processes)
  • cotton swabs or other things like brushes and pens to apply your chemicals more precisely
  • some sheets of paper towels
  • protective rubber gloves especially if you’re using acids, bases, or other corrosives chemicals
  • anything you can find in your kitchen that you think could be used
  • the Lomography Smartphone Scanner and the LomoScanner 2 app on your phone

Don’t forget to take a photo of your negatives before your modification just to compare!

XPro slide 200 modified with hydrochloric acid

Now you’re ready to create your soup with exposed films!

1. Evanescence of Raspberry Juice

A comparison between the original and the photos modified using raspberry juice

Raspberry juice is obviously red, but when you put them on the negatives, some green-colored shadows or spheres appear in the pictures!

2. Emulsion of Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar on XPro slide films

The balsamic vinegar makes the pictures look older and so vintage-y!

3. Bleach Soup

Bleach solution on XPro slide films

Bleach completely oxidizes the colors. If you put some concentrated drops, you will completely burn your films and create some black points! Be careful with your clothes, eyes, and hands.

4. Red and Blue Nail Polish Cocktails

As you have seen in the effects of the red raspberry juice, if you try using some red nail polish, you will also obtain green-colored effects. In addition, you could also obtain yellow spots with blue nail polish! Play with the colors of your nail polish.

If you want to get crazier, use your Lomochrome Purple negatives! Add some fluorescent effects to obtain completely dreamy pictures!

Red nail polish dots on LomoChrome Purple negatives
Nail polish effect on LomoChrome purple negative

With your Smartphone Scanner you can also play with the “Temperature” function. Indeed, you can have pink or blue pictures with your modified LomoChrome negatives!

5. Film fudge (also called BBQ films)

Let’s burn your exposed films!

Burned Kodak 400 Portra negative

6. Other Recipes for a Gastronomic Dinner

The possibilities are infinite. Play with everything in your kitchen, bathroom, or garage. You can find some other ideas that I tried below. For example, ammonia gives a vintage effect.

You can also make green dots with lemon juice.

My Favorite Dish: Hydrochloric Broth

Please be careful when handling concentrated hydrochloric solution!

If you want to improve and be crazier, you may try the “arsenic pudding” seen on Asterix & Cleopatra: the arsenic cake song!

You can read this article in French on my blog here.

Enjoy chemistry with analogue films!

written by blackfairy

12 comments

  1. clownshoes

    clownshoes

    Nice, I have to agree doing the damage after development is ideal.

    4 months ago · report as spam
  2. blackfairy

    blackfairy

    Thanks! :-)

    4 months ago · report as spam
  3. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Cool article, gallery, techniques!!

    4 months ago · report as spam
  4. blackfairy

    blackfairy

    Thanks Herbert!

    4 months ago · report as spam
  5. gauthierdumonde

    gauthierdumonde

    great blog you have

    4 months ago · report as spam
  6. akula

    akula

    Great collection of ideas.

    3 months ago · report as spam
  7. blackfairy

    blackfairy

    Thank you very much! :-)

    3 months ago · report as spam
  8. wersofcked

    wersofcked

    Hey, really cool and bold experiments but the results are worth it! I'm definitely trying it! A question though: How do we dry the liquid after applying? Just wait for it to dry?

    3 months ago · report as spam
  9. blackfairy

    blackfairy

    @wersofcked Thanks! I just wait to dry and in some cases, I used paper towels to remove excess product! :)

    3 months ago · report as spam
  10. neonlights

    neonlights

    yeah, I do exactly the same :D

    3 months ago · report as spam
  11. lfought

    This is awesome! @blackfairy

    3 months ago · report as spam
  12. glenn

    EXCELLENT

    about 1 month ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Português, 日本語, Deutsch, Русский & Français.