1959

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The above image should never have happened, or rather, I’d hoped for something but expected nothing.

Some time ago a friend in the states picked up several boxes of 4×5 sheet film in a yard sale, Kodak Panatomic X that expired way back in June 1959 with zero indication as to how it had been stored.

As he didn’t shoot Large Format and I had just started he sent it over to Paris for me to try.

This was my first attempt, rather optimistically I chose to shoot it at box speed with zero thought as to how it may have changed over the years, though I did give a nod to it’s advancing years by stand developing in Fomadon R09 at 1:200 for 60 minutes in the hope I’d get some kind of image.

To say I was gobsmacked – look it up – would be an understatement, sure there is some fogging and various blemishes but the resultant image is way better than I expected, I quite like how it gives a timeless feel to a street that probably hasn’t changed a jot since the film was fresh.
I shot a few other sheets the same day with similar results but since then it has lain on a shelf gathering dust.

Perhaps it’s time to try again?

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