Dubblefilm started life in 2013 as an app which allowed people to create and share digital double exposures. In collaboration with KONO!, they then branched out into creating physical film stock, which adds pre-exposure technology to Kodak film, to “add beautiful hints, colours and shades that will interact with your photos live in the camera for a unique and mesmerising final image”.
Back in December 2018, I purchased the Dubblefilm 35mm Family Pack from Analogue Wonderland, which at the time cost £48.00 for one of each of the available Dubblefilm film stocks – Bubblegum, Sunstroke (since rebranded as Solar), Moonstruck (Apollo), Monsoon (Pacific) and Jelly. They have subsequently added an additional emulsion to the mix called Stereo, which I’ve not tested. The stock that I ordered were 24exp, but they are all 36exp per roll now, and the emulsions have been apparently improved and updated too.
I opted to test out the roll of Dubblefilm Bubblegum in my Olympus Trip 35 for an afternoon down at the seaside at Eastney Beach in Hampshire during the school Easter holidays.
SAMPLE IMAGES (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
The Olympus Trip 35 is pretty much as back-to-basics as you can go as an amateur. Manufactured between 1967 and 1984, it is a compact camera designed for holiday shooters (or, as the name suggests, people to take on their “trips”). It has a fixed 40mm f2.8 Zuiko lens, a solar powered selenium light meter, and just two shutter speeds (1/40 or 1/200). It has an ISO range of between 25 and 400.
A little red flag will appear in the viewfinder and the shutter will not fire if the light meter detects that the photograph will be improperly exposed. But the best thing about this camera is that IT REQUIRES NO BATTERIES. In my world, which is increasingly saturated with having to ensure I have a complete arsenal of different battery types in reserve for my growing camera collection, this is just awesome. Having the Olympus Trip 35 in my bag as a backup camera, in case I have (inevitably) forgotten to bring spare batteries for other cameras, is a bit of a godsend.
Anyways, I chose the Olympus Trip 35 on this occasion, because what screams “trip” more than a family day at the seaside?
WHY I CHOSE THIS FILM
The sample pictures online looked kinda dreamy, with predominantly pink pastel tones. The marketing blurb for the film boasted “unique photos infused with happy childhood memories”, so that pretty much had me sold for using it for this occasion.
MY SHOOTING EXPERIENCE
Using a point and shoot is rather like using a smartphone camera on the daily – you don’t have to overthink anything. Without having to really consider focusing or exposure (the camera has four options for zone focussing), you’re free to relax and just capture happy little moments. The 24 exposure limit was perfect for our little day out. This is not a camera for fine art or street photography by any stretch of the imagination. But for a collection of scrapbook pics, it’s ideal. If instant photography is your “thing”, this is a good alternative for days that you fancy playing with different kinds of film looks.
THOUGHTS ON MY PROCESSED PHOTOGRAPHS
I impatiently took my roll to Raymond Reid Photo on Haslemere High Street to take advantage of their 1 hour film processing (I was actually pretty impressed that I could find anywhere independent in a small town that actually offered 1 hour film processing in 2019. Kudos to them).
Initially, I thought the photographs were… cute? I mean, they certainly had their own unique aesthetic, but those expected pink tones were super subtle. I checked out this interview with a Dubblefilm representative, and apparently I shouldn’t have been surprised (or at least, I was right to be surprised. This film is unpredictable). Once I’d gotten over the unexpected colours of the photographs, I actually really liked the results of most of my images with this film, to point that I even scanned and enlarged one of the negatives to print as an 8×10, which is now framed on one of my walls.
No, they’re not the most technically perfect photographs I’ve ever shot. But I think for snapshots of happy family memories, these tones add an extra whimsical quality. I’m really interested in trying out a roll of the updated version of Dubblefilm Bubblegum, probably in one of my other camera bodies that’ll give me the option of greater technical control.