Expired film

I really enjoy meeting other photographers because of the unexpected influences their style and techniques can bring to my own photography. Take for example the work of my friend Joanna and her use of cross processed expired slide film, which she mostly shoots with for the sake of its lower price and tendancy towards weird colouration. It was not something I would have thought to try without her influence.

This shot of mine was taken with expired Seattlechrome slide film. I’m not sure of the age of the roll but I can tell the film wasn’t stored properly at a stable temperature because of the “fogging” through the highlight areas. The colour shift is very interesting and brings a certain nostalgia to the shot that reminds me of family photographs from the seventies.

Part of the challenge of shooting with this kind of film is the unpredictablity of the results. It all depends on how the film was stored, its age, accuracy of exposure, and the reaction of the film when cross processed.

These three portraits were taken with a roll of Fujichrome 100 ISO that expired in 1993 that I picked up at a camera show. The most interesting colour shift was in the shot on the left because the subject was actually wearing a brown shirt and vest, not blue. Really old expired film can be tricky to find, but I would recommend camera shows and ebay as places to start, and most local photo supply stores tend to have a few rolls they’d be happy to get off their hands for a cheaper price. A good way to “age” newly expired film is through dramatic temperature change, say by experimenting with leaving it on the heater. I’d suggest doing this under controlled conditions, and not just leaving it there indefinately. Let me know if it works!

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