Tag Archives: Expired

The Other Side II


Philosophy is important.

A few weeks ago, I was perusing my local camera shop, which is one of the few local “mom and pop” stores I actually feel obligated to support. This is because they actually provide services, information, and products that I would miss if they were gone. The film was closing in on a decade expired, and I thought it might be interesting to play with, The results were incredibly grainy, had unpredicatable color shifts (some warm, some cool), and ugly mottled patterns in the dark areas (light parts of the negatives). This is a black and white-processed image from a color negative scan from this roll. I always feel like I should disclose this, and sometimes I do. The color version, which I think is interesting considering the unique qualities of the film, is here. I like it, but I don’t think it has the same impact, and the coldness of the tones (causing the blue cast) was frustrating me.

So, where are the incredible Velvia desert shots from my backpacking trip (as referenced here)? Unfortunately, they don’t exist, and I don’t mean they aren’t developed yet. I was supposed to leave two Fridays ago, but I had been battling the flu all week. I woke up on Friday feeling worse than ever, and had to make the difficult decision to cancel my plane ticket based on doom and gloom predictions of possible sinus infections, chest constriction and/or breathing trouble, and pneumonia (none of which came to pass). Instead, I spent the week at home, which means no desert pictures. I did do a little shooting (some Sensia headed for C-41 processing and some expired 400CN black and white film in a toy camera I picked up for less than $4), but neither roll is quite finished yet.
In addition to avoiding death in the wilderness (I made a good choice, since it snowed the second day and was cold and windy for part of the week, which would have been miserable while battling a fever at 8,000 feet), I spent some of my week thinking about my photography in broader philosophical terms. In the last six months, I transitioned from a thoroughly modern digital photographer to a lo-fi obsessed cheap and bizarre camera toting weirdo, and I’m not quite sure why. I think I’m closer to being able to photo- (and culture-) philosophically define myself. A manifesto may appear here soon.

Konica VX100 expired while dinosaurs still roamed the earth (2000), shot in a “borrowed” Minolta XD5 with a tons-o-fun Vivitar 28mm lens that is significantly older than I am.

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Filed under Black and White, Color, Film, Street Photography


This mural is in Philadelphia. It caught my eye in the low light, and as a result most of the shots have motion blur (this was in the borrowed N75, which has a very slow 28-90). Today I got four rolls’ worth of scanned negatives back from the drugstore (CVS again, but everyone here uses the same automated color-calibrated junk), and the three rolls of black and white are more unimpressive than ever. Contributing to the visual train wreck is the fact that one roll (the origin of Alone I) was pushed two stops and another was pushed one. The decrease in shadow detail drives the scanners crazy.

While the black and white rolls are extremely unimpressive, the color roll came out fairly well (most of the scans worked, although the pictures tend towards the uninteresting and poorly photographed). I normally don’t shoot film for color, but an expired roll at the local camera shop caught my eye.

Fuji NPS 160 expired 2007.

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Filed under Film, Landscape

Beer Window

(In contrast to Rear Window. And no, not the new one. The real one). Finally, something current! I picked this one up this very day. That’s right, picked up. It’s expired Fuji Portrait NPS 160, so I had to let someone else do the dirty work, and dirty is the right word because the negatives came back with all sorts of grime dried into the emulsion and the prints are a mess. I won’t name any names (CVS), but as usual I am not impressed. I do slightly like the desaturated and low-contrast look of the expired film, but it’s simply not worth doing when developing is $11 a roll and it’s, well, poor. Shooting digital color really does make sense, especially since I have virtually no control over the color film process and can only hope to make furtive changes to my scans once the damage is done.

This is the same building as this and this.

Fujicolor Portrait NPS 160 shot in the Nikon N75, poorly developed by CVS, and scanned from the print. Quality is obviously job #1 from start to finish with me.

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Filed under Film, Landscape