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

2014-08-07 13

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!

XPro Slide 200 modified with some drops of raspberry juice

2. Emulsion of Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar on XPro slide films

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

Pictures obtained by modifying Kodak 400 Portra films and XPro Slide 200 films

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.

Bleach effects on XPro slide films

4. Red and Blue Nail Polish Cocktails

The effects of blue and red nail polish on homemade redscale films

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.

The effects of nail polish on homemade redscale films and XPro slide films

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!

Applying the Temperature effect through the Smartphone Scanner

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.

Ammonia solution on XPro Slide 200 negatives

You can also make green dots with lemon juice.

Lemon juice on homemade redscale films

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 on 2014-08-07 #gear #tutorials #35mm-films #lab-rat #film-soup #tipster #chemicals #film-experiments #lomography-smartphone-film-scanner #requested-post


  1. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

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

  2. blackfairy
    blackfairy ·

    Thanks! :-)

  3. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Cool article, gallery, techniques!!

  4. blackfairy
    blackfairy ·

    Thanks Herbert!

  5. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    great blog you have

  6. akula
    akula ·

    Great collection of ideas.

  7. blackfairy
    blackfairy ·

    Thank you very much! :-)

  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?

  9. blackfairy
    blackfairy ·

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

  10. neonlights
    neonlights ·

    yeah, I do exactly the same :D

  11. lfought
    lfought ·

    This is awesome! @blackfairy

  12. glenn
    glenn ·


  13. belkabelochka
    belkabelochka ·

    Gonna have to try this!

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