I have been recovering the now-discontinued Fuji FP100C negatives for as long as I’ve been shooting it (admittedly, only about a year or two). That’s a subject for a different blog post, in fact, the blog post of a fellow Filmwaster Moomian Sean. Read about it here.

I am by no means an expert at the technique. For evidence of my non-expertness, just look at this negative recovery: Get Lucky

See the lines and waves especially at the far right where the bleach got under the negative and started to bleach it away? Well, instead of lamenting the fact that I didn’t get it perfect, my thoughts instead turned to “how can I do this on purpose”? And so started my new project: intentionally fucking with negatives using bleach.

I shot two rolls of Fuji Superia 35mm. The first one, I took household bleach (the same bleach that got under that FP100C negative above) and diluted it 1:10, then threw in 100mL (enough to cover about 1/2 of the roll) and immediately dumped it out and washed the negatives thoroughly. The bleach was in the development tank for about 10 seconds. After washing, I developed the roll normally.

The second roll, I developed it normally, and then at the very end, after it was fixed, I pulled out the whole roll and immersed it in the same 10% bleach solution. Guess what?? Nothing happened. So I added enough bleach to make it a 50% solution, and that’s when I started to see the same white stuff (bubbles?) that I saw when recovering the FP100C negatives, so I knew SOMEthing was happening. I swirled the negs around, and rubbed the emulsion side a little to emulate what happened when I was recovering the FP100C negs. The whole bleaching process took a good 5 minutes or so, until I started to see something happening to the negatives. Then I washed them and dried them.

So here, finally, are the results. First, the pre-bleach. Not much to see here, a bit of a color shift, and definitely a washed-out (dare I say, bleached?) look. I increased the exposure and pulled back the blacks on all of these.

Now the fun part — the post-bleached negs. I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Massive color shifts (mostly beaching out the red layer, it would seem) and nice coffee stain looks on the edges. Full disclosure: there were a few that didn’t have any of that stuff, and once I applied some basic color correction and white balance, looked pretty normal.