Visit from Outer Space: Light Spots and Color Dots


Have you ever exposed a film before loading into your camera? If not, you must certainly try this tipster: the effects are unique and the results are astonishing.

As I am happy to try out new things, one night, I partly exposed a new color negative film through a mask. Having to wait almost a week for the lab to develop the film was almost unbearable. And yet, I am really impressed by the result:

Credits: floriansimon

You will need:

  • cardboard (not too thick)
  • black electrical tape or Duct Tape
  • pair of scissors (or a cutting machine)
  • needle, knife or other pointed tool
  • empty roll of film with overhanging part of the old film
  • new roll of film
  • flash unit (for example Colorsplash Flash)
  • darkroom (in case of need: blanket)

Step 1
Cut out two thin stripes of cardboard, roughly 4 millimeters wide and 20 centimeters long.

Step 2
Cut out at least two wide stripes of cardboard and put the film on one of them.

Step 3
Glue the two thin stripes onto the wide one, so that they hold the film tightly but cover as little film as possible.

Step 4
Using the needle or the knife, jab holes or cut thin lines into the wide strip. Try to create patterns or just jab randomly. Be creative!

Step 5
Stick the beginning of the new film onto the overhanging part of the old roll of film. This splice should be detachable easily.

Step 6
Now insert the film into the mask as seen on the picture. Then cover the film with the jabbed mask.

Step 7
Charge the flash, choose a color filter, point it at the film mask and fire the flash. Advance the film into the empty spool and repeat this step. Choose a different color filter, turn the film and expose it from the other side or use another mask.

Step 8
As soon as you reach the end of the film, just rewind it and load it into your camera.

It is advisable to cover the flash with a white tissue in order not to overexpose the film. You might also want to overexpose the film one or two steps. If you want to scan your film, try convincing your lab not to cut the film.

Good luck and I hope it turns out well.

written by floriansimon on 2011-05-16 #gear #tutorials #film #light #color #spot #lab-rat #tipster #flash #dot
translated by floriansimon


  1. gladys
    gladys ·

    will try it on my next roll=D

  2. willyboy
    willyboy ·

    Not sure I'm a fan of the effects...

  3. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

    sweet idea; I'm sure I'd just accidently skunk a whole role. But I'll try it.

  4. adash
    adash ·

    WOW, very nice! I ought to try that soon!

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