Film Can Also Binge Drink


After reading the tipster “Intoxicate Your Film” while I was working at my job at Naturalis (Natural History Museum) and putting snakes in jars of alcohol, it came to mind that I could easily combine these two.

Credits: pinkpix

At my job we use a dilution of 70% alcohol, so I started with filling a coffee cup with it. I really love Hema, so the victim for my experiment was soon found: Hema film, 400 ASA (and I also thought it would be a bit of a waste to sacrifice a roll of X-pro Chrome).

I let the roll of film soak for ten minutes. Strangely enough the alcohol turned pink; instant chemical reaction. But it suited my pink Holga.

In France, on holiday, I tried to load the film into my camera, to find out that the film was completely stuck in the roll. Only after a struggle with pliers and some mild violence I managed to pull out enough film to load my Holga. Turning the film also did not go very smoothly, which is also visible in the photographs: there is a lot of overlap.

Credits: pinkpix

Rewinding was even a harder challenge: the handle was completely blocked. Fortunately, the people at the Hema hour service were very kind and helpful and they removed the roll in their dark room and developed it for me. When I got the roll back, it really looked awful. Stiff and wrinkled, and stains everywhere. I was really afraid every picture failed. They had not cut the film for me, so I could see for myself what the best pieces were. Super nice. Eventually, only a few pictures turned out successful, but the effect is in fact cool in a bizarre way. Very intense staining, barely any colour left and weird vagueness in some places.

Credits: pinkpix

So next time I should let it dry a little better, soak it shorter and maybe use a higher alcohol percentage (which also would make it dry better). But there will definitely be a next time! Normally dropping off photos, retrieving and scanning them is already a nice surprise, but this felt like a real exciting gift!

The Holga Family is known for its saturation, shadowy vignettes, and dream-like scenes. This iconic camera clan will definitely steal your heart with its plastic charm. Head to our Shop and see which Holga is for you!

written by pinkpix on 2011-11-11 #gear #tutorials #film #diy #experiment #alcohol #tipster #translation #holga #quickie-tipster #requested #700 #doe-het-zelf #koken-met-film #kitchen-supplies
translated by pinkpix


  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·


  2. gianpaoloilari
    gianpaoloilari ·

    I never dared try, but some also say a cycle in the dishwasher creates very interesting effects.
    either way, i'd probably unwind all the film in a dark room (or a closet with a bery big DO NOT ENTER sign) to hang it let it dry before rewinding it and using it.

  3. exit14
    exit14 ·

    I have done the dishwasher trick. I put it in for about 15 minutes of the cycle, shook it out and put it in a container of rice for 2 months. I'm sure that much time isn't nessasary but I think it also lets thing happen in there like a petri dish. Every so often, I took it out and held the film end and wound up the roll inside. You could hear it crunching as it struggled pull itself apart. The photos came out great and all the exposures came out. Here is a link to them.

  4. materne
    materne ·

    does anyone know which film HEMA uses ? I use the all the time, they are cheap as hell

  5. kerpella
    kerpella ·

    "Only after a struggle with pliers and some mild violence" HAHAHA! That made me laugh :D

  6. pinkpix
    pinkpix ·

    First, everybody, thank you for liking this article and my photos!
    @hervinsyah Then you should come to Holland :D The Hema is part of my Dutch heretic and youth; when you're not so rich, you can basically get anything you need from this store. It's been compared to Target, the American store. But I know Hema is better ;)
    @gianpaoloilari @ceschot did a better version of this alcohol film. He also let it soak and dry in the roll, but he only soaked it for 2,5 minute. Maybe a crucial difference. The dish washer trick is something I really want to try, but unfortunately I do not own a dishwasher
    @exit14 the rice thing is a clever solution! I will remember that, thanks! It created a very weird but cool effect in your shots.
    @materne I am sorry, I don't know.
    @kerpella Hahaha, you should have been there to see me yell at the roll :D ;)

  7. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    this looks so great, anyone else got any crazy tricks? dunk it in toilet water? cup of coffee? ha ha :)

  8. marcustegtmeier
    marcustegtmeier ·

    I wonder what other kinds of film this would work with.

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