A few months ago, I fell down a rabbit hole researching experimental and creative photography. I was looking for something new to try with my 35mm film camera when I stumbled upon this article and video by Amy Elizabeth at Shoot It With Film about exposing both sides of the film (EBS). I was awestruck at the beauty within that article. The images were absolute magic! Also, I was completely intimidated by the entire technique, but couldn’t stop thinking about the creative process. The article and video were incredibly helpful. I didn’t own a film changing bag at the time, but wound up buying this one before I left for a whirlwind trip to Chicago. I packed a cherished roll of 35mm Lomography Turquoise with me, along with a good deal of courage to take some risks where film is concerned. I wanted to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I wanted to try to blend my love of street photography with my love of film and add in a little serendipity…an experimental element. I appreciate that there is, to some degree, a loss of control with this process. I believe that’s part of the magic and part of the joy! I knew I’d be shooting in Chicago and that I wanted to focus primarily on the CTA train lines near the Loop. I began shortly after I arrived in the city that afternoon.
The first side of the roll was shot entirely on train platforms around the Loop.
After I finished shooting the first side of the film, I walked over to Millennium Park to rewind the film and begin the process of cutting, taping, & reloading it onto the empty film canisters. I wound up buying a batch of empty 35mm film canisters on Etsy before I left for the trip. This was my setup:
It was at this moment that I panicked, cut my finger inside the film bag, bled a little, cursed a little, very carefully pulled my hands out of the bag to re-watch Amy’s video, found my courage, and ultimately persevered! I was hot mess, but a determined hot mess! By this time, the sun was beginning to set and the most beautiful golden light was shining. I wandered Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park shooting the second (redscale) side of the film.
I was both elated and anxious when I finished. I had the MOST fun shooting this roll and trying this process! And also, I felt nervous that I might have messed everything up and wasted a priceless role of Lomo Turquoise. I’m SO happy I took the risk.
When I arrived back home, I emailed Amy and shipped the film off to her lab to be developed. I can’t say enough good things about her and Film Lab 135! If you’re looking to have 35mm film developed (to include souped and experimental film), she’s wonderful!
I’m thrilled with the images! They capture everything I love about street photography and are all rolled up into these gorgeous turquoise and golden tones! I can’t wait to try again. Definitely a risk worth taking!