Last year, I picked up a Spectra camera through Craigslist, and it had a half-pack of expired film inside. It was at least a few years past its sell-by date, and I had no expectations that it would work at all. I don’t think I even intended to compose a photo; I just opened the camera and randomly pressed the shutter, and it sprang to life.  Three minutes later I had this:

Well, I think it's nice.


I had been standing in front of a closet shelf, and those are rolls of paper towels. As for the problems: the stripes come from unevenly aged pods of developer paste. The irregular greenish blobs at the top are areas where the negative is showing, because the paste didn’t spread all the way to the top of the photo. Technically, it’s a terrible picture; subjectively, it’s a keeper.

(Update: My wife just saw this photo, and said, “Froot Loops!” I think we have a title.)

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4 Responses to Instant Moment: Way-Expired Spectra

  1. MB says:

    I like the resulting image, too. Plus it seems to represent a torso, meaning the pattern could be from a 1960s dress.

    • Yuka says:

      Johanna Madden – why o why have they discontinued Polaroid film, I’m going to try and get hold of some for the wdindeg I have some 120 Polaroid back film if you fancy using it for the wdindeg? it’s only 7 years old!July 13, 2011 6:20 pm

  2. […] shifts in color, generally toward a pinkish-yellow, then to brown; then it starts to get erratic, failing to process evenly; then you get big undeveloped patches of negative; then you get […]

    • Praveen says:

      I used to have an old-school polaroid. It’s in heaevn now. I miss the old girl. She took many a fine picture. I certainly can’t give myself credit (I didn’t create those lovely colors, after all). I used to dream she’d return to me; like her death was a hoax or a bad dream. That’s the way it happens on T.V., anyhow. But now you claim she’s reincarnated as that purple toy up above. If my heart had legs it would jump for joy.

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