You Never Know…

Very old roll of Kodak Ektchrome slide film… where things will end up. This is a roll of Kodak E-6 120 slide transparency film. I’ve had it for over 20 years. I’m not sure where I got it but likely it came from my high school’s darkroom class. I didn’t own a medium format camera until fairly recently but this roll of film was kicking around in my 35mm bag for years. Why did I keep it? I have no idea. But before a recent trip to Paris and Italy, I loaded it into one of my cameras and knew I’d get something interesting – maybe not good, but interesting.

Once back from Europe the exposed roll sat around for a while until I had a handful of other 120 rolls to process. I took it all in to the local lab and the E-6 roll was quickly bounced (no one in San Diego will touch it). I had forgotten that it was in the pile and frankly couldn’t remember where I’d shot it or in which camera.

I sent it off to Data-Chrome in Santa Ana (one of the few labs still processing E-6) and in a couple days got the slides back. I scanned a few and the images you see here is what 25 year old Kodak Ektachrome and a Holga looks like.

The photos tell the story I had forgotten. I loaded the film into my Holga in San Francisco, the last day of a 4 day trip. A couple of parting shots of the Waterfront and Bay Bridge. Later that month we are off to Paris. Looks like Pompdiou, Saint-Merri and the Louvre. Then over to Italy where we spend some time in Orvieto. The roll finishes on an beautiful sunny day at the Orvieto Cathedral. I’d like to think I gave this humble roll of Kodak film a pretty fantastic retirement party. So long, E-6. And, thanks for the memories.

Fun bonus feature: Click here for a map and timeline of this roll of film.


  1. by Shelly Bowen on February 20, 2012  11:40 am Reply

    I love this story --and photographic content -- is so multilayered in time and space. Especially like the timeline and map. Nice.

  2. by Ben on June 5, 2012  6:00 pm Reply

    Fun post. The map was a great touch. I also like that you left the rebate edge on the images you uploaded. Good stuff.

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