Light Leak Wonderland

Light is one of the essential elements in photography. The amount is vital: No light, black picture. However, too much light is equally unfavourable. Lots of light, white picture. Obviously, the optimum lies somewhere in the middle, depending on what one is trying to achieve. Sometimes however, one has found the optimum, but somehow – intentionally or unintentionally – light leaks onto parts of the film. Dreaded by many, welcome in the world of Lomography! (We are careless, aren’t we?)

So often, I like giving up some freedom when shooting film, just to see what will happen. This is not the case in today’s entry. The pictures I will be presenting were not meant to have a variable of surprise. Yet, it is never quite possible to be 100% sure that everything is happening as planned. Light leaked onto the images below and I do not know how or why. Then again, I don’t mind. Some people crazily, yet purposefully leak light onto their films. Check out some beautiful examples here. I have not done that yet, but I would be eager to do it in the future. Now, let’s turn to today’s pictures.


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The picture above was not actually taken by me. It was shot on a film that was started sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s and completed in 2012. My father had a Nikon FG-20 that had been put away and forgotten in the digital revolution. I shot the remainder of the film and found this beauty on the older frames! Nice story, nicer picture! As I already said, I do not know why and how light leaked onto the image. Another possibility could be that the roll of film had simply passed its expiry date. Without the red colour in the top half, it would simply be a picture of a beautiful butterfly. Now, however there is a wonderful, surreal taste to it. For the fun of it, one might even be so bold as to read a meaning into it, the different colour halves representing the twosided life of the depicted creature: first caterpillar, then butterfly. Ehm, please excuse the post hoc search for meaning.

We now turn to a more subtle case. For the picture below, some information is necessary. It was taken in Groningen, Netherlands. The building is the main building of the University –  the Academy Building. The representative colour of the university is red – which makes this light leak highly suitable.

ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/100, Aperture f/8, Focal Distance 22mm

Lomo Colour Negative ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/100, Aperture f/8, Focal Distance 22mm

As I said, the leak is very sublte, but fate (or whatever you believe in) decided to let it leak there, where two guys wearing red shirts were passing by, therefore highlighting the red colour. All in concordance with the university colours. Very fun to craze about.

Maybe you have noticed: I love light leaks! Can’t get enough of them, and maybe I should try to do it more purposefully. Then I won’t have to make up ad hoc stories.


2 responses to “Light Leak Wonderland

  1. I miss film: you just don’t get those kind of happy mistakes with digital.
    These light leaks are tactile: I can feel them within the images.

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