Curiosity, Collaboration, and Connection

In Art Projects, Collaboration, Conversation, Creating, Film, Inspiration, Street, Travel, Urban Exploration
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There are a multitude of things I love about photography: cameras (both digital and film), film stocks, lenses, and countless styles & techniques. I’m endlessly curious about every facet. I think maybe what I love most, though, are the connections and friendships that I’ve found along the way. My very good friend and fellow Viewfinder, Debbie Candeub, is most certainly one of the dearest connections I’ve made. We’ve been friends for years and often send each other images. Sometimes there’s a sentence or two connected to the photo: Look at this!! Other times it’s a question: How?! And still other times, it requires nothing more than the simple sharing of the image. She knows me well after all these years. And so it was that I began to send her souped images last spring.

Curiosity got the better of me and I fell down a rabbit hole of souped photography. I could not stop admiring the images and wondering how they were created. I was utterly fascinated by the possibility. Throughout this time, Debbie was so kind and supportive. She encouraged me to try. Somewhere along the way, the idea of a collaboration was mentioned and set wheels in motion.

We decided to each shoot two rolls, one town themed and one garden. For the town roll, we agreed to make images of city streets and neighborhoods, souped in cold acidic colored soda. The garden rolls were to be images of flora and fauna, souped in warm water of flower petals and plant material.

We both sent our film to be developed at Film Lab 135, which specializes in experimental photography. To be clear, if you’re interested in sending souped film out for development, check to make sure the film lab accepts it and follow their guidance.

As Debbie stated earlier this month at Viewfinders, we’ll each be sharing “these experiments in mad color, mess and chance” in our next few turns here. You can find Debbie’s images here made on Fuji Superia Xtra souped in neon green Jarritos. They are sublime!! I adore them.

My images were made in Chicago on Kodak 400 and souped in cold, orange Jarritos soda for four hours. I then rinsed the roll under cold water for about five minutes before tossing it into the dryer for six cycles on high. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the soup combination and tried to wait patiently after mailing the film. While not every image turned out, overall I’m incredibly happy!

In some images, the color contrasts were stark and vivid. By contrast, other images were so subtle and lovely you almost missed it.

Some wider shots offered a rainbow of color.

And a few images came out as more of a warm, golden glow.

My favorite by far was this happy accident below. Light leak plus film soup magic! I love how the orange soda shifted the tones of the blues and magenta.

I’m so grateful for your friendship, your willingness to try new things, your curiosity and your support, Debbie! I’m excited to see your souped garden images next! This collaboration has filled me with such joy! For more of Debbie’s work, you can find her here.

~ Laura


  1. These photos are just glorious. It’s like you have a whole new palette with which to paint your favorite muse of a city. xoxo

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