Stalwart of experimental film photography Caroline Mills AKA @myahcat_on_film had been testing out some Exposing Both Sides (EBS) techniques using the Horizon camera with mixed results. However, when she discovered a Lomography article about EBS by community member Hodachome, it gave her the final inspirational push to test out this process for herself. Armed with an LC-A, some forward planning and little bit of trial and error, she managed to perfectly recreate this technique. In this interview Caroline shares her own tips and tricks for getting the best results from this truely analogue experiment.
Hi Caroline, please tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a Londoner who works in education as my day job, but have been taking film photos all my life. After a stint in the US, I took up ‘hardcore’ film photography once more after falling out of love with digital. Returning to London, I got into the Lomography aesthetic and experimental approach after attending a few workshops. I like to try experimental stuff with film, but equally enjoy some B&W street photography, especially with the Horizon Perfekt.
What inspired you to start this EBS project?
I’d done a couple before, and this one came from an idea after shooting a roll of self-redscale through the Horizon Perfekt – could I mask off the frame, shoot a film through, flip it, attempt to align it in reloading (absolute chaotic fun with the Horizon!), and shoot it again on the other side of the film? The results were mixed, alignment not ‘perfekt’ and a distinct lack of cohesion in the composition. A result of that is the photo below. I then came across this article by Hodachrome and realised this person had done my Horizon experiment with a little more thought and panache. So I decided to give it ago using the Lomo LC-A, like in the article, but also because it would be easier to set up the film alignment for reloading.
Talk us through the process, how did you plan for this and what camera/film did you use?
I used my 1986 Soviet Lomo LC-A, Kodak Ultramax 400 and followed all the instructions in the article, lining up the film using a sharpie line drawn on it. I decided to go for a walk, keeping a photographic record of where I took each frame so that I could return to the exact location for the second shoot.
1. I started the first shoot, decided I needed to use the camera for something else. So I rewound it, keeping a note of the frame I was up to. But then I left a gap of almost 9 months before resuming, and slightly forgot exactly how I aligned it. Did I align it then shoot a blank, or did I align it and go? I’d also accidentally deleted my photo records and then in a panic restored the ones I thought were the records.
2. Although I’d kept a record of the locations as photos on my phone, I needed to be stricter about the exact frame I’d shot. I needed to keep my feet in the same place for the LC-A shot AND the iPhone shot to get the precise ‘upside-down’ version in redscale. Incidentally, in my mind I was referencing the concept of ‘upside down’ from both Stranger Things and the Playstation game Silent Hill in how I wanted the result to look – some kind of real world vs fiery red hellscape… just a tad ambitious, but wouldn’t it be cool?
Are you pleased with the results? Anything you would do differently?
To begin with I was angry with myself for dragging the project on too long and losing track of some of the technicalities needed to pull it off well. But some of the images were quite effective where I’d (fair play, accidentally!) got it right. Some positive social media comments allowed me to give myself a bit more credit for getting at least some frames right! Were I to do it again (see below) I’d be a whole lot stricter with myself in terms of the record keeping, keeping my feet still and I would aim not to drag it out too long. I’d like to use Fuji Superia next time as in my opinion and experience it redscales more nicely/ dramatically than Kodak.
What project have you got planned next?
I’m going to give this concept another whirl, but I want to consider it from the perspective of seasonal changes. My family live in rural Shropshire and I’ll be there for a few days in August – I plan to take some scenes at the height of summer then complete the redscale side in the middle of winter. I’d also like to have another bash at the concept with the Horizon Perfekt because I like torturing myself. I also have a vague idea of superimposing pretty bokeh lights over other scenes – a project for the dark nights of winter and my Yashica FR1. And maybe some slide film XPro.
Too see more of Caroline's experiments and projects visit her Instagram page myahcat_on_film
Why not start your own analogue project with the LC-A+ today!