5 Frames in Japan with Fujifilm Velvia 50 (Expired 2002)

I have this somewhat sadomasochistic ritual when traveling to Asia: shooting a roll of expired Fuji Velvia 50. I can’t remember how it started. I think it was probably on my trip to visit relatives in the Philippines, and the Velvia 50 was the only roll I had left. Since then, I’ve decided to continue shooting it when I travel, for both the pleasure, and pain.

As anyone who has shot colour positive (slide) film can attest, it’s a cruel mistress, and an exact and potentially frustrating process. There is no dynamic range safety net with slide film: exposures must be accurate. And this can be difficult with expired film, which you may have bought online and have no idea how the previous owner stored it, or how much it may have deteriorated. It’s a process of much uncertainty, and inevitably, pain, when getting the photos back.

I shot these photos 1/3 of a stop over-exposed, which turned out not to be enough; they’re definitely darker than I planned them to be. And yet, I enjoy looking at them. They’re punchy, with defined reds and a blue colour shift typical of Velvia, but also faded, like they’d calmly sat in wooden box for decades and had just re-emerged when the owner had found their old slide projector.

For more travel film photography, find me on instagram: willfillstime.

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