If anyone has read any of my classic film reviews, you’ll know I have a taste for out-of-production films, especially Kodak Plus-X and Panatomic-X. For several years I’ve participated in an event called Expired Film Day. This is an online celebration of shooting film past its due date and it usually is a single day, the 15th of March, but this year the mind behind it decided to give three days to get out and shoot. In the past, I’ve only gotten out and shot a single roll of film on that day, but now that I had three days to play I could get out there and get some great work. So I grabbed out three rolls of expired film from my storage box and decided to have some fun!
The first day had been predicted to be dull and grey, but there were some tiny bits of sunlight so I left for work early and headed into downtown Oakville early to chase the dawn. Now shooting a film rated to ASA-64 that early in the morning might not have been the best idea and I was pulled some pretty narrow depth of field. But in the end, it is Expired Film day! So I was pretty pleased how well it turned out. Now after processing the film cupped so bad it took three days under a book of the complete catalogue of Michaelangelo’s Work to make it flat enough to scan, and even then the rather purple based confused my Coolscan V, so it was into the V700 for the TMax.
The second day fell on the actual date of Expired Film Day and this year it’s a Saturday! Which for me gave plenty of freedom. Taking advantage of a beautiful early morning and having to go into Oakville for a haircut I loaded up my last (for now) roll of Panatomic-X in 120 and hit the historic downtown with the Mamiya m645. Despite its age, I still shoot Panatomic-X at box speed (ASA-32) because it’s a Kodak film and it’s slow it can stand up to the ageing process much better than a faster film. And Panatomic-X again proves to be a rather bulletproof film!
I should have shot this roll on the first day, but it also was a bit of a bonus roll. I originally planned to shoot a roll of Street Candy ATM film at the Mountsburg Maple Festival, but when this roll of TMax 400 fell out of the bag, I took it as a sign that I was supposed to shoot for the third day! So into the Maxxum 9, it went and a rating of ASA-200. I got a wonderful grainy mess, and you know it looks rather cool and adds to the images. Some look like they were taken some 100 years ago.
If you want to see what everyone else shot for this year Expired Film Day(s), you can check out the official EFD site, or among some of my favourites was a roll of Agfa Portrait 160 shot by my good friend Bill Smith over on his blog. I think for next year I need to specifically cook a roll of colour film and go to town!