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<   No. 3315   2014-01-19   >

Comic #3315

1 {photo of a vineyard, in black and white}
1 Caption: Old Time Images

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Give me my stag back
Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park, Sydney.
Some years ago, someone in a Flickr group I was watching posted an interesting story and idea. He'd been cleaning out an attic or something and stumbled across a cache of old black and white 35 film that he'd bought back in the 1970s. There were hundreds of rolls of film. Since by the time he found it most photographers had moved on to digital, himself included, he felt it was too much for him to make good use of. Also, there was no guarantee that film that old would be any good any more. The emulsion chemicals could easily have degraded over time, making it risky to use the film for anything important.

So he made a proposal to everyone reading the group. He would send anyone who asked a dozen rolls of this film, with the only condition being that you shoot it and share the results in a new Flickr group he would create. He would even pay for the postage. I didn't have a film camera any more, but I knew that I could get one easily enough, even buying a cheap one if I had to.

I got my dozen rolls of film. Most of it was Efke, a strange brand I'd never heard if, manufactured in Yugoslavia (as it was called then) in 1972 or so. There were also a few rolls of Kodak Tri-X Pan. I asked around at work if anyone had an old film camera that I could borrow on an extended loan while I shot the film. That turned up a Canon EOS 10QD, a fairly nice camera for its just-before-digital vintage. And it fit all of my lenses.

So I shot a bunch of photos with a new freedom that comes with not worrying too much about the cost of the film - I did have to pay for processing but I was older and more financially secure than the last time I shot film. I took several rolls, but a dozen is a lot, and the Flickr project sort of petered out. But I recently shot a few more rolls, and it's a lot of fun, taking photos and not being able to see instantly what they look like. I keep looking on the back of the camera after taking a shot, only to remember it's film, and I can't do that.

If you haven't shot film - and black and white film in particular - for a long time, or if you never have, maybe give it a try.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
My blogs: (daily updates) | 100 Proofs that the Earth is a Globe (science!) | Carpe DMM (long form posts) | Snot Block & Roll (food reviews)
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Last Modified: Sunday, 19 January 2014; 02:48:13 PST.
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