I shoot film…and I’m a total amateur. And that’s ok. Because imperfection is interesting.
The photos in this post were shot in August 2017 on one expired (2005) roll of Kodak Elite Chrome 100 ISO slide film, using our Nikon L35 AF point-and-shoot camera.
Some of my happiest days have been spent strolling around a small town for the first time with a film camera (or 2 or 3) slung over my shoulder, seeking out the little things that make that town unique. Those things aren’t always pretty. But they are usually interesting.
Shooting film can be an expensive hobby. That said, when one takes the time to slow down and consider each shot – because that shot COSTS something – through more careful consideration of lighting, and deliberation over angle, framing, and depth of field, one can develop skills that make one a better photographer.
I’m kind of a purist when it comes to my film photos, so these are presented unretouched, uncropped, and totally imperfect. I enjoy the feel of a vintage camera in hand, and the process of making a film picture, so it just feels like cheating when I digitally manipulate a film photo. Whether a film picture is good or bad, it was made by me in that one moment. The negative proves that I earned that exact image.
It’s a relief to be free from obsession over making an image look better, and from the frustration of being unable to manipulate my image into something it isn’t and never will be.
Expired film presents potential for underexposure, overexposure, excessive grain, and those wonderful weird color shifts. With managed expectations and an appreciation for imperfection, shooting expired film can be pretty fun. Experts recommend low ISO color films for best results, and shooting one stop lower than box speed for every 10 years that the film is expired.
One of these days I’ll get around to creating a gallery page, but until then, if you are interested in seeing more of my film photography, visit (and if you’re keen to it, follow) my film-dedicated instagram feed.
Do you shoot film? If so, what’s your favorite film/camera combo?
Into film photography? See more of mine here, or follow me on instagram.
6 thoughts on “35mm Film Photography: The Welcome Imperfection of Expired Film”
Love this post, Marsi! I agree with your approach! I’m looking forward to my own rediscovery of analogue shooting. Decelerated photography. And no need for post processing! What I get is what I see 🙂
Thanks Marcus! I hope you enjoy a return to film! 🙂
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Enjoyed seeing these scenes of NM, TN, and TX, Marsi.
Thank you, Jet. I’m so glad you enjoyed them!
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