Photographer Brigette Bloom’s series “Float On” and her rather unusual film soak recipe has been making the rounds in the Internet recently. But just in case you haven’t seen it yet, Brigette has given us the green light to republish her recipe right here in the magazine’s Tipster section! As she has so rightly put it, “Let’s all support each other and spread the creative energy!” Check out Brigette’s tipster right after the cut!
Alright, so I get lots of messages where people ask me about my technique or what methods I use to damage my film. I remember years ago, I would message certain photographers as I was curious how they damaged their film. Not a single person replied—ever. I was a little disappointed; however, it led me to experiment and try things out for myself.
I just think it’s the silliest thing how it’s more common to be very secretive about your technique. I mean, I understand people don’t want everyone copying, but does it even matter? Theres more than enough to go around! Truly! So i decided to write out a detailed recipe of the film soak I use the most often.
Okay, here’s a breakdown.
1) I get any film I have (it can be expired or new, either works great). I always soak it BEFORE I shoot the film because it will have more dramatic effects as this tears the emulsion apart. So that little tab is sticking out, you just leave it like it is.
2) Then I literally just pee in a cup. Let the film soak in there for a few hours. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
3) Then swish the film canister in a little cup of water to get it rinsed, and then air dry outside for about a week. It’s very, very dry where I’m at, so if you live in an environment that’s more humid, you may need a full month to dry the film. Just pull the tab a little to check if it’s dry.
4) Once the film is dry, I run it through my camera like usual. The film will have a little resistance when you wind it in your camera – it’s fine, just not as smooth since it’s been sticking during the drying process.
5) Once you shoot all the photos, develop, and voila!
Just note that every time, it comes out differently (depending if I’m using morning pee/night pee and considering what I’ve eaten that day!). I did a roll last week and didn’t like one photo from it, but this new roll I like! It’s always just experimenting and if you get effects you like, that’s an added bonus! You can try this method with any liquid like lemon juice, vinegar, wine, or just throw it in the dishwasher or washing machine.
I read something on this subject a while ago that was so, so great, and after I read it I was like, YES! Let’s all support each other and spread the creative energy. Life is not some competition where another has to lose in order for you to win. I think a truly successful person is someone who is happy for another person’s success.
Okay here it is.
Do not covet your ideas.
Give away everything you know and more will come back to you.
You will remember from school [where] other students preventing you from seeing their answers by placing their arm around their exercise book or exam paper.
It is the same idea at work: people are secretive with ideas. “Don’t tell them that, they’ll take credit for it!”
The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale.
If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.
Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you.
Ideas are open knowledge. Don’t claim ownership.
They’re not your ideas, anyway. They’re someone else’s. They are out there floating by on the ether.
You just have to put yourself in the frame of mind to pick them up.
The contents of this Tipster, which originally appears here, was written by Brigette Bloom and republished here on Lomography with permission. To see the photos from her “Float On” series, click here.