RedScale Film Photography

Redscale film photography taken at OMNI Mount washington hotel
The OMNI Mount Washington Hotel shot on redscale film.

The Red Scare: #BIFscale21

It is time once again to achieve levels of triumph one can only experience through shooting film backward as part of a redscale film photography challenge.

What is redscale film photography?

Redscale is a technique of shooting photographic film where the film is exposed from the wrong side, i.e. the emulsion is exposed through the base of the film. Normally, this is done by winding the film upside-down into an empty film canister. The name “redscale” comes because there is a strong color shift to red due to the red-sensitive layer of the film being exposed first, rather than last [the red layer is normally the bottom layer in C-41 (color print) film]. All layers are sensitive to blue light, so normally the blue layer is on top, followed by a filter. In this technique, blue light exposes the layers containing cyan and magenta dyes, but the layer containing yellow dye is left unexposed due to the filter. E-6 (color slide) film has also been used for this technique.

Wikipedia article on redscale.

Who? You!

When? #BIFscale21 runs from 2/2/2021 to 4/4/21 6/6/21. The Red Champion will be chosen on or after 4/4/21 6/6/21.

Where? Post you photos to twitter with the hashtag #BIFscale21 for a chance to win. Void where prohibited.

#BIFscale21 Suggested Redscale Themes

While there is no instance where redscale film looks unamazing, one can achieve optimal results by trying one of our suggested themes.

  • Water: Earth’s favorite liquid looks great in redscale regardless of state. I recommend snow but an elegant ocean or lake is a nice substitute.
  • Green: Trees are great. The grass is always greener on redscale. My neighbor’s gross is greener because they have a gardener.
  • Brutalism: Redscale loves a building, especially one made from the glory of poured concrete. 
  • Still life: For those of us marinating in lockdown, this is a great way to explore something new without going outside. 

Bonus Points: 

The Red Scare

The red scare sort of sounds like redscale and therefore nonus imaginary points will be awarded for using a camera made in a country that signed the Warsaw Pact. Werra puns are also highly recommended.

The Red Champion 

One lucky humanoid who participates in #BIFscale31 will be named The Red Champion. They shall receive eternal glory, an unnamed prize, and a glorious camera of dubious provenance, or equivalent. 

Where To Buy Redscale Film

Lomography sells a premade redscale film.

How To Make Redscale Film

Making your own redscale film is pretty easy. All you need is two rolls of film and a dark place.

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