As I get more addicted to life in lomography, I learned about getting even more creative with Film Swapping with other lomographers.
Film swap is double (or triple) exposures made by swapping film between two (or 3) persons. 1st person will shoot, rewind, and send to next person to be exposed the 2nd (3rd) time. Oh don’t forget to mark the film with permanent pen (or fold the film before inserting) so the frames will match. Collaboration like this usually produces amazing & surprising outcome!
Tips & Tricks
More interesting results will come from swapping with people from distant countries/cities. Imagine to have 2 monuments like the Eiffel Tower & the Great Wall in a single frame.
In Metro Manila, we can shoot distinctive elements like the jeepneys, the LRT, Jollibee, kariton, etc.
For best result, use a camera with an ASA setting, like LCA’s so you can set it to half expose of the film’s ISO on the first exposure. For example, select 400 for ISO 200 film, 200 for 100, and so on. This is so the first layer wont be too exposed and not allowing 2nd (3rd) exposure. Also be careful being the 2nd person to expose the film/slide, do not overexpose! Use correct ASA but don’t do long exposure, so as not to wipe out the first layer. I have to learn that the hard way. :-(
If using camera with no ASA setting, then for your first exposure, shoot something darker, and something brighter when taking the 2nd exposure.
How and with whom?
You can find willing collaborators at any lomo forums. I found my first few accomplices through Flickr Film Swap group. Later, I will just post invite to other lomo forums and I get enthusiastic responses.
I have 6 collaborator pals so far, from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Singapore, and Thailand. Normally after agreeing to swap films, we each shoot a roll, rewind, and send to the other person. This way, both persons will start a roll and have a roll to develop. So I should end up with 12 rolls worth of result in the end (buying 6 rolls & develop+scan 6 rolls).
You can agree on things before hand like whether to use positive or negative. I usually prefer to use positives for XPRO. You can also agree on themes like all horizontal? all verticals? all faces? all buildings? or just be totally random!
It takes forever to receive films from people! The first roll I got, it took over a month even if it’s only from Bangkok. We thought it got lost and were ready to shoot a new one. The one from Brazil took longer even if the guy paid for Express. What happens, as I found out through experiences, is that when Philpost receives the parcel with a curious bulk, they held it for inspection, and apparently they needed about 3 weeks (or more) to do that! Then they will send me a notice to go pick up the parcel from window 34 and pay 35 pesos inspection fee. It happens every single time. I’m now waiting for a roll shipped from Switzerland and it’s been 4 weeks since it was sent out. Grrr!
On the other hand, my collaborators receive my film within 1 week. Anyway, even with all the agony the philpost, the results are worth it! :-)
Cheers & have fun!
First Published April 28, 2009
Hi! Do you have any suggestions for places wherein I could buy cheap and print my films? Btw, your photographs are sooo cool. :)
I want to try film swapping, but I’m worried that it might not be safe to just give my address to someone across the globe. Also, I would like to know, if ever I do swap my film with someone, where, when, and how do I fold or mark the film?