Expired B&W film – more unexpected outcomes

Illford FP4, expired June 1983, photographed May 2023 copyright Douglas Stockdale –

When I recently wrote about embracing unexpected outcomes with my expired film, the photograph I featured was from a roll of very old 120 FujiChrome 100F. A recently used roll of Illford Black and White 120 FP4 film that I exposed earlier this month is even older, expired some 40 years ago, thus manufactured a couple of years even before that. Which might explain why it jammed in the back of my Hasselblad, as evident in this scanned frame, above. I am not totally sure, but this appears to be a four-plex of overlapping exposures, which as I recall, are the first few exposures I made that early afternoon.

Technical notes: I had just acquired a Hasselblad Bay-50 yellow filter for my 80mm Zeiss Planar lens as I had been wondering how my photographs of this decommissioned WWII/Korean War practice bombing range might differ using expired 120 Black & White film printed as cyanotypes versus my use of expired 120 color film.

Now to consider how and if this wacky negative might work with my on-going series? My small collection of expired film ‘failures’ is slowly growing and in the spirt of embracing unexpected outcomes, I am finding this potential cyanotype very intriguing. To say the least, it is complex and very mysterious. If I do use this negative, do I eliminate the black band off the bottom, which if I keep this image square, will also eliminate a some of content.

Nevertheless, even when this negative is cropped, it is going to be a very mysterious image. As I think of its metaphoric potential this image relates to overlapping memories and the question as to what is ‘real’. Also consider its title; maybe “time-lapse”?

So two things yet to do; first, I need to return to my subjects that I had photographed and do another do-over with some more expired film (maybe color this time) and second, prep this image for a digital negative and solar cyanotype printing to better evaluate its creative potential.

Make every day an Earth Day



 The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, Fall 2022 release, $60.00 (CA sales tax for those residing in the USA) plus shipping expenses. Message me douglas.stockdale.artist@gmail.com or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Note: The Artist Special Edition (book + extra print) is Sold Out.


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