Random Revisited is a series of posts where I use the WordPress random post generator to revisit a post in the 35hunter archives, then compare it with where I am now and see how my photography has evolved.
You can see all Random Revisited posts so far here.
This time around the random post is from October 2016 – Sugar Rush (Why This Big Kid Has Such A Sweet Tooth For Expired Film).
I talked about my love of shooting expired film, and featured a new selection I’d just received in the post.
I outlined the reasons for using expired film, include affordability, the range and “lucky dip” aspect compared with buying just a block of brand new mainstream film, as well as the aesthetic appeal of the colourful packaging.
Indeed I was surprised to find that one reader buys expired film purely to display the boxes, rather than to use the film inside.
A selection of pictures in the post showed some of the expired emulsions I’d used before with very pleasing results.
Where am I today?
Well, regular readers will know I haven’t shot a roll of film in nearly two years, expired or otherwise.
Using expired film was one way to make film photography more affordable (I mentioned in the original post that the batch that had just arrived worked out at around £1 a roll), as I was finding film photography increasingly expensive.
The volumes I wanted to shoot (on average 6-8 rolls a month, though I peaked at 12-15 rolls a month) were getting beyond my means.
Even with Asda processing which done in batches worked out at around £4 a roll, and buying cheap expired rolls, or AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 at a £1 a roll in Poundland, it was still £5 a roll all in. Multiple by 12-15 rolls and it’s £60-£75. Still, some would say, a very affordable hobby, but at the time that was becoming beyond what I could justify.
Also, because of my accumulation of aforementioned cheap film (around the time I wrote my film abandonment confessional post I had close to 300 rolls in the freezer), photography had evolved into something far less affordable for me.
And so my drift towards digital gained further momentum.
I still have a handful of expired film rolls in the freezer (the divine Fuji Superia/Reala 100) and a couple of film cameras, and may take them out for a spin once in a while.
But aside from the convenience of digital, and the amazing portability of small digital compacts, I can’t get beyond the fact that there are dozens, even hundreds of cracking little cameras that can each be had for the same cost of buying, shooting and processing just two or three rolls of film.
The hunt for beautiful objects and details to photograph transcended the appeal and viability of doing so only with film cameras. So today, digital compacts are the medium I favour.
How about you? Do you still shoot expired film? If so, what’s your favourite?
Please let us know below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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