Last summer, I picked up a few rolls of expired Kodak ISO 400 Colour Negative 35mm for relatively cheap off of VarageSale. This, of course, was before I fully understood the degradation risk and potential of expired film. Popular Photography writer Daniel J. Schneider described expired film as “uncertainty, like jumping from an airplane with a parachute you just bought at an army surplus store” in his 2016 article “A Guide to Shooting Expired Film.” It could turn out or it could not but there is no risk or reward until you jump.
I wish I had read Schneider’s film speed sensitivity compensation standard of “1-stop-per-decade” since it expired when I was shooting this roll. Though there are not many setting on the Holga 135, I did approach this roll with ISO 400 in mind and the results were less than wonderful at times:
But then the Holga went on a winter walk with me and the wife. Though the degraded grain continued on many frames, I was actually surprised how the saturation remained strong, even accentuating a certain briskness of winter in it’s blues. Something odd also happened on the roll’s last frame (scroll to the top), which created an eery burned rip down the far right of the photo. This creepiness was to be expected as it was this same walk that produced the haunting images in Seeing Red.