The Kiss – Retro


Sometimes “a kiss is just a kiss…”

…And sometimes it’s shot on expired Portra 800, and pushed one stop in development.







These are all kinds-a “shonky” (lots of reds and purples) and grainy as heck–they were all pushed another stop or two in post-processing.  However; other than cleaning up some dust and scratches, that’s about all I did to them.

My friend Ondra once asked “how to achieve that retro, low-contrast look…”

This is one of the ways: shoot expired film.  I bought a few rolls of this stuff (expired in 2008) and am still figuring out what to do with it; Next time I think I will probably have to shoot at ISO 400, and still push it one stop.  (The negatives are pretty bland despite the one stop push–It is definitely not 800 ISO any longer).

In the end, was it worth all the effort?  I guess I certainly could’ve used Instagram (if I even owned it…) but now what fun would that be??


Anyway, feel free to say you don’t like them: my feelings won’t be hurt.  (But let’s see YOU develop them!)

All the best,


12 thoughts on “The Kiss – Retro

  1. andygemmell says:

    Expired film, film, pushed, pulled, digital, cdd, cmos…..doesn’t really matter as a set here Mark. All about some nice candid moments in your living room.

    Your Christmas tree is up…is it Christmas soon 😉 !!

  2. Ondra says:

    Mark, I love the grainy look and colors of these photos! Great work. Just I would probably prefer higher exposure or something in order to make them less dark. But it seems that they were shot in a dim light.

    Anyway, thank you for your tip for retro look. Recently, I have started “collecting” expired films from members of my family, who could find few rolls, which they stored somewhere in their houses. So I am looking forward to trying these film rolls 🙂

    But back to your photos – I was quite stunned by that Christmas tree. Firstly, I really started asking myself if you celebrate Christmas in Canada in a different time than usual, hehe :)))) But now I see your explanation and I fully understand. I am also looking forward to Christmas decorations in our homes… :))

    • mewanchuk says:

      Thanks Ondra–

      I knew you would appreciate this post!

      I am looking forward to some “retro shots” from you.

      Remember to compensate for the expired film–generally they say one stop for every 10 years out of date, but that number changes as your film becomes more sensitive. In other words, faster film decays faster. Therefore, for ISO 800, you probably need 1 or 1.5 stops for every FIVE years post-expiry.

      Have you sold any prints off your new site?

      I hope you are well.

      All the best,


      • Ondra says:

        Thank you for your helpful note. I did not know that. Do I understand correctly that I should make the expired film slower? For example if I had ten years old film with ISO 400, I should set up the speed on ISO 200? Or set up ISO 400 and shoot on longer speeds, like 1/500 instead of 1/1000?

        With respect to my new website, I have not sold any my works yet via this site. Actually, it was neither my expectation. My major goal was to have my own webpages where I can show my works 🙂 But who knows… I think the best way for selling works is to have exhibitions and works in galleries. Next year, I will have my few larger-size abstract works on an exhibition (they are not on my webpages) and the following year I would like to have my solo exhibition focusing on my works of “Prague peripheries” 🙂 So it is a long-time run… 🙂

      • mewanchuk says:


        That is correct–the easiest thing to do is to rate the film one stop slower (Set the ISO to 200 instead). For films faster than 400, you should compensate even further. It is definitely not an exact science, especially if the film has not been properly cold-stored.

        Good luck!

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