Some of our most dedicated community members are well-versed in setting up film swap projects and the results are always stunning, with a sense of sweet serendipity to them. You can start up by swapping a roll of film with a friend or fellow film shooter. Once you get used to this the skies really are the limits! But before you start, there are a few important tips and rules to stick to.
Firstly, find a bunch of photographers you would like to approach, think about people from other countries who could shoot interesting locations. Shooting two big cities over the top of each other can produce great results. Once you have some people on board you can choose your film. We talked to Singapore-based Young Lee about how to get the best results from your film swap project.
“To get good color casts film selection is important. My favorite would be to cross process slide films as interesting color casts are always produced. Different x-pro slide films produce different color casts and you would be able to select the appropriate slide film for your intended effects. Lomography Xpro 200 is a good film to use because it produces strong and consistent colors. If slides are not available, other films with good color casts like the LomoChrome Purple and Lomography Redscale 100 can also be used.”
“In addition to film selection, exposure control is also important. As the film will be exposed to light several times (depending on the nature of your film swap). I would recommend that the film is shot at least 1-2 stops below the film’s intended ISO before the swap. if I’m using the Lomography Xpro 200, I would shoot it at ISO 800. Also if slide films are used, slightly underexposing them for x-pro promotes stronger color casts and saturation.”
“With film swaps, you also get to see multiple interpretations of the same theme and watch how these interact and intertwine with each other. It’s almost like watching two (or more) photographers dancing together through their photos!” - Young Lee 2018
Once you've shot your roll of film 1-2 steps down make sure to leave a little bit of film out when you rewind. Then you are ready to post it off to your film swap partner! We suggest sending a little note saying what camera you used and what setting it was on. We recommend shooting with the LC-A+ or LC-Wide for super sharp colors and contrasts, but you can experiment with any camera you like; sometimes you can get crazy results by mixing up two types of camera.
Once you've processed your film, don't forget to share it with your project partner and share it with all your friends. If you post these on social media, use the hashtag #heylomography and you could be featured in our newsletter!
Check out more film swap projects from our community.