PetaPixel

The Results of Printing 35mm Film onto Skin Using the Sun

Last week we published a post asking whether anyone had made a “print” on their skin by placing a negative on their skin under the sun. After seeing the post, videographer Jeremiah Warren decided to conduct the experiment for the benefit of all mankind. Taping four slides onto his forearm (he didn’t have any suitable negative film), Warren exposed his skin for four hours in 100-degree heat (consuming a gallon of water in the process).

Check out the video above for his results — the “prints” didn’t turn out as awesome as he had hoped. Using negative film might produce better results since slide film prints a negative image onto skin, but it doesn’t seem like sunlight is focused enough to print a sharp image onto skin.


 
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  • http://twitter.com/jeremiahjw jeremiahjw

    *cough* *cough* It started out at 100f, but when I finished it was 106. :-P

    Thanks for posting! 

  • William Kolb

    I feel like this would work better with a negative, considering it’s easier to keep it flat onto the skin. Wouldn’t this work just like a contact print onto RC or fiber paper?

  • William Kolb

    I feel like this would work better with a negative, considering it’s easier to keep it flat onto the skin. Wouldn’t this work just like a contact print onto RC or fiber paper?

  • William Kolb

    I feel like this would work better with a negative, considering it’s easier to keep it flat onto the skin. Wouldn’t this work just like a contact print onto RC or fiber paper?

  • William Kolb

    I feel like this would work better with a negative, considering it’s easier to keep it flat onto the skin. Wouldn’t this work just like a contact print onto RC or fiber paper?

  • William Kolb

    I feel like this would work better with a negative, considering it’s easier to keep it flat onto the skin. Wouldn’t this work just like a contact print onto RC or fiber paper?

  • http://twitter.com/SteveMphotog Steve

    Before going out in the sun, paint cyanotype chemicals on your arm. Take the negative over that. Give it 30 minutes or so in direct sun, wash off. (I’m guessing on the time.)
    That should give you a very long lasting blue prussian ink tatoo.

  • http://twitter.com/raypg raypg

    The problem is the arm the skin and the film are moving so he would not get a defined image, if he could not move in that period and stay still I think that will be possible… :D also I think it will be more easy using a 120mm film and a photo with less detail

  • http://twitter.com/raypg raypg

    The problem is the arm the skin and the film are moving so he would not get a defined image, if he could not move in that period and stay still I think that will be possible… :D also I think it will be more easy using a 120mm film and a photo with less detail

  • Daniel Reetz

    Skin is tanned with UV. To make an image on the skin, the film would have to selectively block UV. It looks like it does that, but badly.

    Also, as the experimenter points out, skin doesn’t seem like it would be very high-resolution.

  • http://twitter.com/jeremiahjw jeremiahjw

    It was taped down very well. 

  • http://twitter.com/jeremiahjw jeremiahjw

    It was taped down very well. 

  • Leigh Smith

    or large format 8×10 :D

  • Leigh Smith

    or large format 8×10 :D

  • Me

    Now it looks like you have a skin disease haha :D

  • http://www.indianajill.ca/ Phoenixis

    I think it might have been easier to do it using clear plastic tape over top of the slides and by removing the slide mounts. It seems like it wouldn’t have made good contact with the skin and thus the light would have been spread out. 

  • http://www.indianajill.ca/ Phoenixis

    I think it might have been easier to do it using clear plastic tape over top of the slides and by removing the slide mounts. It seems like it wouldn’t have made good contact with the skin and thus the light would have been spread out. 

  • Anonymous

    yes not removing the slide mounts was a mistake. even if it was done on paper in this manner i think would have yelled the same results. laying flat on the skin would have been better and keeping very still.

  • Anonymous

    yes not removing the slide mounts was a mistake. even if it was done on paper in this manner i think would have yelled the same results. laying flat on the skin would have been better and keeping very still.

  • http://twitter.com/jeremiahjw jeremiahjw

    I shaved all the hair off on the bottom of my arm.

    *realizes he just admitted to shaving his arms on the internet*

  • Anonymous

    2 thumbs up to man scaping. even if its just the arms. hehe

  • adam

    a guy would think that maybe you have to focus the film like you do it with a magnifying glass the get more detail out of it. but….who knows..

  • Luke Martinelli

    This has got me wondering on the possibility of getting tattooed with light sensitive ink (while in a dark room of course), then exposing an image…

    I don’t know anything about light sensitive inks, but i can only assume that they are probably toxic and not good for tattooing??

  • Dover

    20 years from now he will have a carcinoma shaped like uncle Phil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134903164 Bruce Christianson

    It’s probably the resolution of the melanin in skin.  Try a 4×5 High Contrast Negative on your forehead.

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    If you do that experiment for the benefit of all mankind and make a video, we will most definitely share it

  • Phil @ Stamped Tees

    There are a couple problems as I see it in this process. I’m a screen printer and we use film positives to burn negatives into screen much the same way you’d burn an image into your skin with the sun.
    Two things. . . 
    1. The film must be absolutely as close to the skin as possible .. You’d actually have much better luck if you took a piece of glass slightly larger than the film and used the to hold the film VERY tightly against the skin while doing this.
    2. If you don’t have that direct contact between the skin and the film the image that is in the film is distorted by the light escaping and bouncing around in the gap. Also as the sun moves through the sky the image being cast into the skin is changed through the corse of the 4 hours he went out. 

    I’d love to see a better test of this being more accurate with the result. I think I may even try it myself for a laugh.

    Good times! 
    StampedTees.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephan.henningsen Stephan Henningsen

    I once did something similar with a Superman logo that I had cut out of a big piece of cardboard laying on my chest.  Turned out great =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephan.henningsen Stephan Henningsen

    I once did something similar with a Superman logo that I had cut out of a big piece of cardboard laying on my chest.  Turned out great =)

  • Marc W.

    But it looked like you had mounted slides so there is a tad space between your skin and film.