Film: Check. No Negatives: Check.

I found a stash of older 35mm color negative film in a box above the basement stair–a dozen rolls, mas o menos, some a little past the expiration date but not by much. I shot some of it around town and finished off the last few rolls in–yes, you guessed it–Buenos Aires. Took ’em all to the pharmacy. A week or so later I picked up prints and A CD–NO NEGATIVES! This may not be recent news, but it came as a shock to me. I suppose most folks never look at their negatives again once the prints are made, and the “free CD” more than compensates for the missing film.

PSA: Many Film Processing Services No Longer Return Your Original Film

Despite and still, here is a link to films in current manufacture (possibly [likely] incomplete:

We still don’t know what happens to the processed film. All the more reason to DIY.

I Prefer “Decline.”


“Every format has particularities and film renders space, light, color and volume in distinct ways from digital as well as from the formats previous to film’s invention. Those distinctions affect content because of the inherent links between technique, form and meaning: changes in how photographs appear create different readings just as the changes in how the words we choose when we write a text alter meanings as we read them.”


decasia 3

“Not long ago there were video stores in which you could browse among the shelves, discovering films you had heard of and always meant to try. Most of these stores are history… Supply rewards demand–what else is it to do? When people no longer know what to ask for, some films will go out of stock.

This is not written in anger or indignation. Cinephilia is well catered to now–so long as it is prepared to overlook the memory of movies as a screen-projected film and maybe two thousand people watching. That was the context that made moviegoing not just important but essential. So are movies settling back into the status occupied by novels? That’s possible, and we can be comfortable with it. But consider this possibility: that movies were once based on an inspiring contract, according to which “everyone” could see and be moved by some marvel all at once. That was the nature of a mass medium, and it went beyond entertainment, art, or culture. it was a hope for preserving our perilous existence and sharing experience.” -David Thomson, in The New Republic

Technologies Never Die




Photoworks Ltd.

Does anybody remember this place, or know anyone who does? The brochure is probably from the late ’70s.

I always worked at The Darkroom (more on that anon), and I never saw this place. I suspect the building has been superceded as well.

Lemme know.

Let’s Don’t Fixate on Kodak

Tri-X (or do you know it as 400TX?) is beautiful stuff, and XTOL makes life simpler, but the corporate mentality went south long ago, and there is a history of dubious decisions and tenuous commitment to serious workers.

“The demand for traditional monochrome films and papers remains strong. With Agfa no longer in the black and white photographic market, and Kodak pulling out of manufacturing black and white papers the future of ILFORD PHOTO products looks good for years to come.”


…and don’t forget Duane’s, in Kansas:

Despite that start date, the product was in development for a while before that:

The Height of Something. I Mean, Really.

Feel free to pick your own perspective on the wrong-headedness of this marketing strategy.

“With compact bodies and simple functionality, classic 35 mm cameras paved the way for both amateur photographers and professional photojournalists everywhere. The first was prototyped in Germany in 1913 and went into production as the Leica in 1924. Our collection of found cameras, crafted by a variety of mid-century German and Russian manufacturers, has become vintage icons, making them perfect for display. Each one is unique; let us choose for you.”

Walkman Ambles Into The Sunset


Of late, due to the persuasions of advertisers and the fickle nature of consumers, many of us have been able to acquire quality equipment through closeouts, auctions, estate sales, craigslist, eBay, donations, hand-me-downs, and from little old ladies’ attics (Ah! My Leica!). The details of maintenance and repair, and the availability of parts and accessories, present no serious obstacles; however, make certain that film is currently made in the format that fits your new camera, and give heavy consideration to including in your arsenal a meter, a cable release and a substantial tripod.

(Ahem: wipe the drool from your chin.)

Case in point: Kim Lange, BHS class of 1988.

“Paydirt…2 4×5 Graflex field cameras. A Beseler enlarger. One large and one small dry mount presses. A box of miscelaneous flashes and lenses. A tripod.

Now all I need to do is remember how to shoot, figure out how to set up a darkroom, and purchase the rest of the accessories….oh yeah, and add a few more hours to the day. It is awfully fun to have cameras back in my life.”