Livin’ Streets on Ektachrome

Walls are usually not the most exciting subjects to photograph. To use medium format slide film to do that is even more strange and could be considered as some sort of crime by some. After all, we live in a time when both film and labs which are able to develop slides are more and more scare.

But what if you’ve found some really awesome walls filled with stunning graffiti masterpieces varying in size up to 30 meters (my approximation) and the whole place is a partly abandoned industrial complex.

Well, I couldn’t resist and loaded my Pentacon Six with a roll of expired (in 2004) Kodak Ektachrome 64 and headed to this place with my wife to take pictures of walls. In fact, she took way better photos than me, so maybe I will post those in the future as well.

I usually have no problems with expired film stocks, but this roll of Ektachrome gave me a very interesting result. When it came back from development it was possibly the flattest looking positive I have ever seen. I thought that I majorly overexposed all the frames equally. Surprisingly after scanning, I had to realize that almost no highlights were blown away and I could recover many details and color information during post-processing. I have the impression that the last 10 years after the end of the expiry date of the film was not spent in a refrigerator. I still have 4 rolls of the same batch of film, I need to think it over if I want to give them a second try.

The place we found hosted the Livin’ Streets 2014 festival for urban art, graffiti & street art between 07.06-18.07 2014. Their facebook page is here. Although we were too late to see the actual event, we could still meet with one of the artists who stayed to finish his work and also we could see all the paintings in the finished form. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun, so yes it is totally fine to shoot some walls from time to time.

The photos were taken by my Pentacon Six Tl using a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektagon 50mm and in some cases a Biometar 80mm. The film was developed by a local shop and scanned by me with a CanoScan 9900F.

3 thoughts on “Livin’ Streets on Ektachrome”

  1. Livin’ on the streets, yo, man, great photos! Taken on nostalgic yummy Ektakrome they bring you to super sushi heaven with soya sauce dip on steroids. Keep up the boom.


  2. Great post – nice pics and good inspiration. I have never thought of using expired film. I have a Mamiya medium format camera I bought a few years ago but have never used. Where do you get your expired film from?


    1. I have got the expired film on a street sale. A local camera shop set up some tents at the front of their shop selling old cameras, lenses, flashes, bags, straps, films and many other things they piled up in the last 20 years. I bought a box of Ektachrome and some other weird medium format film which I have never heard of. Usually I have no problem with expired film, but this one was though to recover in post. It is always a bit of gambling, maybe your outdated film will work as brand new stock, it could be that it will give you some interesting effects. Like this photo about me with numbers on it (from the back of the film )
      Or it could be that the film is just gives you nothing. The worst case happened to me only once when I developed an exposed film from an old camera after 10+ years.


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