7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Your Next Roll of Film

7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Ruby Robida
Links to sites such as Amazon, Adorama, or KEH Camera may contain affiliate links to help support the site. If you like what we’re doing & want an easy way to support us, click one of those links before you do your shopping.

7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes

We rounded up some amazing film photographers to share their favorite film soup recipes and tips!

If you’re looking for a little creative boost to your film photography, film soup might be just the thing. It’s an experimental film photography technique where you soak a roll of film in different liquids to add fun, crazy colors and effects to your film negatives. If you’re brand new to the process, you can check out a step-by-step tutorial answering all of your film soup questions here.

Scroll down to check out seven must-try film soup recipes, some useful tips, and plenty of inspiring images from a few of our favorite film soup shooters!

Learn to Shoot Film - 7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes
Learn to Shoot Film - 7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes

Recipe 1: Red Kool-Aid, Lemon Juice, & Dish Soap

From Stephanie Brian | stephaniebryanphoto.com | @stephaniebryan

Mix together in boiling water. Let film sit in “soup” for at least 24 hours but up to a week. Rinse film in cold water and let dry for at least a week before developing.

7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Stephanie Bryan
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Stephanie Bryan

Souping film is such a fun and unique process, and I absolutely love that you never know what you are going to get. When you soup film, the PROCESS of shooting, souping, and developing becomes more than the end result. It’s not just about picking my camera up and composing a perfect image. It’s not the anticipation of a final image. Nope. It’s the process. The procedure. It’s the way photography should be.

Recipe 2: Chamomile Citrus Tea & Lemon Juice

From Bryan Lovett | @thebryanlovett

Add tea and lemon to one cup of boiling water. Add film canisters! Cap container and let the film “steep” for 4-6 hours, stirring every 20 min for the first 2 hours. 1 minute cold water rinse after removing film from soak. Then, dry for one week in a container with gel-silica.

7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Bryan Lovett
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Bryan Lovett

I enjoy this recipe for it’s subtlety. Having run the full gamut of mega-destructive soup recipes in the past, I’ve appreciated the flowing pastel colors this soup adds to the film. I also do most of my soaking post-shooting to prevent damage inside the camera from sticky film and also so I can try to cater the soup towards what I ended up shooting.

The best part of film soup is that there are no rules! I’ve done everything from pickle juice to champagne to a cycle through the dishwasher. Each has it’s strengths and potential flaws, but if you’re willing to take the risk, the reward can be some truly otherworldly effects produced by a lot of chance and a little faith.

Recipe 3: Hand Soap & Salt

From Ruby Robida | @rubyrobida

  • Boiling Water
  • Hand Soap
  • Salt
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Ruby Robida
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Ruby Robida

This film soup recipe and the ingredients are my favorite! When I use them I always get different results, but always very interesting! Blue color and pink are popping out, and sometimes I get this quite cool dotted pattern.

Recipe 4: Blood Orange Lemonade & Silica Gel

From: Elzi Boba | @_elziboba_

  • Blood Orange Lemonade (Great for drinking and film souping!)
  • Silica Gel (Packets in shoe boxes) – Remove the silica from the packets. It doesn’t dissolve but will reacts with the film. You can also reuse it for other experiments.

Mix the blood orange lemonade, silica gel, and film of your choice with water. Soak for 4 hours or more. Don’t forget to mix it well from time-to-time. Wash film in cold water after souping, and leave it to dry for 1-2 weeks on a shelf.

7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Elzi Boba
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Elzi Boba

Depending on how long you soak the film (the longer, the better the results), results vary from water stains spreading throughout the picture, color changes and shifts, and sometimes blue/purple dots.

I tend to dilute everything that is very chemically active in hot water – mainly detergent (household chemicals), soap, orange juice, and tea (that’s how you make tea, right, with hot water 😉 ). I mainly soup after I finished shooting the roll to not damage the camera. It is also easier for me to decide to soup or not to soup after shooting (if you are in the mood to soup and ready to feel like a mad scientist).

Recipe 5: Pepto Bismol & Soda

From Tyler Rice | @Soaked_Film | @Tyler_Rice

Here’s a roll of film I soaked in Pepto Bismol and soda. I usually like to shoot through the rolls first, then soak it for 24 hours or more. If you choose to soak your roll before you expose it, you have a higher chance of messing up your film camera or having the film stick to itself in the camera. The longer the film is soaked, the more it will take effect on the colors and overall look. I always wash my film in clean water several times to get as much off before I develop.

7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Tyler Rice
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Tyler Rice

I love the look of Pepto Bismol because it usually leaves a pink or blue streak or color. It can also add fun random textures. It’s a ton of fun to soak films in random house products. It’s something every film photographer should try at least once!

Recipe 6: Lemon Juice & Bath Salts

From Julie Guertin | @julieguertin

7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Julie Guertin
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Julie Guertin

Results always vary a lot with film soup. Lighting, metering, scanning, film stock used, background… they all have an impact on the final images. So, it’s hard to aim for a specific look.

Film soup images can be easily overwhelming. Keep your composition simple if you want your film soup to shine.

Recipe 7: Blueberries & Lemon Juice

From Carlos Baselga | @cralisare

  • Blueberries
  • Lemon Juice
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Carlos Baselga
7 Awesome Film Soup Recipes to Try on Shoot It With Film - Carlos Baselga

I like how this mix reacts to film and generates green tiny dots on top of the emulsion, and the blueberries gives it a magenta tone on the background. I always try to use Fuji C200 film as it has green dominant color.

Tip: You must overexpose at least 1 stop to get great results. Film soup’s technique destroys the light sensitivity of the film.

We can’t thank all of these amazing photographers enough for sharing their film soup secrets with us!

Leave your film soup questions below in the comments, and you can check out all of our film soup related articles here!

Tags:
Leave a Comment