Laura Pinhon, founder of Rainbow Ray Films

Laura Pinhon, founder of Rainbow Ray Films

Today we want to introduce you to a colour negative film made in Viet Nam since 2017: Rainbow Ray. Like only few other film stocks, Rainbow Ray offers various light shiftings and visual effects. To know more about it we talked with the founder: Laura Pinhon.

From a red plastic camera to Rainbow Ray Films

Laura Pinhon is a long-time film photography enthusiast. Everything started when she was around 8 years old and received a red plastic camera. Inspired by her mother’s photograph, Laura started to capture the precious moments spent with her family and friends. Later-on, she decided to study Artistic Photography and got enrolled in the Oviedo School of Arts, one the best Art Schools in Spain.

It is during her studies that Laura started to experiment with film photography. It is also at university that she met Luis, a former bio chemist which widely encouraged Laura along her friends and teacher. After Laura’s graduation, they started “the film experiment” and headed to the US. During this trip they shot everything using pre-soaked films. It was the beginning of what will soon become Rainbow Ray Films.

Later-on Laura worked a lot in fashion photography. However, she never forgot her passion for film photography. Few years after the trip to the US, Laura and Luis decided to settle in Viet Nam and started together Rainbow Ray Films around 2017. Inspired by her life changing trip to the US, she started all kind of experiments on pre-soaked films, Rainbow Ray film was born.

Pre-soaked vs pre-exposed films

Following the experiments made during her US trip, Laura decided to change to process from pre-soaking to pre-exposing. Pre-soaking consist of leaving the roll of film in any kind of liquid for few minutes, hours or even days. Depending on the liquid: alcohol, soap, beer, ramen soup, the emulsion of the film will react and create various visual effect. However, the result is highly inconsistent and you will never have the same result from one batch to another. Also, it requiers more steps such as drying, otherwise your film will be stuck inside the canister.

Film Soup - Rainbow Ray Films
Film soup – Source : Lomography

On the other hand, pre-exposing film doesn’t require dipping the film in some kind of soup. This process is in a way similar to double-exposure. The film is exposed in the dark to different kind of lights creating various effects and is then rolled back into the canister. This process, will create various effects but that are far more controllable compared to the pre-soaking method.

Rainbow Ray Films.

The first step into producing a new film is to define the effect they want to achieve on the film: be it a red colour shift or dragonflies flying, or even rainbows across the frame. After the decision made, the second step is the experiment. During weeks Laura and Luis run hundreds of different tests. Although many of them appear to be a disaster, they end-up achieving their goal. The experimentation is a really important step as it brings them consistency over the production of the film stock.

After few years of testing and experimenting Rainbow Ray Films now offer a wide range of pre-exposed film. Each film offers a different effect: from a blue tint to some dragonflies flying through your frames.

If you want to put your hands on your roll of Rainbow Ray Film, check-out their Instagram !

Grain Viet Nam

Grain Viet Nam

Born and raised in France, living in Viet Nam for the last 3 years. Silver halide is running in my blood. I'm the guardian of this collaborative film photography space.

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