Transform Old Negatives With This Engraving Technique

Today's tipster is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the purist lover of perfect negatives. Today we explore a daring technique that will permanently alter your negatives. So be aware that the modifications made will be irreversible.

For today's tipster we recycled old LomoKino footage we shot on two rolls of Lomography Color Negative 35 mm ISO 400.

Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a burin, a steel cutting tool.

This is not the first time we have explored the possibility of etching our negatives. As hostile as this technique may seem, its highly experimental nature can yield excellent results. Adding layers of drawings and scratches that become handmade graffiti while manipulating and facilitating the scaling of the photo layers achieves new creative results.

Engraving tools and engraved negative. Photo by Elisa Parrino

This time we used specific etching tools, a curved gouge and an angled gouge, which allowed us to work with intention and make different kinds of lines and cuts. The right tools can be difficult to use at first, but as soon as you get to work, just like a surgeon, you realize that the best results are achieved with a steady hand, controlled pressure, and gentle grooves.

What was pleasantly surprising during this process was seeing the different layers of our film become visible on the surface, giving us an idea of the intricate layers that make up an emulsion.

Scratching the negative with different levels of intensity, we dug into the yellow and magenta layers, which gave a colorful hue to our scratches. Energetic applications scratched the negative, producing dark stripes that marked the entire emulsion, that is, to the polyester base.

Engraved negatives. Photo by Elisa Parrino

When you think you've achieved all you wanted from your scratching and you are satisfied with you alterations you can send your negative to the LomoLab to be rescanned and converted to an mp4 so you can see your new footage.

This is a simple experiment, where you can freely decide how to alter your negatives. You can create new figures where there is nothing, marked by lines and generous reappropriation of space, reimagining the original image and interpreting it to your liking.

When we looked at the negative, we could see our drawings much more vividly than we could perceive them on the scanned negative. This practice opens up the idea that these are not lost negatives but rather, new images reborn with a new skin.

Dare to try to engrave your negatives? Give it a shot and share your results with us! You can find the LomoKino available in our shop.

written by eparrino on 2024-03-26 #tutorials #experimental #engraving #tipster #etching #lomokino

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