The Freezerful


I was shocked last week when I opened the freezer door at the studio – I found four sealed cases of film that had been forgotten in the cold.

They are 4 x 5 sheet film – some Kodak Portra, some Fujifilm NPS, some Ilford black and white. They’re in Tupperware containers protected from water vapour and have been solidly frozen for what may have been a decade. I have sold my Linhofs and Graphic View cameras with all the double dark slide holders, processing gear and printing apparatus and I don’t think I have taken a sheet film shot since 2009. But I have a gold mine of sheet film.

I think I bought it in panic when the rumour went around that it was to be removed from the market. As you can tell from a quick glance into the B&H website, nothing like that happened.

The interesting thing about this is the fact that I purchased a ready-made Ilford pinhole camera a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I locate a double dark changing bag I will venture out with some of the fresh Ilford stock to make extremely slow landscape shots. The fact that I have a stash of colour neg as well as b/w film means I can go all arty farty as well. I’ll need to get it processed by a pro lab, but fortunately there is still one in town prepared to dip and dunk. I can do b/w in trays here at the old darkroom.

There is very little that can be done with pinhole that cannot be done better with a real lens and a real camera but I am curious to see if it can resolve model cars on the tabletop layout in sufficient detail to give some realism. At the cost of nothing it is a worthwhile experiment.

Heading image – pinhole portraiture in full sun @ approx f:257. 45 seconds.

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