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Today, we’re featuring a beautiful film soup self-portrait series from photographer Anna Gibbs. Here is more from Anna about her film photography journey and how she created this stunning stained film series…
My name is Anna Gibbs. I’m a 28 year old film photographer from Montgomery, Alabama, and I also work as a Fujifilm Frontier Scan Technician at Indie Film Lab. My journey with film is not so much a journey, as it is who I am.
My love for film has evolved so much throughout my life. I started making stained film (film soup) this year, more so of a need to create something in the midst of all the intensity this year has brought on. These were self portraits I took, which I am also very passionate about. I think that 2020 has obviously been a bit more personal for mostly everyone. I’ve learned so much more about myself, my passions, and my passions for art.
I like to use expired film mostly giving it a good purpose and all natural ingredients. All was shot on my Canon AE-1, and I used expired Fujifilm Superia and also Kodak ColorPlus that was in date. (The more purple images are the expired Fuji, and the more orange/ pink were the ColorPlus that was in date. The multiple exposure image is actually about 7 exposures in one due to an advancement issue, but it all pulled through!)
Both soaks consisted of boiling rainwater I got from a wheel barrow, lots of salt, and soap. The longer the soak, the more the film will be broken down, giving a more dramatic result. I soak my film from anywhere from 5-10 days.
The rinsing process is even more important than the soak itself. After soaking in the soup, I rinse the film under cool water for about 15 minutes, the longer the better. Then, I soak the film in fresh water for a total of 2 days – switching out the water twice a day. Once the film is clean, I dry out the film for at least 10 days, again the longer the better.
I self developed these to respect the lab’s chemistry. It’s important to note if the rolls are not cleaned properly, it will mess with the chemistry also potentially affecting other people’s films. I would highly recommend developing at home, I actually used the tutorial from Shoot It With Film!