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Michael Dunham's Moody Photos from an Unused 1949 Film

When a photographer finds some expired films from 1949 on auction, he felt compelled yet a bit regretful to "disturb" it. Nevertheless, he shoots with it and gets some beautiful photos full of mood and character.

New York City photographer Michael Dunham once came across a roll of Kodak Verichrome V620 film that expired in 1949 being auctioned off along with 3 other rolls for less than $10. The box was still in good condition, so he felt a little regret when he tore the adhesive and opened it.

“Here it had been sitting for well over a half century, who was I to disturb it?!” he said.

Nevertheless, he decided to take photos using the 62-year-old film, using an Argus Seventy-Five TLR camera from the 1950s, believing it would be best to expose the film using “glass that had also seen the better part of 5 decades.”

The film had since traveled from New York, Stuttgart in Southern Germany, and Paris before finally reaching a specialty film lab in rural Canada. Below are Dunham’s expired Verichrome photos, full of character and mood created by the film’s natural decay. The most fascinating perhaps is the last photo on the set, which represents how first-time airline passengers must have felt while up in the clouds back in 1949, as the commercial airline industry had just started expanding around the time.

Photographs from unused 1949 film on How to be a Retronaut

Have you tried shooting with age-old films like Michael Dunham? Share your photos and stories with us through a comment below!

written by plasticpopsicle


  1. sidsel


    Oh my, these are so beautiful!

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  2. hhjm


    Great !!!!

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  3. pim_g


    My favourite from a roll of Ilford FP4, the old stuff! http://www.lomograph(…)os/13869287

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  4. emkei


    beautiful photos !!

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  5. stevelomo


    Its like looking into the past. They look almost like paintings. Great shots!

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  6. vici


    Incredible photos!!!!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. jessinreallife


    Cool, very cool.
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