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Photographer Soaks Film in Urine For Magical, Interesting Images

By Hanssie on July 25th 2014

Artists are creatives. We get inspired by the randomness of life and we experiment with our art, hoping to create masterpieces that are unique to share with the world. Sometimes we can be inspired by the grandiose, other times the mundane, sometimes a simple mistake can take our art in a whole new direction.

For Brigette Bloom, her inspiration came from accidentally leaving a roll of film her pocket and washing them. Thinking the film was ruined, she developed them anyway to see what would happen. “I like[d] the photos even better than before! they added so much feeling and texture to the images.” Brigette told us in an email. From then on, she began soaking the film into “potions” to see what would happen. A process she calls, “trial and error,” she found that soaking the film in her pee yielded her favorite results.



In this series, “Float On,” Brigette and her dog explore the deserts of Nevada where she used to live. Before shooting, she would soak the film canister in her urine, then rinse the canister and allow it to dry for about a week. The fluid breaks down the emulsion, and depending on what time of day she urinated and what she ate and drank that day, the film actually produces different results.

It’s really fascinating! And then it’s like the photos actually have your DNA in them. The whole process just feels more personal.

One day Brigette hopes to have her own darkroom and experiment on more ways to soak and develop film, but  as she says, “for the moment, soaking film is really simple, inexpensive way to make magic!”

Brigette-Bloom-1 Brigette-Bloom-7 Brigette-Bloom-6 Brigette-Bloom-4 Brigette-Bloom-3 Brigette-Bloom-2

To see more of Brigette Bloom’s work, check out her website, Facebook and Instagram.

[Via FeatureShoot]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Aidyn Chen

    that’s nasty. ew

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  2. Austin Swenson

    I think this project would have interested me more if they had different color splotches on them, but they just seem to all have that same overlay of red pooled splotch on them. I think the idea is intriguing, but I also would like to see more color variety in the chemical process.

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  3. Peter Nord

    Her observation that her diet effects the urine composition is correct. I once took a biochemistry exam which had a question: What is the pH of tiger urine. The folks suggesting ammonia as a urine subsitute need a chemistry refresher. Most of us old timers who used cloth diapers remember that ammonia is a decomposition product of urine. Anyone old enough to remember stories of war photogs developing film in sea water? Urine is a complex biological end product full of wonderful information about diet, health, and environment useful to the practitioner. There are numerous test strips used in analysis of urine. Now we have film. Perhaps with enough research she could write a paper on urine analysis with photographic films. Perhaps create a new demand for the stuff. I can see the headline now: Film Industry Saved by Pee.

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    • Ian Moss

      Nevertheless, substituting ammonia would produce similar results. Those suggesting otherwise need a refresher course in basic film photography.

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  4. Tim Broadbent

    ??? Why ? Was she ” PISSED OFF ! “, !!!!!!

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  5. Ben Perrin

    The images seem a little piss weak to me…

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    its interesting though not as fascinating

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  7. Eric Sharpe

    I think I’m turned off by the process.

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  8. Adrian Petrica

    It was the right decision to pee on those photos. It feels more personal now… Though, I think there is a much more personal approach out there, also in handy…

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  9. Ian Moss

    Undoubtedly ammonia would have achieved a similar result. Sadly the comments are just predictable.

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  10. Arnold Ziffel

    I’m thinking maybe she could have accomplished the same thing with some household ammonia, but then this story wouldn’t have had that …certain charm.

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  11. Steve Enoch

    I don’t really see these as magical or interesting. And as Gregory said, the randomness just makes them seem like mistakes. Not my cup of tea I guess.

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  12. Gregory Davidson

    Too me, it just seems like the photos were shot 30-40 years ago and prints got ruined over time and the fact that it is complete randomness doesn’t add to it, just reinforces it was a mistake. Well, at least this is just my subjective opinion on it.

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  13. Stephen Velasquez

    This is taking the piss!

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  14. Ian Moss

    The wonders of film. We used to this sort of thing back in the 70’s and 80’s, when there was no digital backup or undo buttons. Love it.

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