How to Soup Film
Film soup is the experimental technique of soaking a roll of film in boiling water with other household ingredients. The process create a destructive effect on the film that once developed translates into unusual color shift, large swirls, dots, or even completely damaged emulsion on your film.
There are many different ways/recipes to soup film. I have always enjoyed a pretty drastic effect when I soup film so I have always leaned towards a roaring boiling, when it comes to the water and intense ingredients (lemon juice, food dyes, dish soap, ect.) which tend to be very acidic or basic. If you are looking for a less intense reaction when souping you might want to try ingredients like herbs, teas, wild flowers, ect.
So, if you are looking for an effect like you see on the images below, here is my method:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil
- Add in whatever “ingredients ” you wish
- Add your already exposed Film to the soup (Please note I have only souped 35mm film, as most labs will not develop 120 rolls of souped film)
- Boil film in the soup for 30-60 seconds
- Take the pot off the stove and careful transfer the soup with the roll/rolls of film into a tupperware container
- Let the soup cool and place a lid on the bowl.
- Let your film soup in the warm water for about 24-48 hours
- After the 24/48 hours run the film canister under cold water for about a minute and then let it sit on a window cile for 7 days
- Once the film has completely dried, send it off to the lab (Please ask your lab if they develop souped film as most professional film labs do NOT)
Here are the two film labs I have used for souped film and they do a phenomenal job:
As you can imagine there are so many film soup recipes and each recipe can react differently depending on what film stock you are shooting. So, I figured the easiest way to show you some results is by providing you with the film stock and the soup recipes and the results.
Also, please note I always first shoot the roll of film and then souped it. I have heard of others doing it the other way (soup the film first, then shoot it), I just would rather not run a soupy roll through any of my cameras as I would imagine that wouldn’t be the best for my equipment. Anyways here are some examples of souped images I have created enjoy:
Kodak Porta400: Recipe: Lemon Juice, Salt, Fruit Punch Kool-Aid Powder Packet
Fuji200: Recipe: Red Food Coloring, Blue Food Coloring,Dawn Dish Soap
Kodak 200 Recipe: Grape kool-Aid, lemon juice, Blue Food Dye, Red Food Dye
Fuji 400: Recipe: Red and Blue Food Dye
Kodak 200: Recipe: Red Food Coloring, Blue Food Coloring,Dawn Dish Soap, Hand Soap
Kodak 400: Recipe: Red Food Coloring, Blue Food Coloring,Dawn Dish Soap, Hand Soap
Fuji superia x-tra 400 Recipe: Lemon Juice, Grape Kool-Aid Powder, handsoap
Kodak Color Plus 200 Recipe: Dawn Dish Soap, Salt, lemon Juice
Fuji superia x-tra 400 Recipe: Green Food Dye, Blue Food Dye, Lemon, Dawn Dish Soap, Hand Soap
Ilford XP2 (This Black & White film tat is developed in same chemicals as color negative film) Recipe: Hand Soap, Dawn Dish Soap, Salt, Lemon Juice