Totally Psychedelic, Dude!


Took a roll of somewhat mediocre and boring shots, then went crazy with LabRat film destroyer experiments! The results? A totally rad, psychedelic, color-crazy roll of damaged goodness.

Credits: dearjme

Sometimes, I enjoy experimenting with my film more than actually shooting with it……….. Ahaha, nah, I’m kidding — nothing beats the true nature of shooting analogue on my free time! But conducting fantastic experiments, anticipating the results, trying to figure out the right moments of dipping the film in this concoction, that oven, and this freezer; it’s just thrilling.

Credits: dearjme

And the best part is, I know that my passionate feelings are shared by many fellow Lomographers out there! There are great tipsters on different LabRat film destroyer techniques, and I believe Lomography even had a competition for a best new LabRat idea.

This time, I wanted to try as many things as I could to my film, taking ideas from various tipsters found here and on Flickr. So…… here’s what I did.

1. Boiled the film (the whole canister) for 2 minutes
2. Rinsed it in cold water to stop the boiling, then stuck it in the freezer
3. Took it out, then soaked it in freshly squeezed lemon juice (my favorite film destroyer) for 1.5 hours
4. Let the canister dry
5. Unspooled the film in a darkroom (my bathroom, haha) and blow dried it on low heat until the film was no longer sticky and wet
6. Baked it in my toaster oven at 140 degrees F for 20 minutes

Then I sent it to my 1-hour lab to see how they’d react! Boy, was that funny! Thankfully, my local CVS photo lab is super nice to me, and they know how much I love to experiment with my film. Their catch: they won’t develop my film if it’s wet. But other than that, they really aren’t much of hassle.

Safe to say, my results were very interesting! The film emulsion seems to have melted, you can see my fingerprints and scratches from when I blow dried the film, and the lemon juice turned the colors a bit haywire (that’s mostly why I love it!). The overall effect reminded me of a lava lamp, or some psychedelic party from the ’80s!

Credits: dearjme

Experimenting is all about the spirit of uncertainty and discovery, try out some film destroyer techniques today!

written by dearjme on 2011-06-09 #gear #tutorials #film #lab-rat #tipster #boiled-film-tipster-lemon-juice-colors-psychedelic-effect-labrat-diana-mini-35mm


  1. nigelk
    nigelk ·

    Nice results!!

  2. mollyf
    mollyf ·

    Nice results! I've never thought to experiment with films...until now.

  3. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    Some interesting photos, but i wouldn't want to get my wedding pics developed in the chemicals after yours have gone through!

  4. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Thanks all! :)
    And @simonh82, no worries, I work at the CVS where I get my rolls developed so the crew there is well aware of my antics. They usually develop my roll as the last one of the night. :) And I'd probably get my wedding pics processed at a professional lab, anyway...

  5. filby
    filby ·

    I should send this article to my local photo lab, so they appreciate how boring my odd requests are! Love the list of destruction :)

  6. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Hahaha they'll probably hate me! :D

  7. mimifleuri
    mimifleuri ·

    Nice experiment :D
    I soaked my film in vinegar and baking powder before putting it in the Diana Mini:

  8. midasjack
    midasjack ·

    I will destroy my film with pepsi + beer ... to my Diana MINI!

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