A Very Holiday-Themed Film Soup Recipe with Lomography


It's that time of the year: cities are lit by the festive lights, and the vendors have set their stands selling mulled wine. The intense flavors of cinnamon, red wine, and spices penetrate our noses, and it immediately turns on the holiday mood.

It is that time of the year when hot chocolate is everywhere, and bakeries fill their sweets and gingerbread cookies. Taken by all of these irresistible goodies, we wanted to give you a very special recipe for this season. A film soup that won't make your house smell like a chemistry lab and instead will tempt you to eat or drink your film.

Photo credit eparrino


Here is what you'll need for this film soup and get the feeling of a warm holiday!

  1. Orange
  2. Cloves
  3. Hibiscus tea or mixed fruit tea
  4. Blackcurrant liquor
  5. Orange flowers water
  6. Backing soda
Photo credit eparrino

The Recipe

For this version of the film soup, we have shot the film before cooking the roll. If you want to shoot after the cooking make sure to let the film dry carefully for at least 10 days after cooking. We chose a roll of LomoChrome Metropolis for this as well. After shooting the film, we prepared our melange:

  • 1/2 orange, squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon of cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of floral tea
  • 1 coffee spoon of blackcurrant liquor
  • 2 drops of oranges flower water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda

Boil the ingredients all together mixed in 75 ml of water. Add baking soda at last and very slowly and carefully, as many of you are aware baking soda will react with the hot water and rise. Keep the brew at a low temperature for 3 minutes, then transfer into a jar (or keep it in your saucepan) overnight to get well soaked.

Photo credit eparrino

Dry and Develop with C-41

Drying is a crucial step in the film soup process.

If you cook your film before shooting, it is essential that you let it perfectly dry to allow a smooth rolling in your camera while shooting. I suggest you don't rush for this step of the soup. Take your time, and let your roll dry as much as possible.

If you plan to speed up the dry process by using a hairdryer, be aware of your risks. To unroll your film and dry it with a hair blower is a delicate and dangerous process. You should be in a completely dark environment to open your roll of film. Exposed or not, if you get a small light infiltration, you can say goodbye to your film. To me, it is an unnecessary risk. For this recipe, I first shot then cook the film, then let it stand there for five days. I chose a dry room near the hitting of my flat to be sure that all the wetness would evaporate in time.

The Results

From this receipt, I got very subtle and toned images. Orange and cloves dominated the soup and the pinkish colors almost matted the negative. I had an issue while rolling my negative into my spool to develop. The film was so sticky that it got glued and I lost most of my negatives.

Photo credit eparrino

I then decided to shoot another film to get more frames, and this time I chose a Lomography Color Negative 100 and adjusted my recipe, substituting blackcurrant liquor, for one drop of detergent for laundry, and therefore eliminating the oranges flower water. I figured that those two were the most sticky of my ingredients. I kept everything else as I wanted to have similar results.

I proceeded the same way. First, I shot my roll, then cooked it. This time I let the soup cool down for 2 minutes away from the fire, as I wanted to avoid my negative from getting too deformed from the boiling water, and have a smooth loading on my spool. I let it dry for 3 days in a dry environment and then developed with a C-41 classic color negative developing solution.

Photo credit eparrino

Pleasant's surprises of the unforeseen

I was satisfied with the results. At first, I wasn't sure if the detergent would have a strong effect, but it turned out fine. The hints of blue blend nicely with the strong red tones from the tea and cloves.

I enjoyed this recipe. There are no limits to the ingredients that you can use. A few things that you should keep in mind are; to have something that tones the film, that can give a strong color, then something that can make a reaction. That can be acids like lemons, oranges, and backing soda.

Lastly, if you are looking for a glittery effect, detergents and silica are the best options for you to achieve a great color shift and sparkly effects.

Photo credit eparrino

If you have any special film soup recipe that you enjoyed, share it in the comments section below and we will try your ingredients as well. Don't forget to upload your favorite images on our Community!

written by eparrino on 2021-12-24 #tutorials #film-soup #lomochrome-metropolis

LomoChrome Metropolis 35 mm ISO 100–400

This film comes with a unique chemical formula specifically developed in our Lomography film manufactory, which desaturates colors, mutes tones and makes contrasts pop.


  1. leisuresuit
    leisuresuit ·

    Great idea!

  2. evansabahnurd
    evansabahnurd ·

    Love it! Do you usually reuse the dev chemicals after soup or is it a one and done kind of deal?
    The tones of blue is that last batch are such a nice touch

  3. eparrino
    eparrino ·

    @evansabahnurd When ever possible, I try to use the chemicals until they exhaust. I did reuse it twice for this recipe for example. Unfortunately I can't say for how many times you can use the same butch. However, the chemicals that I have used for the film soup are separate from the one for regular developing, as they are contaminated with the soup residues.

  4. neonlights
    neonlights ·

    Try beer, or pippermint.

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