As part of the Film Photography Month celebrations, we're talking to photographers and analogue alchemists about their unique film soup recipes. Today, we talk to London-based Lomographer Elzi Boba who walks us through her recipe using Purple Gin, Tea and Cola.
1st Soup – Kodak Pro Image 100 Canon EOS 3
• Violet gin 3 tsp
• Hot water 150 ml
• Garnier organic face wash (lemongrass) 3 puffs
• Lime juice 2 tsp
First things first, boil some hot water. After you can add all the ingredients together into the pre-prepared cup. 3 tsp of violet gin, following with 3 puffs of Garnier organic face wash and 2 tsp of lime juice. Mix everything well and add hot water. Mix that too before adding the main ingredient – your film of course. Finally, mix from time to time, I was mixing every hour. This time I left the soup for 4 hours, as this was the first time I was souping in this mixture (so I was testing it out). In the future, depending on the effects you can further increase or decrease the soaking time. Film soaking times that I would choose are from 2 hours for more damaging chemicals or detergents to 24 hours for teas and something I can consume myself
2nd Soup – Rollei Crossbird 200 Canon A-1
• Pure china green tea 1 bag
• Coca Cola diet 1/3 can
• Salt 1 tsp
For film soup number two, I have soaked 1 bag of green tea in hot water, added 1/3 can of diet coca-cola and 1 tsp of salt & all that was mixed, and the roll was soaked for 6-8 hours. After soaking the rolls for a couple of hours, rinse them with tap cold water to stop all chemical processes induced by the hot temperatures of the soup. I have left my films to dry for a day near the radiator as I wanted for it to dry faster (but would recommend leaving it in indirect sunlight for a couple of weeks). My lab in Burnley (called Photo Hippo) is great at developing wet films or just any soaked, expired or experimental films. So, I have sent them my rolls the next day, and here are the results.
As I have expected the 1st souped roll (shot in London) and showed very subtle pastel-like effects, there are some pinkish hues present that I like, and the contrast has been increased. I would say that as I have left the roll in the radiator it started showing some signs of expired film (increased grain even for fresh roll). In some parts of the photos, you can observe color leaks (like a watercolor applied to the photo) with pink/yellow tones. Overall, I’m satisfied with the first soup and will repeat it next time with a longer overnight soak (and would recommend it for your experiments too). The next roll was not as successful in taking photos for some reason (could a possible overexposure problem in my old canon a1). But the soup was very effective, some of the shots had big blobs of dark color, and little spots all around the shot. My final verdict will be don’t stop experimenting, discovering new recipes for film soups. Some film soaks will have drastic, surrealistic, and just crazy effects than other rolls. And that’s the beauty of film souping.