Half Frame Cameras

Half-frame cameras and cool ways to use them!

What is a half-frame camera?
A half frame camera uses 35mm film but splits each frame into 2, so when you come to printing the result is 2 images in 1. Like this

My idea 
To shoot a film in a way in where each half has been taken in a different location, in particular in two different cities. The intended result was that each photo showed one half in one city and the other half in another. 
To do this I needed to shoot the roll of film twice, once in the first city and then again in the second. To ensure the roll could be used a second time I had to take every other shot with the lens covered in the first city. By covering the lens no light is hitting the film and therefore no image is created. Then when I went to the next city I would do the same only covering the frames I had already exposed and exposing the ones I had covered up. If this is confusing see illustration below...

The second time I shot I needed to do the opposite. Covering the lens alternately to protect the bits of film that had already been exposed. 

Another thing I needed to do is to load the film in the exact same way each time so the 'start point' matched up. To do this I measured the length of film I pulled out of the canister when loading into the camera each time by counting the sprocket holes. 

See the result below! 
The film roll was shot once in Berlin and then again in Prague. I rotated some of the images but in general Prague is on the left side and Berlin is shown on the right. 

To be honest I am surprised this worked so well! I had (pessimistically) anticipated they would all come out at least slightly layered over each other as it is difficult to ensure the film is shot from the same starting point each time but in fact there's nice separation between the 2 which was what I was aiming for. There is some effect of light leak visible in most of the photographs, this is the streak of light you can see running diagonally across the images. This is due to the camera rather than the film or the way I was shooting. The camera is likely to have a small hole somewhere within the camera which creates this, it is a fault and so would not occur if using a different fully functioning camera! However I wasn't aware of the fault previous to shooting and as it was an experiment it's not too much of an issue in this instance. I made a conscious decision to mix up landscape and portrait shots and I feel this works well in adding to the unpredictability of the results which is part of the fun. If I were to shoot again I may document what I was shooting more as I went along in order to create more control over the final images. 


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