The Life of a Roll of Film

kodak_ultramax_iso400_01-e1345789904101Photo from:


For most of us who grew up from the 1950’s up to 1995 are familiar with camera film. Film cameras insured that we were limited in our shot and that the shots we were taking were accurate, set to the correct exposure, our model was ready and so forth because once the shot was taken, there were no second chances. The shot was final, no going back and deleting the image and starting over. Roll of film was expensive and making a mistake was costly in the long run. After taking the photo we would have to develop the film in a darkroom with a host of technics and chemicals, something that the current generation will never experience nor appreciate the difficulty in the task of developing a photo, cropping, zooming etc., in a darkroom under a red light.

Below is a story that was written when I was in high school. In photography class we were taught how to take photos and develop our film in a darkroom, part of the assignment was to write out the steps in the development process of a roll of film. I surmised that most of the class would create a list or chart of various sorts regarding the process, so I decided to do something different, I wrote about the life of film, specifically the Tri-X 400 Kodak life and experience. Enjoy the story below.


Hello, for those of you who are unaware I am Tri-X 400—Kodak Film. Not long ago I was in the warm confinements of my film case, in a beautiful camera viewing and recording some of natures most beautiful scenes…until I ran out of room!

Some hours later, a metal monster stripped off my warm cozy shell, I was than forced out and forced to wrap around a cold metal wheel, which I learned is called a reel. Once I was loaded on this reel, I was thrown into a light-tight metal can. Before I realized it I was overwhelmed by eight ounces of some sort of chemical.  The human called it D-76, this chemical was a cold 65 degrees, okay maybe not cold for you but for me, I was freezing!! As I soaked in the chemical a strange thing began to happen, the images I had recorded slowly began developing. Waiting and hoping for an end, I never imagined it would get worst…but it did! The human agitated this metal can I was in, flipping me from one side to the other for thirty seconds, than every ten seconds every minute for the next nine minutes. This was a long, slow and a excruciating process.

I could hear the human preparing something he called a rinse and a fixer. He was pretty concerned with the temperature being exactly 65 degrees, just like the D-76.  After the nine minutes or so, I can’t quite recall how long I was trapped, the D-76 was dumped back into its bottle. I breathed a sigh of relief for a moment believing I was safe, but I was quickly reminded about the rinse and fixer. I was overwhelmed by water—which amazingly caused the development process of my images to cease. The rinse lasted thirty seconds, this happened three times and the water was washed over me. Once again I was submerged in toxic chemicals, this was the fixer. This human stated, either to me or someone else, “this will stop the film from being sensitive to light.”  This human has prevented my film from being over exposed by sunlight or any light for that fact.  This fixer wash lasted about seven minutes to which at the end of the wash I was provided another wild ride, agitated from left to right for ten seconds—lasting a horrifying ten minutes.  And if that wasn’t enough, this human would slam the canister onto the table, confidently stating to someone, “this will cause any and every air pocket to disappear.”

Can you believe this guy! Not only is he torturing me but he’s trying to kill me! He’s trying to remove every bit of air I have…aaarrrgghhh. After the fixer, he empties it back into its bottle and given another eight ounces of water—again at 65 degrees. This was the most difficult experience for me thus far. I was filled with water and agitated five times and emptied. He mimics this task twenty times, yes, you heard me, twenty times I went through this process. This torture lasted forever, each agitation had to be done slowly.

I’m not sure how long I was inside being agitated, I blacked out a few times, however, I was eventually release from my cell. I wrongly believed my hell was over but I was wrong.  I was dumped into something called photo flo for thirty seconds.  This photo flo liquid wasn’t so bad; it caused the excess water to slide off of me, This smooth chemical prevented any stains from appearing on me.  After thirty seconds of a soothing bath this human carried me to something called the squeegee, apparently it is designed to remove the photo flo liquid and make me dry.

I don’t recall what happened in this squeegee, I fainted once seeing the monstrosity. I felt dry and began to relax, I began to curl up…you know, the way I was originally in my Kodak case.  To my horror the human had two shiny silver metal like devices, the first device he opened and clipped to my head, in pain I curled up faster. The human than grabbed the other device, it resembled the first clip but seemed to be bulkier on the bottom.  When this device was attached to my bottom, I was immediately stretched out, I was perfectly straight, the pain was to great I was unable to squeal in pain. This device was some sort of weight and it prevented me from curling up once again.  With joy this human carried me to a plastic sphere, which he unzipped and hung me on a small hook…with his other victims.  He zipped up the sphere and walked away with great content in the terrible acts he committed against.

Believing it was finally over and my end had come, I learned from the other rolls hanging beside me in this hell, that the human will return tomorrow and remove these hooks. He will than use a sharp appliance and divide me into five equal pieces and store me into plastic—for how long, I do not know—but I was told even after being sliced, the horrors continue. My terrified gaze was directed to a large machine that will shine a bright and extremely hot light through me. 


Hope you enjoy the story above, granted that many other procedures may have been left out, as I stated earlier, this was an assignment from high school. 


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First Snow Fall in NYC

 CTK Parking LotDove 1Family Walking in SnowFootball game 1football game 2Football game 3Football gameGates AvenueLinden StreetPickup Football GameShoveling Snow bwWalking down the sidewalkSnowy Night shot

Most people, including myself, enjoy the idea of snow, we enjoy the way it looks when it falls from the sky, covering everything with a soft white. Everything slowly changes and begins to look different and wonderful, even the worst building, block or neighborhood gets a small reprieve and allows for all the ugliness to be gone momentarily. With the joys of snow is immediately followed by the aches and discomforts of snow.  The shoveling of the front walk, the salting of your sidewalk, walking on the snow, clearing your car from snow and in far worst conditions unburying your vehicle from a foot of snow.

However, when the snow is light and the weather is not blistering cold, the day is quite enjoyable. The ability to go out and view the neighborhood, watching a simple walk to the store become something of a small mission for some individuals. Going to the park and catching a pickup game of football, seeing on occasion the dedicated jogger making his/her way through the snow. One of my favorite past time is to observe nature during a snow fall. Seeing the resourcefulness in these animals and the ability to withstand specific conditions is amazing.


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MTA Museum

      5 Lex LineTrain Car 1Train Car 3Hannah, Kira, Haley, Rachia MTA MusuemTrain Car 4Train Car 2Sunset at Forest

  On November 29 we made a visit to the New York City Metropolitan Transit Museum located in Brooklyn on Boerum Place. On the corner of Boerum Place the subway staircase is the only entrance available to the museum. There are two levels to the museum, the first level contains vintage items such turnstiles, token booths, benches, model trains, props displaying the inner workings of a subway car and station. One room holds a small conferencing area which plays various movies and documentaries.

The second level leads to the subway station itself.  The black stairs with the red trimmed banister leads you to the first vintage car.  The 5 Lexington Avenue car. This car is colored in a dark green, the design itself is bold and elegant. The interior of the car is spacious and the seats are very comfortable. The train presented itself with a sense of elegance that is long gone in our current subway cars. The seats were covered with about two and half inches of cushion, providing a very comfortable seating experience. Every single train afterwards provided a more elegant look and showed that the experience for the rider was one that was suppose to be enjoyable and comfortable. Every Sunday during the month of December the vintage railcars come out from storage and make runs on specific track designated by the MTA. If you are fortunate enough to see one, make sure you hop on for a ride.

For those who have never visit the museum, I strongly recommend that you make a trip. The museum is located at Boerum Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201 you can call them for information at 718-694-1600 or visit their website 

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