A Film Risotto

20

From my Lomo-kitchen of international cuisine, I am giving you a big serving of my recipe! Just say “Buono!” if you want some more!

The Risotto Effect – achieved by adding rice grains to a film, closing it up and leaving it to fester for many months. The whole thing literally came alive! The conditions inside were too wet to develop so this is a scan of the negative. The effects you can see were made by mildew spores branching out and eating away at the emulsion.

In fact it’s pretty easy to make boring pictures look interesting. Use cross processing, filters or multi exposure too make your 1000st self portrait look somehow fresh and funky. Or, do as I did, add some LIFE.

The whole experiment started in summer 2006 when we were looking for interesting “analogue” techniques. One of them was to put a roll of film in a pot with boiling water. We had heard about that before but wanted to try it out before announcing anything. So I boiled 2 rolls and gave them to my trusty lab. The next day they gave them back to me, undeveloped, with a note saying that they were unable to develop the film. It had to do with film emulsion peeling off and destroying the chemistry and other films….. Ok, I couldn’t have expected anything else from a professional lab and I did not want to cause any trouble.

But “giving up” is not part of my active vocabulary (just now, after looking it up in the dictionary). I remembered the old trick of adding rice grains to a salt shaker. The rice sucks up the humidity and keeps the salt dry. I took a small zip bag, put in the 2 rolls, filled it up with rice and closed it. I wanted to wait until every drop of water was gone. However, due to the decision that the boiling-film technique was “too complicated”, my little bag of film-risotto eventually disappeared and must have found its way into some storage box.

In April 2007 I moved to a new flat. During the move I came across the little bag again, now filled with some indistinguishable mixture of dust, fibres, and spores. The whole thing went through the process of coming alive and probably dying again in this small environment. My first thought was to throw away this disgusting thing but I decided to keep it for some neurotic reason which also qualifies me for a top position in the Lomographic World Archive.

At end of 2007 I got a new task from the “department of advanced newsletter content allocation” which was: experimenting with film. I remembered the little bag of nastiness and decided to get the 2 rolls of film developed. First of all I had to clean them and this was really disgusting. My paranoia of mildew (especially on food) is quite acute – a great help in this situation. I held my breath for the whole cleaning period, washed my hands 5 times afterwards and almost had to throw up.

As I didn’t want to scare off my beloved lab I gave the ‘special’ film to the film development service in a supermarket. I didn’t expect too much and when I got back the films there were no prints included, instead there was a small preprinted note attached saying something like “printing not possible, negatives destroyed due to being moist”, (“moist” crossed out and replaced with a handwritten “wet” :)

And really, the negatives partially looked like something that could be described as destroyed, but there were still lots of exposed emulsion left. The big surprise became visible when I scanned the negs in. First I wasn’t sure what I was seeing, weird colours, strange reactions on top of some long forgotten images! OMG! the mildew has eaten its way throughout the film, branches and spores everywhere, photo emulsion washed away, colour layers gone crazy… ravishingly beautiful!

….and now one of the pictures hangs in my living room as 1×1.5m print.

written by mandi on 2009-04-04 #gear #tutorials #film #tipster #labrats #analogue

20 Comments

  1. olique
    olique ·

    wow!
    nice!:)

  2. mandi
    mandi ·

    btw. pic nr. 34 says "austrian institute for non-destructive testing" ;)

  3. zark
    zark ·

    Amazing Pictures!

  4. yoscolmi
    yoscolmi ·

    crazy! and great!

  5. stouf
    stouf ·

    YEAH ! I love that organic effect !

  6. oldskool_rider
    oldskool_rider ·

    wow i love shot 45

  7. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    kuurrraaaazzzzeeeehhhhh

  8. coca
    coca ·

    great!!!

  9. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    Piep Piep Piep / Guten Appetit!

  10. makeyuu
    makeyuu ·

    i have done this thing and i have the roll ready for dev. now but no one wants to develop it!! whattodoo????

  11. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    what a story ;)

  12. bravopires
    bravopires ·

    three times buono!

  13. purplellama
    purplellama ·

    Inspiring! Makes me want to go experiment with film!!!!

  14. cybervixen
    cybervixen ·

    wow :O These are so beautiful!! I think this is the most epic result of a 'happy accident'

  15. metzgor
    metzgor ·

    :-D what a great story and so strange results.. fantastic!

  16. sivy
    sivy ·

    was the rice boiled or steamed? :P i want to have a go myself :D x

  17. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    Great gallery!

  18. jaguarwomon
    jaguarwomon ·

    Stunning!

  19. kamilou
    kamilou ·

    My boyfriend is gonna love you: you helped me finding an interest in cooking :D great piicures, indeed.

  20. pzjo
    pzjo ·

    this is incredible! WOW. Do you reckon it would work the other way round? As in, shooting the film & getting them develeped, THEN adding the rice for a time?

More Interesting Articles

  • A Salute to the Masters: Ice Skating (A Tribute to Monte Fresco)

    written by sirio174 on 2016-01-09
    A Salute to the Masters: Ice Skating (A Tribute to Monte Fresco)

    This article is dedicated to one of the finest British sport photographers, Monte Fresco. In his 30 years of reportage for the Daily Mirror, he took some of the most iconic photographs in sporting history. He covered football, tennis, and boxing. But it is his ice skating pictures that I am most fascinated with. Using my own lens, I give him a modern tribute.

  • My New York City Bike Ride Through Purple Eyes

    written by cecilialeitinger on 2015-08-14 #news
    My New York City Bike Ride Through Purple Eyes

    What do you do when you don't have much time in a city like New York but you want to see everything, feel the vibe and be part of the community, even for a short time? Jump on a bike and enjoy what trains, buses and cabs can never give you: be part of the city. Take a camera with you to capture the moments and sights you don't want to forget. I did this with my LC-A 120 and LomoChrome Purple film.

  • Lomo'Instant Wide - A Camera To Fall In Love With

    written by pearlgirl77 on 2016-01-05 #gear
    Lomo'Instant Wide - A Camera To Fall In Love With

    I was really excited when I got to test the Lomo'Instant Wide recently. Nine packs of film and and one week later I can say: "This camera works really well and I am looking forward to my own Portobello Road Edition!"

    10
  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • 8 Extraordinary Films for the 'Insta-Retro' Look

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-04-17 #gear
    8 Extraordinary Films for the 'Insta-Retro' Look

    Ever wanted to reproduce the mood of alternative photography but find the materials too costly? Worry no more, we have a list of films to give you unique coloring and a distinct, life-in-retrospect look.

    2
  • A Round-up of Lomography Events Around the World in September

    written by dop on 2015-09-03 #news
    A Round-up of Lomography Events Around the World in September

    If you are looking for some lomographic entertainment this month in your home city or if you are traveling the world and want some insider tips from our lomography teams, here’s a selection of what is going on in Lomography Gallery and Embassy Stores around the world.

  • Lomography UK is looking for a Part-Time Marketing Intern!

    written by lomographysoholondon on 2015-10-06 #news
    Lomography UK is looking for a Part-Time Marketing Intern!

    We are looking for a committed, curious, motivated, and organised individual to assist with our LomoAmigos, online articles, promotions and much, much more. If you want to learn about marketing for Lomography and are passionate about film photography read on.

  • Shop News

    20% Off on Selected editions of the La Sardina

    20% Off on Selected editions of the La Sardina

    Bring your own unique happy snapper to all of this summer's festivals and dance the night away! Grab La Sardina editions at 20% off!

  • The Bazaar by Lomography: Tell Us What You Seek!

    written by Lomography on 2016-03-28 #news
    The Bazaar by Lomography: Tell Us What You Seek!

    If you haven't already heard, we've launched a new curated category of over 250 exciting products. And we want your help to find even more! Share you suggestions for the Bazaar and you might get a special thank you gift from us!

    1
  • Route 55 Tour Diary With The Knocks

    written by Lomography NYC on 2016-03-03 #people #news
    Route 55 Tour Diary With The Knocks

    Have you heard of The Knocks? If you haven't (and like to dance) you should definitely listen to these new LomoAmigos, whose first headline tour just sold out! The New York-based electronic duo crossed the country on a tour bus and had a Lomo'Instant Wide in tow. They brought back some amazing photos—see them here and learn more about the guys behind the beats. Plus, get a chance to win a camera signed by The Knocks and a copy of their debut album "55"!

  • Au Naturel in Animal Photography

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-20
    Au Naturel in Animal Photography

    Animals are unpredictable subjects of photography, especially while using film. It's always best if you document them in their natural habitat, but if they're at the zoo or wildlife park, be prepare to compose smartly. Here are some brilliant photographs from the Lomography community.

  • Shop News

    Introducing the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens Now Available on Kickstarter!

    Introducing the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens Now Available on Kickstarter!

    We're thrilled to present our new Kickstarter project—the New Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens! Inspired by the bold brass design of the world's first photographic optic, the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is a versatile tool seeking the great return of dreamy imagery.

  • How to Develop Photos on Stone in a Darkroom

    written by tomas_bates on 2016-02-17 #gear #tutorials
    How to Develop Photos on Stone in a Darkroom

    I have always loved the idea of seeing my photos on stone and other natural materials. So, a few months ago, I began googling how it could be done. This is how I discovered (and fell in love with) liquid emulsion. Liquid emulsion is photographic emulsion which you can melt down and paint on any surface. You can then expose an image and develop it using traditional darkroom chemicals. In this article, I would like to explain the process a little, so that if you are also interested in giving this fun process a go, you can!

    12
  • How (Not) to Make It in New York

    written by Carly Brunatti (@carlybrunatti) on 2015-09-05
    How (Not) to Make It in New York

    Everything I had fit into eight boxes and two suitcases. That’s all I had collected in my 22 years on earth, eight boxes and two suitcases. My friends and I moved to Brooklyn in the dead of winter, just after a huge snowstorm. I came from California and had no real experience living in snow. All of it was magical to me.

    1
  • Five Films for Low Light Conditions

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-25 #gear #tutorials
    Five Films for Low Light Conditions

    As many of you would already know, shooting under low light conditions requires more than a steady grip (or a tripod) if you're aiming for outstanding results. You must also have the proper gear, and that, of course, includes film. In this post, we list down five fast films that work their best under such conditions.

    5