Redscale, again


I’ve experimented with redscale photography before, with varying results. (Just a refresher: redscale photography refers to the technique of shooting color film with the emulsion side facing away from the lens. This involves running the film through the camera backwards). I’ve liked the results that other people have gotten from redscale film, but have just been more or less meh on the shots I’ve taken.

However, during the great Respooling Odyssey of 2011, when I was getting all of my film ready to take on vacation, I went a little crazy and wound up buying some of Rollei Nightbird film (pre-flipped redscale film) and respooling several rolls of 35mm redscale film onto 127 or 120 backing paper.

For distant views

This picture and the one at the beginning of this post were both shot on a roll of expired Fuji X-Tra 400 speed 35mm film, flipped for redscale, and respooled onto 127 backing paper (shot through the Ward’s 26 camera). This is pretty typical of how redscale generally looks – the majority of colors are tones of yellow, orange, and red.

What I had wanted to try in addition to just shooting the redscale normally was seeing how it came out when it was shot in conjunction with a filter. So, for this roll of expired 800 speed Kodak Gold Max, I taped a small section of a teal gel over the inside of the lens (again, I used the Ward’s 26). I made sure to use a faster film for this, since redscale film in general is like shooting through a red filter (the base color of the film), and I was adding an additional dark filter on top of that.

I didn’t really know what to expect, although I guessed I’d get results that were dark brown. I shot the roll on a very gray, misty morning that didn’t have much going on in the way of color.

Ruby Beach

As you can see, the redscale film plus the teal filter resulted in green tinted images.


So, that’s kind of neat. I packed more redscale film than I actually wind up shooting, though, so I still have some more filter experiments I want to try with it (if I shoot with a straight blue filter, will I get purplescale images?). We only managed to develop a little under half of the C41 rolls of film we shot before I started to get paranoid that our chems were going wonky. So, I need to restock.