This past Saturday, the family roused out of bed to the adventure of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis. It’s a beautiful place to take photographs of flowers, rustic scenery, and a fantastic setting for portraiture. We made some fun of it by each of us, including our 5 year old son, choosing a camera. Well, we all shot digital except for him. I wasn’t about to let him meander around loosely holding the Ricoh GR, so I handed him my 1991 Olympus Stylus Infinity and a roll of Kodak Gold that expired ~2003, and off we went.2016_0702_11475900I really didn’t have high hopes for the roll of Kodak Gold 400 that was in it. It had been in my fridge for a while since I found it at a thrift store in a bag with an old junky point and shoot. It was brittle and dark when I found it, and I knew that even if it did come out I’d have to do some voodoo to get it to uncurl enough to scan, but these are perfect experiments for use with a small child. They have a short attention span and they pretty much forget things like that roll of film that got used up at the Dixon gallery that one day back then…So we went about our day at the Dixon. Our arsenal consisted of a Fuji X100T, A Kodak Z740 for the daughter, the Canon 450D with 18-55mm for the wife, and the aforementioned Olympus for the guinea pig…ahem…youngest son.I have to be honest, I’m selfish. I couldn’t tell you (yet) what shots wife and daughter got. The whole exercise of dragging everybody to the Dixon was threefold. First and foremost I wanted to spend the day _not_ yelling at the kids and having some quality time with them on my first day of vacation, and I figured this would be cool. Second, I really needed to test out the X100T, and third I really had a great idea for a shot.There just happens to be a large tree at the back of the gardens with a park bench right underneath. I wanted the kids to sit on the bench while I laid on the ground with the camera looking upward to the top of the tree while they looked over me.27966377131_cb459cf807_k This really was my first “staged” shot of the kids. I had premeditated it the night before I took it.It turned out really fantastic. But I digress (shameless plug of a cool shot), I really need to get back to Roman’s roll of Kodak. I didn’t have high hopes for the roll. In the dark bag I wrestled with it for a few minutes just to get it on the spool. Then I checked the dates on my Unicolor C-41 press chemicals I’d had mixed in bottles: 2/25/2016. Ouch. The chances of the roll actually developing were getting less and less, but I gave it a run anyway.At 102.5F on the developer, I flushed the film tank with warm water and soaked it to bring it to temp. I poured a small amount of developer into a shot glass and checked for clouds; it was as clear as the day I’d mixed it. I felt a bit of hope, so I dumped the warming water, poured in the developer, and “push” processed it 2 stops to account for the age of the film, circa 2003, and the age of the chemicals. I then ran it through Blix for 7:30 instead of the normal 6:30 to account for aged Blix. I was pleasantly surprised with the results.I griped at Meg for walking into Roman's shot. Great job, "streettog" dad...I did have to fight a bit to flatten the negatives — Kodak film has nightmare curl when it’s fresh, but nearly teenage-girl-tantrum level curl when it’s expired — and I also had to ignore the blur as a 25 year old camera is no match for a 5 year old, but the results are great! The scans have a cooler temperature than I’m used to with Kodak. They almost feel cross-processed. And I must say, Roman actually has a pretty good eye for composition!27991105752_0c0cd563ae_hAs you can see, we both took pictures of each other, and while I used Eric Kim’s Porta 800 ALR Preset to achieve the first photo in this post, Roman’s photo is real film, real chemical results, no post other than the conversion from TIFF to JPG. I’m almost jealous that he had the Olympus and I was rocking the X100T. I think he had the cooler camera. ;)So the next time you run across a roll of unexposed, expired film you should seriously consider digging that old film camera out of your folks’ attic, dusting off the lens, and go for broke. Don’t get stupid and shoot a wedding with it, but go find something with lots of color like a flower garden or some rustic/retro charm like an old barn or abandoned gas station and blow the roll. If you have C-41 soup available, push a stop or two in developer, or tell your lab to push it. The best that could happen is you get cool retro shots legit #nofilter , and at worst you’ll have taken your old film camera on a date.