A blog about design & technology by Opoloo

Film Cameras & Expired Films

Catching light

Digital SLR cameras are trendy like never before: quality gets better and better, prices for decent cameras are tumbling, and apps like Instagram or Vignette have had incredible numbers of downloads for mobile phones.
Especially those young hipsters love the retro effect to add more character to a photo, so the group of film camera lovers is on the rise again.
But how can I get this "super-fancy" effect? Although a cool photo may be composed of different effects, the most popular one is achieved by way of light leaks. This happens when the film of the camera receives light it is not supposed to get because of a hole or gap in the body of the camera. In most cases the seal of the camera body is broken or scrappy. You also can open the cover of the camera for a short time in a darker environment.
Characteristic for the light leaks are red & yellow light stripes:

Alt text
Photo by wrenswood

Alt text
Photo by that annoying tourist

Using an expired film can also be fun. Retro feeling guaranteed and every photo will definitely be unique. You never know what you will get. The photos often get that sweet damaged-and-dirty-effect.
By the way: an expired film is a film that has outlived its best-before-date, like milk or other food.

If you're wondering what kind of film you should use: the film types Color Print Film (processed in C-41), Color Slide Film (processed in E-6) and Black & White film (traditional BW processing) are the most common auctions.

Alt text
Photo by Jon Jordan Willetts

Alt text
Photo by Nick Villagrana

Alt text
Photo by Andrea Buzzichelli

If you don't want to get the effects with an analog camera, take a look at the following links. They describe the editing on the basis of a digital photo:

Creating Light Leaks in Photoshop
Lomo Light Leaks by Danny Tang
How to Make Your Photos Look Hipster

*Title image by JeneaWhat

Discuss this article at Google+