White lines coi

I'm using a Holga 120n camera. I look this photo in my garage with my camera stabilized on a table. I noticed two streaks on the photos after developing it. This is the only photo on the reel with this issue. I would normally think that it was introduced by moving light, but there's nothing like that in my garage. The two streaks are also angled differently.

Does anyone know what would be causing this? I'm using HP5 120mm B&W film. Thanks!

Below is a photo of the negative unaltered: enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ To me, they look like scratches from something during the development process. Are they present on the negatives, or only on the prints? \$\endgroup\$
    – twalberg
    Nov 25, 2019 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ They are present on the negative. I haven't made a print of this one yet, I took a photo of the negative and inverted the colors digitally. Would scratching the negative before developing cause this? I don't imagine this would be the case as the horizontal streak would have continued past the frame instead of stopping. I'm still pretty new though and accept that I could be wrong. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2019 at 19:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, there's many opportunities to scratch the film before, during or after development, although in my limited experience, it's more common during, while the film is softer due to being wet. It could be that it just coincidentally appears to stop where it does, although, as you observe, statistically that might be more unexpected... It's been years since I've done any development, and even then, I never did anything other than 35mm rolls... \$\endgroup\$
    – twalberg
    Nov 25, 2019 at 19:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @twalberg I am very unsure why you think these defects look like scratches. The defects are by far too wide and scratches deep enough to damage the emulsion would appear transparent and not black on the negative. \$\endgroup\$
    – jarnbjo
    Nov 27, 2019 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


The real tell here is the negative: The effect terminates with the edge of the frame. That means it can only be a light leak, somehow. Whether it is in the film back or in the camera itself, something is letting light in. It might be the finder, but I'll be honest- it doesn't look like anything I'd expect to see. I almost wondered if it was 'glow in the dark' fibre sticking in there on the surface of the film, but that's solid exposure and density and sharp. Not too many things will do that especially at the edge of the frame.

I'd take a good, solid look inside the camera body and see if you can make something out there.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you may be on to something with the fiber part. I'm going to further investigate the film and garage when I get back home. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2019 at 22:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Late response, but OP's statement that "This is the only photo on the reel with this issue" and the fact the streaks don't go beyond the frame, tells me this is not a light leak. A light leak would have also leaked on the frame border, and would show on more than just one frame. @ChristopherTaylor \$\endgroup\$
    – timvrhn
    Dec 3, 2019 at 8:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's a difficult nut to crack indeed.These being light leaks seem highly impossible (light leaks are often not angled, and don't start in the middle of the film strip, as the light has to come from somewhere outside the camera). Them being so squiggly suggests an unstable light source (perhaps in-camera?) was introduced during a long exposure. Another option may be, and this is a perhaps far-fetched, some kind of damage or contamination during development or when shooting. We can see the two frames already have no spacing between them, something surely went wrong. It's all guesswork, however. \$\endgroup\$
    – timvrhn
    Dec 4, 2019 at 18:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed @timvrhn . If OP hadn't sworn so I'd have assumed this was a doubly exposed frame. The lights are some sort of drone takeoff (or angled), or a very long exposure at night while walking around with a bright light source. The flare from that across the lense producing the ghost halo in the middle of the frame. Since I believe with the camera the shutter can be opened without the film cocked and advanced then multiples are pretty easy to do. At Summer Camp with the Scouts, I accidentally took over 2000 photos of the inside of my camera bag... 256gb... \$\endgroup\$
    – J.Hirsch
    Dec 4, 2019 at 20:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you're right to think it's a double exposure. Look around those streaks, there is some vague streaks visible, as well as horizontally across the centre of the frame. OP most likely did an accidental (dark) second exposure. \$\endgroup\$
    – timvrhn
    Dec 5, 2019 at 8:35

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