Monthly Archives: February 2014

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Weddings, as a Guest {Part Two}: The Film Photos

In September, I attended two weddings as a guest. I shared photos I’d taken at those weddings with my Samsung NX1100, but at Lea and Michael’s wedding, I also brought along my Nikon EM and a roll of Kodak BW400CN.

Sara and Lea


Lea’s love for Van Morrison…

Michael and Lea were being upstaged during their first dance

I love this candid of Kadie and her fella

Karen and Mark: still lovey dovey after all these years

Two of my faves from the Muddy’s gang: Hayley and Nicci

I knew we found the right place when I saw the lacy bunting on the fence. It’s very much a “Lea” thing!

I  loved the light fixtures in the historic house where the wedding took place

Packet of birdseed for throwing at Lea and Michael when they left the reception

Needlepoint upon which the guests could write their well-wishes for the newlyweds

Lee Home • Columbus, MS

It was nice seeing these pictures so many months after they were taken. Memories of a lovely wedding for lovely couple.


Technical info: The photos came out EXTREMELY grainy because I shot the film at 1600 – meaning I gave it less light that it needed for good exposures – and had it push processed by the photo lab. Or at least I tried to have it push-processed. Many of them are so underexposed that I’m not sure if the lab really did process it the way I intended or if the Nikon EM’s meter isn’t sophisticated enough to deal with the lighting conditions.

{Testing the batch} Expired Kodak Pro 400MC

Another day, another batch of expired film.

I just wrote a post about using some expired film that I got from ebay and talked about why using old film can be tricky. I love using expired slide film for cross-processing, but I tend to shy away from overly-expired regular color film. That’s because some of the effects of age can look worse on print film than on cross-processed film (as the latter is supposed to have kooky  colors anyway.) But I recently reminded myself about this one time that I had a few rolls of old Kodak print film and loved the results. I decided to take a chance on some Kodak Pro 400MC film I found on ebay. It expired in 1996. Yikes!

I actually started this test roll in my Yashica D TLR and swapped it over to my newly-acquired Yashica-mat TLR. And I think my film photography friends will be proud of me, because I took notes of what settings I used for these so I’d know what I’d done right or what I’d done wrong when I got the film developed!

I’d just taken a portrait of my Yashica D with my Polaroid SLR 680, then returned the favor by taking the 680’s portrait with the Yashica (+2 close-up lens used)

Our Christmas tree, with close-up filter attached to the Yashica (+2 close-up lens used)

My new boots. My “Christmas bonus”*

Sweet Lionel! From my photo session with his family at Christmas 

My darling new single cup coffee maker. Christmas pressie from my mom!  (+1 close-up filter used)

After this frame of film, I went into a dark closet, and presto chango, the film was out of the Yashica D and in the Yashica-mat!

The pretty jukebox at work

A few quick shots from the morning after we got some snowfall down here


In the aforementioned blog about expired film, I said that it can lose light sensitivity. I chose to shoot my test roll of Pro 400MC as if its ISO were 200. Meaning, I gave it one extra stop of light. This seemed to work well! I was expecting the colors to be a lot more “off” than they are – which they aren’t really – only a little softer in tone. I actually love the somewhat muted contrast. The only frames of film that weren’t “keepers” were a result of operator error. Namely, I didn’t steady the camera well enough during longer exposure times.  I’m so glad I have more of this to play with!


*I work for myself, so I gave myself a Christmas bonus. Of new gray boots. Savvy? 😉

{Testing the batch} Expired Fuji Provia 400

Last year, I bought a batch of medium format slide film from eBay. Very EXPIRED medium format film. Most of it expired in 1999. Why would I buy really old film? Because I have had really cool results by using expired slide film and cross-processing it (I explained about cross-processing in another blog post last year.)

There are a lot of things that can happen to film as it ages. Along with possible color shifts, film can lose a certain amount of light sensitivity when it’s expired. That can make getting proper exposures tricky. Another factor in how well film has aged is how the film was stored throughout the years. If it was kept in a cold, dry place (like a freezer or refrigerator) then the effect of time could be minimal. But with film like the batch I bought, I have no real way of knowing how it was stored. That’s a gamble when you buy expired film from eBay…

I decided that I needed to test a roll of this film so I could see what kind of shape it was in after nearly 15 years. I loaded it in my Bronica ETRSi and gave it a go!

(the above photos were taken with my Samsung NX1100)

I asked the lab to cross-process the film for me, and here are the results:

Dilapidated sign in Memphis

This photo is only included because it makes me laugh. Perfectly captured my niece’s mannerisms


I got my niece to pose in some of her T-shirts that I like (this is her ‘model’ face, btw)

Probably petting one of her dogs, who were clamoring for attention

Her real personality. Goofy!

I don’t know how I got her to take her glasses off…love her Turtle Power shirt though!

Climbing the front porch

Holding on and hanging out on the porch

Bronica ETRSi • Zenzanon 75mm/2.8 EII • Fuji Provia 400, exp. January 1999, Cross-processed


I’m pretty darned pleased with how the photos came out. I can look at the negatives and tell how a few were a bit underexposed . That just means I’ll have a better idea about the film’s exposure needs when I shoot the rest of my batch of this film.

(I have eight more rolls of the Fuji Provia 400 in the crisper drawer of my fridge!!! Exciting!!!)

{Forgotten Frames} Black and White Edition

I’ve had quite a few “forgotten frames” experiences in recent years. As a result of these experiences, I do not even hesitate  to take film in for processing if I find a roll in a drawer, in a packed up box, etc., even if that roll could very well be blank.

That’s what happened with the photos I am sharing today. I found film in a drawer in my parents’ bathroom, which is the room where I used to process black and white film. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed the roll prior to this, but I decided to take it to the photo lab the next time I stopped in. It was a roll of Ilford HP5+. I knew I hadn’t shot that type of film in years, and I estimated that 2007 would have been the last time I’d had any of it at my parents’ house. That’s all I had to go on when I took the roll for processing. I told the photo lab that the roll could be blank but asked them to go ahead and process it anyway.

When I picked the film up and saw that it wasn’t a blank roll, I was a very happy girl! I squinted at the negatives before getting home to look at the disc of scanned photos and found that I was right about the film’s approximate age. Judging from my niece’s age in the photos and a couple of other context clues, I figured the film must have been taken in December 2006 or January 2007. I cannot, however, discern which camera I used for this roll of film!

From a day at the park with my niece. I LOVE these! You can’t see her face clearly in any of them, so they just feel like little vignettes or impressions of a child playing at a park. She was only 5 when these were taken!

The only thing I can gather is that this roll of film was not taken with an SLR. Very possible that I used the Olympus XA3 I had at the time. Some of them just LOOK “zone focused”  (a method where you have to guess the distance between the camera and whatever it is you’re photographing.)

Mikey and Meredith at IHOP, probably after we’d seen some bands play

Food Not Bombs. Typically how I spent my Saturdays at that time.

A BBQ restaurant in my town

Here’s what I mean when I say that the photos were probably not taken with an SLR. Though I don’t even see how I would think this photo would be in focus  when I took it (and this photo is one way I placed the time period when this film was exposed, since I had color versions from the same day.)

By comparison, this is a color version of the same photo, taken with a Yashica TL Electro-X (an SLR.)

I tried to do some sleuthing by looking closely at the photos that were taken of windows (like the BBQ restaurant or the elephant one) in case my reflection were visible and I could catch a glimpse of the camera being used. No such luck though! It will remain a mystery.

Film: Ilford HP5+, film expired by the time it was developed in November 2013. Camera: Unknown.

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