SoCal PhotoExchange

Expired film – creative opportunities

Posted in Photo techniques, Photography by douglaspstockdale on March 4, 2018


Untitled (Gardening for Ordnance) 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

About four years ago a friend gifted me a couple blocks of expired 120 roll film for my Hasselblad camera; some Ilford Pan F black&white film that expired in June of 1984, Ilford HP5 black&white film that expired in July of 1982 and a 20 pack of FujiChrome Provia 100F daylight transparency film that expired in October 2006. What most photographers had drilled into their heads by the various film companies in the pre-digital years is that expired film is in danger of color shifts and should NOT be used. The dire warnings from the film companies implied that not storing film in a refrigerated was fraught with professional danger. Of course, if any film did expire, the photographer was assumed to want to replace it, thus ensuring a steady sales of “fresh” film.

Which for my memory projects, the idea that a film might have a serendipitous color shift as a result of being expired is actually something I am hoping for. (yes, in the mean time, I have become the repository of expired 120 film among my friends for some odd reason).

For my project Gardening for Ordnance (did I mention I live on a decommissioned WWII practice bombing range?) I chose the FijiChrome as my intended color medium. Perhaps the 12 years of addition aging of my 120 film would yield some unexpected results that might induce some visual metaphors? I think that my buddy Sandy had properly stored this film he donated because so far, no real color shifts that I can detect in either the processed transparencies or in my scan files. The scan of the unaltered transparency below includes the gray card, while the image above has been tweaked with an adjustment layer for some curve modifications (slight s curve).

So could using expired film add another dimension to a creative project? I think so, but so far for this 12 year overripe block of film, regretfully not yet. Although I am now tempted to hold on to this film for a little bit longer, I think that this expired film is suitable for this current project and adds a subtle dimension to my narrative. I will use what I need for now and if any of this film is left over from this project, all the better for another day and project.

Now I am worried about my 36 year old expired black&white film, will it be uneventful as well??

Technical Notes: 120mm Zeiss Makro-Planar CF on Hasselblad 503cx, exposure 1/125th at f/5.6 (EV 12), film normal commercial development (E6).


02-06-18 Gray card exposure - Gardening for Ordnance

Challenges and Joys of Medium-Format Macro

Posted in Camera equipment, Photo techniques, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on January 23, 2018

Recently I have picked up my Pentax 645Z again, to rediscover the world in miniature. The depth of field/focus can be very minimal at close range, seemingly elusive. I have a razor-sharp macro lens that I bought used at reasonable cost (compared to similar Hasselblad and Leica medium format lenses), the Pentax 645 120mm f/4 SMC FA Macro, that makes it possible. Several such excellent automatic and manual Pentax 645 lenses are left over from the film era and are shunned by some photographers who would rather spend thousands for a similar lens with the “digital” designation.

So, with or without extension tubes, there is a world in miniature to be discovered. The live view function on the rotating viewfinder makes it even more possible. The subtleties of color captured with a 51M pixel sensor and the information-gathering ability of these large lenses are amazing. And the time and money saved by not having to process and scan film is substantial, of course. So my idea is to capture a dreamy world, whether it is one of my “selfscapes” or the stuff that we all have around the house, such as my desk surface that becomes a constructed landscape, or the flowers in a vase that have seen better days.

Hope you enjoy the images below. – This is also a forum for exchanging information, so if you have any questions about this or would like to share similar guest contributions, please let me know in the comment section below, or send me an email!


Gerhard (Gerry) Clausing





All images © 2014-2018 by Gerhard Clausing