The excitement of the experiment: Cracked mask to Lubitel


The idea to make this mask comes from my everyday life: I see almost every day an old cracked information sticker on public transport bus. (You can see that sticker in picture 1)

I was thinking a lot, how I could produce such cool pattern/effect on film. Then I found a set of cracking varnishes and I decide to make a mask with these transparent varnishes.

Here is a short description of how I made the mask.
Things you will need:

  • a transparent plastic sheet (you can find it in Office Supplies stores) 
  • a set of cracking varnishes: 1.water based transparent varnish, 2.cracking varnish (you can find in art shops)
  • a brush
  • a paperboard 
  • adhesive tape
  • scissors
  • a hairdryer
    Main steps:
  • cut out an about 7×7 cm square from the transparent plastic sheet 
  • fix it to the paperboard with adhesive tape so it’s easier to paint
  • now comes the first varnish, a transparent napkin varnish (decoupage technique), apply a thin layer on the plastic sheet
  • after 30 minutes, when the base varnish dried, comes the second varnish, which creates the cracks. Apply in smooth even strokes.
  • cracks will appear as the varnish dries. It’s recommended to use a hairdryer to speed up the drying of the varnish. The total time of drying is about 4 hours, but using a hairdryer, the cracks appear sooner. 
  1. the mask is almost ready; finally you need to cut out the right size.
    It’s important to put the mask as close as possible to the film. In the case of Lubitel2 camera, I could take out a part of the camera, so it was easy to fix the mask to this part and put it back together.


Let’s see the result:

Credits: szzs

I like these cracked pictures, the cracks are unique and random.
You can even play with the size of the cracks too: if you don’t leave time for drying the first varnish and you paint the wet cracking varnish, you get bigger, wider cracks.
I will continue the experiments, so stay tuned ;-)

written by szzs on 2011-05-23 #gear #tutorials #camera #tipster #cracked-mask-experiment-lubitel-cracked-mask


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  1. xxxanderrr
    xxxanderrr ·

    looks fantastic!
    I've tried putting a mask like that to my lubitel 166b, buut.. unsuccessfully, since it doesnt really have a mask you could attach it to ^^

  2. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·


  3. novakmisi
    novakmisi ·

    nagyon otletes !!!!

  4. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    I used to do these cracks directly on film using black china ink

  5. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Lovely experiment!

  6. nigelk
    nigelk ·

    Great idea!

  7. naomac
    naomac ·

    will have to try this for a holga or diana mask thanks for the tip.

  8. jonalon
    jonalon ·

    cheers man! can't wait to try this!

  9. eringreif
    eringreif ·

    That is too awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  10. wn7ant
    wn7ant ·

    I wonder if you could use some food coloring in the varnish to tint it, or run food coloring in the cracks to tint just them?

  11. szzs
    szzs ·

    Thank you for all the comments!
    I think I could color the varnish. It's water based, maybe any water based paints are suitable. Food coloring is good idea, actually I have some at home :)
    I bought these varnishes in a set: 2 varnishes and a dark, thick liquid, called "Patina". It's darkbrown liquid and It is used to tint the cracks and it gives an antique look. I will try this "Patina" next time.

  12. rhemaangel
    rhemaangel ·

    I would recommend a BLUE tint if this is going to be used as a mask for negatives. Otherwise, a sepia tint will come out looking like a cyanotype -- all BLUE!!!!

    If you have any doubts as to how to use these before trying them on your cameras, go & talk to the local craft store on how to use them normally. That will give you a feel of how they would work in this kind of setting.

  13. sprofishgel
    sprofishgel ·

    Show !

  14. szzs
    szzs ·

    Here is my second experiment with cracked mask:… . I made another mask with smaller cracks colored with a dark thick liquid and used with Lomography RS XR film.

  15. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Excellent idea. I can't wait to try this.

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