What I’ve Learned from Shooting Expired 35mm Film

35mm film, in my opinion is one of the easiest options of films to shoot (and cheapest). Don’t get me wrong because it is still expensive even if it is the cheapest way to shoot analog.

Back in 2012, I wanted a film camera of my own because I had never shot with anything other than a polaroid or one of those old instant Kodak’s. I had been shooting digital for a  few years but hadn’t explored analog whatsoever. I mean, it is the way photographers use to shoot and it seems a bit ridiculous to call yourself a photographer if you’ve never shot analog.. at least it’s how I felt. I did some research and talked to a few photog buddies that had shot film and they recommended a Canon AE-1 SLR camera.


I scoured craigslist..

..because I figured id be able to find one fairly cheap. After a day or so of looking I came across one for sale. I called the number and an older man in his late 60’s was selling it because he no longer used it. We ended up chatting and I went to pick it up later that afternoon. I know I’m off subject but long story short, the older gentleman sold me his entire camera set with lenses, rewinds, filters, gels and you guessed .. FILM for a steal of $65. He wasn’t selling it for the money but for the opportunity for a photographer to enjoy the “roots” as he called it.

Back to the film.

I was at home with a new (to me) camera and a load of film to shoot with. Now did I use the film? No I didn’t. Not because I was a genius but because I just didn’t think about it.  I went and bought film to shoot..  and I did that for quite a while.

A few years went by and I REALLY forgot about it, up until this year. I went through my old bag that I keep stored and realized that I had about 30 rolls of Kodak Gold 100 from the late 90’s that needed to be shot. By now the film is greatly expired and has aged like fine wine (I’d expect). I loaded up a roll and shot it, and another.. and another. For the most part I went with what my light meter showed and exposed accordingly. Ive done my research and people try to give tips on how you should shoot expired film but honestly I don’t think there is a “right” technique. Some people say to overexpose or to underexpose but it isn’t that simple.

There are so many different variables that could effect your image when using expired film.

A few variables could be,

  1. How was the film stored (temperature)?
  2. How old is the film?
  3. Brand?
  4. Emulsion?

So to be frank.. shooting expired film is a crap shoot. You never know what you’re going to get once you process it but that is one of the most satisfying parts. When you look at the print and you see the weird colors or fogged spots it adds character that a normal image wouldn’t have had. Some people would prefer to get what they expect and that is fine as well. I wouldn’t shoot expired film for a job or important function but just to have fun and collect memories is a great reason.

Its funny because when I picked up my film from the lab the tech asked me how old the film was. She could look at the film and tell it was expired and I thought it was fascinating. She explained to me that it isn’t often that she she’s people developing expired film and asked me to share the images with her once I had a chance to look at them. There were a lot I like and some I didn’t but that’s normal with any kind of photography whether its analog or digital lol.

Here are a few of my latest images from a few rolls of expired Kodak Hold 100 and Kodak HD 400.


As you can tell, the Gold 100 roll had more muted green tones and the one image that is bright pinkish/orange was from the HD 400 roll. If you haven’t ever tried shooting expired film then I would definitely recommend it!

Until next time..




Payton’s 1st Newborn Session

What’s cuter than a 9 day old baby?

The answer is nothing! 

I had the pleasure of photographing baby Payton this past Monday and it went absolutely as planned. I know, thats never the case in most photoshoots and almost never in a newborn shoot. Her mother coordinated with me that she wanted a fall themed session (outside) but nothing too extreme. Since the weather in San Diego is pretty fickle this time of the year, I decided to take the reigns and create a fall scene in the studio. Her mother let me have complete creative control and I set up everything that I felt would make the session spectacular.

After HAND picking fall flowers from around the city.

It was show time and little Payton did not disappoint. She showed up sleepy and a ready participant. Newborn photography sessions are fairly difficult in the aspect of you never really know how the baby will cooperate. That was not the case this time.

I placed her into my scene and started to snap photograph after photograph. After I felt I got the main shots that I needed it was time for a new pose. This is where things became a bit tricky because she was no longer in a full sleep. After trying to calm her, get a few more shots and get her in different poses I figured it was best to call it a night because its no sense in furthering her discomfort by continually moving her all over the place.

Towards the end it was a bit more difficult but all in I was able to get the images that I was looking for and that Mom & Dad would adore.

Here a few images from the session. Enjoy!

Photo of the Day 9/18/18

Went out to shoot last night and didn’t really get any nice shots except … this one long exposure of a restaurant over looking San Diego’s harbor. Hope you guys like it

God got me

My lovely wife decided to model for me for the day to grab a few studio shots of her. I asked her for big hair .. and she delivered flawlessly! It was her 1st time have a studio photography session and she did an absolute amazing job and can’t wait for the next time ..

Open Fields to Wander

Today I decided to wander around Mission Trails in East County of San Diego.

Mission Trails Regional Park

It was fairly early and the sun was not out yet which is a good thing because it gets hot really fast. I figured that it would be the best time to get some photographs because it wouldn’t be too crowded and animals wouldn’t be hiding from the sun just yet.

I started walking around the lake with my Labrador pup Almond. It was quiet but I knew the area is known for rattlesnakes so she couldn’t be off leash for long. We came up to an opening in the lake that wasn’t crowded in the brush. There was a Snowy Egret wading in the water fishing for a snack. Snapped some photographs of him and as easily as we arrived .. we left.

white crane
160mm    f/2.8   ISO500   1/2500sec


I wandered for a few about another hour and nothing to noticeable but a few birds here and there. If you follow me on instagram I’m sure you’re tired of my bird photographs lol. There were also a few rabbits but nothing overall too interesting.

As I passed over the hill leading into the mountainside, I saw a brief movement and I paused. I saw a tiny head pop out of the brush.

It was a coyote.. then there were more

There was 3 of them in total and 2 were much larger than the first I had seen. I sat still about 300 meters away and waited to see what they were doing. The smaller one started to stray off a bit. As he moved, I got closer and closer. I did not venture too close because I didn’t want to disturb them and I also had my pup with me and I didn’t want any altercations. I was able to grab some images of the little coyote and I am very happy with the turn out. I plan on making a morning of filming and getting more shots of these guys.

coyote in the hills watermark
200mm     f/5.6     ISO640     1/1600sec
200mm     f/5.6     ISO640     1/1600sec
200mm     f/5.6     ISO640     1/1600sec




Small Bird.. Big Impact

Hummingbirds are one of few local birds that are very present in Southern California that most people don’t even notice.

It began at the beginning of the summer when I happened to stumble across a hummingbird one morning perched on a branch. I didn’t pay it much mind because I was dropping my daughter of and I was in sort of a hurry for work. The next day as I continued my morning routine I saw the same bird perched on the same spot.. I took few steps towards him and he let me get about 6 ft away (which is remarkably close). After seeing this little guy almost every morning I decided to grab my camera and see if he’d be there and let me photograph him..

.. and he was.

After this, I thought that it was extraordinary that I have never really payed this majestic birds much at all. I then decided to search for these birds and photograph them any chance I could.

I learned really quick that I got extremely lucky with my first bird encounter. They normally don’t get too close to humans and definitely do t sit still long. Also I normally shoot at very low aperture (which for the dreamy bokeh) and that was a task in itself ! These guys move VERY fast and VERY often. To gather images of them, it took time and patience and I recommend the same if you take on the task.

As amazing as they are I still stayed my distance and never got too close or invaded their space. I sat from a distance while watching and learning how they live. This wasn’t meant to be informative on how they eat, or how fast they are ..

but more of just an admiration of the beauty of these birds !

My collection below. Enjoy !

types of birds include: Anna and Calliope hummingbirds

5 Reasons You Should Own a Premium Compact Camera


There are many types of cameras available on the market today. Dozens of brands and models with features and capabilities that our ancestors would have never imaged that would be capable. A lot of every day people use point and shoot cameras for their ease of use and reasonable price point, while most professional photographers use a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera and I’m not going into specifics because this isn’t the blog for that.

-> Top 10 Best Compact Cameras 

Now a premium compact camera is like a midpoint between a point and shoot and a DSLR. It has the small build of a point and shoot but a much higher image quality and camera functions. It is not as heavy as a DSLR nor does it deliver the image quality that a good full frame DSLR can but you’re also not paying the heavy price tag that comes along with the those features.

In this list I will be giving my opinion of the Fujifilm X100S because I own one and absolutely love it!

With that being said they have two newer models available as well, being the X100T and the X100F. They have newer features, larger sensors and newer design but you can pick up a X100S for a fraction of the price that it use to be and trust me.. you wouldn’t be disappointed. I’m not going into too much of detail about the camera itself but why you should own one.

fuji x100s (5 of 5)

Here are a few specs:

-16.3 million pixels APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor

-EXR Processor II

-Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF)

-FUJINON 23mm F2 ASPH lens

-Burst shooting rate of up to 6 FPS at full resolution (31 frame buffer)

-Focus Peaking

-“Digital Split Image” display

-Artistic filters

-1080/60p and 1080/30p video with built-in stereo mic.

-NP-95 Li-ion battery

With all that gibberish above being stated.. I will say that the camera has all of the functions of a manual film camera so I would definitely recommend knowing how to shoot in manual mode if you are thinking about purchasing one. Now lets get into the reasons why you should own one.

fuji x100s (4 of 5)

1.) Ease of Everyday Carry

If you’re a photographer that owns a Canon or Nikon DSLR camera then you immediately understand what I’m talking about. If you’re new to photography then let me explain further. The size of the camera is about a 3rd of the size of your everyday DSLR and that is the beauty behind it. Its a small compact camera that pacts a punch and has a fixed 23mm Fujinon lens. If I wanted to go out for the day and wanted to take my Canon 6D mkII, then I would have to take my bag with my body, and lenses which can be exhausting if I’m not particularly going to shoot. it is much easier and less daunting to just grab my Fuji before leaving home and if I see something to photograph then thats great but if not then I’m not losing anything either. Also I could literally put the Fuji in my back pocket (seriously). It is so convenient.


2.) Breaking the Comfort Barrier

This point if for people that are newer to photography and street photographers but can apply to mostly anyone. Ever been on a train, bus, trolly, plane or any other closely seated natural way of transportation and wanted to take a picture but didn’t want to look like a creep or make people uncomfortable? Ever wanted to snap a pic of a cute couple at the park but didn’t want to ruin their moment ? That is why this camera is great in that area ! Due to its small light weight design and quiet shutter, it will give you a bit more confidence to take that picture on the plane or capture that moment in the park without screaming “HEY IM A PHOTOGRAPHER!”

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

3.) Price $$$

This point is a no brainer but let me say that a premium compact camera can be pricey but if you wanted to buy a full frame dslr or mirrorless camera.. the price-point is no comparison. For example you can get a Fujifilm X100F for around $1,199 with a fixed 23mm lens which isn’t bad. Now if you wanted a Sony A7R III you could score one for a scorching $2,298! Don’t get me wrong, the A7R III is easily one of the best cameras on the market and you cant really compare it to a compact camera but the price-point alone would make anyone think twice. So if you’re not wanting to break the bank but want something small and affordable, then look no further.

fuji x100s (2 of 5)

4.) Features

I know, I know.. all cameras have cool features but just speaking from experience, the X100S has simulation film filters which is a pretty damn cool feature to have on a camera. I mean its a play camera but what could be better than simulating shooting b&w film? I mean the X100 series already has the old school look so this is just icing on the cake. Not to mention is also has a built in ND filter, and a quiet shutter as well. Just a few without beating a dead horse

Photo 1- Provia/Standard                   Photo 2- Velvia/Vivid                    Photo 3- Black&White


5.) Enjoyability !

Photography is challenging and hardwork but its main purpose is joy! Seeing people light up when you show them their final images or the feeling you get when you finally get the shot you’ve been working hard to obtain. Being able to enjoy what you do should be your main priority and everything else should fall in place. Compact cameras are fun for the fact that it doesn’t feel like work. Too many times do you carry your gear to a shoot and unload, change lenses and spend hours editing. Its fun but can be daunting at the same time. Whenever I grab my Fuji I have none of that on my mind. It is pure recreation and I feel that everyone should enjoy that feeling. Get back to the roots and find the reason why you started shooting in the first place!

fuji x100s (3 of 5)