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Today, we’re featuring a very cool experiment from film photographer Taylor Blanchard. Taylor shot a roll of expired slide film and decided to cross-process it in development for some wonderful color shifts and effects.
Scroll below to view the images and read more from Taylor about her experience cross-processing expired slide film.
An Experiment: Cross-Processing Expired Slide Film
A Photo Essay by Taylor Blanchard
There is something liberating about having zero expectations when shooting a roll of film. I shot a roll of expired slide film – Kodak Ektachrome E100 SW – and then cross-processed it in C-41 chemistry.
I had no idea if I would get any usable shots, so I was prolific in my experimentation – shooting self portraits, still life, nature, street photography, and long exposures. I took all of these photos over the span of a few days, and the majority were taken in our house or backyard. (Usually I take forever to finish a roll of film and often struggle to find inspiration closer to home).
A friend gave me this film, and I had no baseline for how to shoot it, so I hit the internet.
I discovered the SW stands for saturated warm, and Kodak stopped making the film in 2014. Other than that, I wasn’t able to find consistent guidance on how to shoot it, or if you should cross-process it.
Advice ranged from shoot as normal to “1 extra stop exposure per decade expired” to don’t even bother.
Given the conflicting advice, I decided to shoot using the TTL camera meter on my Minolta 7000 Maxxum and make no adjustments – except adding an extra stop when shooting indoors or in low light.
Every time I pressed the shutter I thought to myself, “Who knows if I’ll get anything from this roll.” I was ecstatic when I received the scans: the photos were better than I’d anticipated! Immediately I loved the contrast, graininess, color shifts, and unexpected results.
A few shots are a bit overexposed, so next time, I’ll meter bright shots in the shadows to avoid overexposure.
Of course one roll doesn’t equal the standard, and there are so many variables when shooting expired film.
I’ll definitely try this again – especially anytime I’m in a creative rut or just want to get out of my head and shoot.