Experimental Analogue Techniques to Try Out in 20233 23 Share Tweet
For Lomographers a new year often means committing to new challenges and pushing our analogue experimentation further. If this is also one of your goals this year then we’re here to help you along your journey with some ideas for Lomographic techniques that will encourage you to take your photography to new places in 2023. Let’s jump into the unknown!
Film souping is one of the classic ways to get experimental with film photography without necessarily getting too technical. Sure, you can take extensive notes during the process if you prefer, or you can throw some ingredients together to develop your film and see what happens. We’ve seen an array of incredible film soups from our community over the last few months, like @brenoot’s orange juice mixture, and @juanmarinoarg's experimentations with various fungi and fruits.
Of course we’ve also made a fair few of our own. One of our favorite concoctions from Lomography Magazine writer @eparrino was her summer film soup recipe, which used coca-cola, lemon and silica gel to achieve incredible psychedelic results.
There are no hard rules when it comes to souping, although there are a few tips that will help you. You can either soup your film after shooting it, or soak it in your ingredients before shooting. But if you’re choosing the latter then make sure to give the film plenty of time to dry out so you don’t screw up the insides of your camera.
Use hot water to soup your film, but be careful not to actually melt the film by soaking it in boiling water for too long. And for more destructive results with dramatic color changes use acidic substances or citrus fruits.
Browse the many recipes on our magazine for more inspiration!
Cyanotype printing is a relatively simple, cameraless process, and is a great place to start for anyone looking to experiment with different printing techniques. All you need is a few crucial chemicals (you can buy cyanotype kits with everything you need) and plenty of sunlight. For this reason it’s best to wait for sunnier seasons to create cyanotypes.
Cyanotype prints are made by treating paper with iron salts that then reacts to UV light. For a full explanation you can check our recent tutorial for creating wet cyanotypes.
Plenty of Lomographers have been busy creating cyanotypes over the last year including @Leisuresuit, who uses photos of his chihuahuas in his creations, as well as @jolom, who takes inspiration and materials from nature.
Exposing Both Sides (EBS)
This technique can be daunting for some as it involves flipping your film and reloading it into a second canister. But when you take a look at the potential for incredible images this technique brings, we guarantee you’ll be tempted to give it a go. The result is beautiful double exposed images with an orange tinted cast.
You’ve probably seen the photos by @Hodachrome, a long-time Lomographer and true master of the technique. We also interviewed photographer Caroline Mills about her own wonderfully realised EBS shots inspired by @Hodachrome.
We even experimented with an easy EBS cheat that can help you to create the EBS look without the hassle of actually flipping the roll of film!
Sometimes in photography limitations are what push us to create the most interesting results. So why not challenge yourself this year by stripping things down and getting back to basics with pinhole photography? For this technique all you need are some rudimentary materials - a light-proof box, light-sensitive paper, and some kind of aperture.
Many Lomographers have fun creating their own pinhole cameras from cardboard boxes, old coffee containers, and all kinds of other basic household items. @manu used an old biscuit tin to create one of his favorite photos, which he told us all about recently. He also gave us a thorough tutorial on how to create your own pinhole camera from scratch and go about taking unique photos.
While UK photographer Martyn Hearson showed us the astonishing pinhole images he captured using the Diana F+ camera and it's handy pinhole function.
Physically Altering Prints
One of the most fun and unpredictable ways to do something new in photography is to physically alter our prints or negatives. There are many methods by which you can do this, which makes this, more than any other technique on our list, all about playing around and truly experimenting in any way you like.
We recently interviewed Brazilian photographer Felipe Lofrano about his use of destructive chemicals such as bleach and chlorine to transform his photography into incredible works of art.
@eparrino has also explored using bleach both to alter instant photos and add new and wonderfully strange dimensions to old prints.
Another method you can have fun with is simply painting or drawing directly onto prints. Belgian artist Matthieu Van Assche does exactly this in his unique and playful transmutations of historical photographs.
Many other Lomographers also choose to incorporate elements of mixed media into their photography including @agrimony and @annika_schwermut who both apply paint to their prints with incredible results.
However you decide to experiment this year, just remember to have fun and always keep in mind Lomography’s 10th and most important Golden Rule - Don’t worry about any rules!
How will you be challenging yourself in analogue photography in 2023? Let us know in the comments below!
written by alexgray on 2023-01-26 #culture #art #printing #pinhole-photography #experimental #alternative #cyanotype #bleach #mixed-media #film-soup #ebs