Expiration

Or: Further Adventures in Photography pt II

The other day, after being inspired by a beautiful photograph by the wonderful Anna Shogren, I decided to experiment with expired film stock.
I’m enjoying my photography more and more, but shooting on film in this day and age really is an expensive process. Each roll that I take is somewhere between £15 and £25, once developing and scanning is included, which works out to up to 70p a frame. I wanted to find a way to reduce costs and keep things interesting in the process. Using expired film seemed a good way to do that.

Anyone who dimly remembers the film photography of their childhood may recall finding the odd film at the back of a cupboard, long forgotten. Developing these films often resulted in interesting colour smudges and strange over saturation. This is because the chemicals in film stock are fundamentally unbalanced, and the film thus degrades over time. Believe it or not, every roll of film comes with an expiration date (and usually a recommendation to keep it stored in a fridge!)

Exponents of Lomography and other lo-fi photography techniques rejoice in the artefacts, grain and over-saturation that are possible with expired film. Most of all they revel in the unpredictability of it all. That unpredictability (and the reduced cost) greatly appealed to me, so I bought a random grab-bag off ebay at Easter. My latest Flickr set is the results of the first three films – experiments with colour over form, mixed with final memories of Chichester and the continued search for a decent portrait of the dog…

I’m really quite enamoured with some of the results; I think some of the “accidents” are beautiful. The next two rolls, taken over a couple of days in sunny London this weekend, are going into the post tomorrow, because I now can’t wait to see the results (overdraft be damned!)

I hope those of you who seem to like following my photographical progress enjoy these as much as I do