Have an account? Login | New to Lomography? Register | Lab | Current Site:

Film Experiments: Tea-Soaked Film

If you cannot do without your daily dose of tea, this tipster is for you. Read on to find out more.

A while ago I wrote a tipster for a film soup that has raised the eyebrows of many followers. I’m talking about I rullini amano il caffè (in Italian). Inspired by this recipe, I went on to try it using tea to see if the effects would be just as interesting and special.

Here’s what you’ll need for this film soup:

  • drinking glass
  • hot water
  • teabag (I tried it with a classic tea)
  • a few cookies (so we can kill time by eating!)
  • a roll of film (I’ve always preferred to use Kodak Gold 200)

First of all, heat some water – a little for your film and a little more for you so you could enjoy a nice cup of tea, too. Once heated, prepare the tea and put it in the drinking glass with the film in it. Put the remaining tea in another drinking glass. Make sure to immerse the entire film in the liquid and let it rest for two hours.

Eat the biscuits with the remaining tea while waiting.

Drying the film

After two hours, it’s now time to dry the film. The simplest but also the longest method is to leave it to dry on its own. On average it takes a couple of weeks.

For a faster drying process, you would have to remove the film from the roll. In this case, the whole procedure must be carried out in complete darkness or run the risk of burning the emulsion with light. Obviously, when you’re drying the film, it’s good to always do it in the dark. Afterwards, rewind the film into the canister but leave a little piece of the leader out.

Regardless of the drying technique you use, the results will still be the same. You just have to load the roll into the camera, start shooting, and wait for the results from the lab.

Here are some examples taken with the Sprocket Rocket.

As you can see, the effect is very special. You may also notice that the photos are dominated by a purple tint, and are slightly underexposed.

written by simonesavo and translated by simonesavo


  1. julea


    Wow, I'll definitely try this out! Thanks a lot!

    5 months ago · report as spam
  2. dotted_dress


    Cool tipster, I have to try this with some super strong English breakfast tea!

    5 months ago · report as spam
  3. abecd


    Hmm maybe i will try this with some chinese tea, haha

    5 months ago · report as spam
  4. boredslacker


    Nice! Very close to a tungsten look! Wonder if different teas have different effects.......

    5 months ago · report as spam
  5. barocio


    Does this need to be done before shooting? What if I do after shooting, before developing?

    5 months ago · report as spam
  6. apneet


    very cool!!! thanks for sharing, love this idea

    4 months ago · report as spam
  7. anotherlomohomo


    but doesnt it boil and deform the film? I just did this today and I let the water cool down
    4 months ago · report as spam
  8. swamiji


    I imagine that the strength of the tea makes more difference that the type of tea. The photo shows pretty weak tea. Too weak for a die hard tea drinker... is this actually the strength of the tea used? If so, I would have to make it full strength, then dilute it with cool water until, it's about 20 degrees, and weaker than drinkable. Then start soaking... but does not soaking film in water start the developing process? Is this equivalent to a presoak?
    3 months ago · report as spam
  9. ari_ck


    i did it and this very cool effect

    about 1 month ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

The original version of this article is written in: Italiano. It is also available in: Deutsch, Nederlands, 日本語 & Français.