Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Y is for Yellow, originally uploaded by John the Monkey.

Back when I still accounted myself a photographer, one of the joys of the hobby was taking expired film, and running it through an old camera.

Last Train Home

It's a joy, because, as with film photography in general, you don't know quite what will emerge at the end. (As an aside, the uncertainty is slightly overstated, with "fresh" film, you can largely predict the way it handles colour and tone, although you can't instantly review all that and change what you do on the spot).

I once tore a film inside a Minolta A5 - then exposed it to light by opening the camera back, so I processed it in the wrong chemicals for practice, and some of the results were very pleasing. Although at the time, I'd fully expected to get a blank roll from it.


Even then, there were plug ins, and programs that would take a digital shot and ape the look of expired films, and clunky "toy" cameras. And of course now, we have the ironically titled "Hipstamatic" for iPhones, that seems to ape a sort of cross processed, Holga-esque idiom, whilst similarly missing the point as the photoshop "film look" plugins did.

If you like hipstamatic, why not pick up an old 35mm camera, and some cheap film and try the real thing? The results might surprise you.

E is for Eyes

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