Saturday, September 15, 2012

Caffenol Starflash Multi-exposure

A month or so back, I spooled up a roll of 35mm film into a [Kodak] Brownie Starflash camera. The Starflash was designed to hold 127 film, so the roll of 35mm wasn't exactly a snug fit. None-the-less, I taped-up the back to block any light-leakage and started carrying the camera around with me for the next few weeks. 

Advancing the film became a bit of a guessing game. The camera's advance knob would click into place, but not on a consistent basis. I assumed that I may have a few overlapping frame edges and continued on with that hypothesis.

Aside from spooling a smaller film format into a camera that called for a larger film size, the objective of this venture was to expose a roll of film that was to be destined to be developed with caffenol. Caffenol is a home brew developing solution that uses instant coffee, citric acid [vitamin-C] and soda ash [sodium carbonate] as its main ingredients.

Having never employed the caffenol method before, my results were a little less than stellar; not due to the developer, but more due to my miscalculation of adjusting the development time to the warm temperature in my kitchen. After seeing the developed film, it was obvious that I had overdeveloped the film. 

What else was obvious was that my concerns about the advance knob issue were more acute than I had anticipated. Although there were a few gaps between some frames, most of the frames overlapped and double exposures were abundant throughout. There were a few frames that I hoped to see intact, but the accidental results turned out to be somewhat serendipitous; the entire roll of film ended up being a continuous collage of images.

With the help of my Epson scanner and some digital extraction, I was able to pull some images from the overdeveloped film. The images shown above are cropped from a longer sequence of double exposures. 

If the bottom two frames look familiar, you're right. They're additional shots from the previously posted Orange Street Fair. The top frame was taken on another day at Laguna Beach.

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