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  1. #1

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    Experimental techniques: Manipulating and 'destroying' film

    Hey all

    I'm a designer and amateur photographer. Aside from my Nikon DSLR I also shoot with an analog FM2n using 35mm film.

    What I'm interested in is experimenting with manipulating film in order to achieve unusual results. I'm talking warping the film substrate, applying household chemicals, heating it, freezing it etc... I'm interested in 'destroying' the film; altering the chemical nature of it in order to create visually interesting results.

    I'm going to experiment with a variety of things, but I wanted to first ask around to see if there are any pointers. I realize this is quite an unusual question and I'm not sure how to phrase it in a google search, but if anyone knows what might elicit interesting results, what to shoot with the film etc... I'd love to hear!

    Thanks for reading
    K

  2. #2
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    I did this sort of thing many years ago and found boiling the film produced interesting effects. Done too long and the emulsion completely comes off so you need to pay close attention.

  3. #3
    Vincent Brady's Avatar
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    I remember years ago squirting lighter fluid onto slides and then setting them alight. You quickly blow out the flames and you have a distorted slides with weird colours. Kodak used to mount their slides in cardboard mounts and these worked better than plastic mounts. You could also hold the slide over a candle wich give you a little more control.

  4. #4

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    Those are some interesting ideas - would never have thought to boil the film. Lighter fluid's a good shout also
    Thanks!

  5. #5
    AgX
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    I'm surprised by the answers so far. I thought "destroying" film would be considered blasphemy here...


    Wellcome to Apug, Kimoni.

  6. #6

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    Haha, thanks AgX

  7. #7

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    a dart, exacto blade sand paper and emeryboards work well.
    you might also consider making a simple pinhole camera so you
    get a larger image to work with ... have fun!
    ( and welcome!)
    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  8. #8

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    Thanks Jnanian, sandpaper's an interesting one.
    Can you explain a bit more fully about the pinhole camera, I don't quite understand what you mean. I know what a pinhole camera is but how does this manipulate the film? Is this still using 35mm film?

    Now I recall, I have one of those pinhole camera sets from a secret-santa years back, so I could use that...!

  9. #9

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    Try fixing the film first. I hear it creates very interesting results!

    By pinhole, jnanian is probably talking about a 4X5 or 8X10 pinhole camera, not one that takes 35mm film. You would use either sheet film, or photographic paper (paper negatives). A larger negative will make it easier to manipulate specific areas of the negative. If you do paper negatives, you can draw/shade on the back of the paper to darken areas or even add a certain amount of detail if you wanted.

    You can get some very interesting results from a pinhole WITHOUT destroying the negative anyways. Especially if you do things like make the pinhole too small for the "focal length", make an imperfect pinhole etc.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    AgX
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    John referred to a camera that does not use a frame (as all common 35mm cameras) to to Limit the areo being exposed.
    As furthermore with a pinhole camera the Image angle is only be limited by the light fall-off, a large area of 35mm film can be exposed,

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