As anyone who has been hanging out and shooting with me has probably noticed I’ve been shooting a lot of slide film (E-6) this summer and processing it as negative film (C-41). This is called cross-processing, or xpro if you’re going for the cool factor, and has pretty crazy results. The photos turn out super contrasty and saturated and grainy and you get all sorts of unexpected artifacts and apparitions.
The amount of film I’ve been shooting has been getting expensive and considering that I’m just experimenting and testing things out and having fun I’ve gone down the path of tracking down as much expired slide film as I can get my hands on. Usually buying film after its expiry date means you can get it for half price or less… and usually without being able to notice any difference between it and non-expired film since you’re essentially using the ‘wrong’ chemicals to process it anyway.
Sometimes, at places like a flea market or a camera swap you can find really old stuff for even cheaper. Last week in SF I hit the mother lode. I found a Brooks camera store just off market street with tons and tons of rolls of expired Fuji Provia 100, Fuji Provia 400, and Fuji Tungsten 64T for 1 dollar or $2.95 a piece. These are generally the most expensive types of film I buy and retail here in Vancouver for more than 10 dollars per roll. I bought a dozen of each.
A few weeks back I paid 5 bucks for a big zip lock bag full of ancient slide film that who knows what will happen with when I shoot it. I didn’t recognize any of the labels or names and don’t even think they make most of it anymore. The results will be unpredictable and I’m kinda excited.