In N.Y.C to meet The Skin Deep by Colum O'Dwyer

At the end of September I traveled to New York to meet with the creative team behind The Skin Deep; the company behind the Emmy Award winning documentary series The And (Although they don't like to mention that too much).


I was lucky enough to be chosen to Produce and Direct an Irish version of the series to add to what they call their 'Global Relationship Project'.  So, I was in upstate NYC to be introduced formally to the format and how to do things The Skin Deep way.

I was joined with other creative souls from all over the globe and had a great time meeting some inspiring and amazing people.  As I type this, I can't wait to start filming at home - But first, I must find a location.

I felt both lucky and honoured to have been chosen, I will after all soon be making my own version of an Emmy award winning series.

(They may not like saying it, but I don't mind...)

While taking in the sights I naturally took some photos...

(Expired) Film for fun.  Digital for work.


Lomo Adventure in Sicily by Colum O'Dwyer

In June I visited Italy for the first time since I was inter-railing at 18: A week in Sicily & 10 hours in Milan before flying home.

The Gear

I decided to leave the digital camera at home.

I did this for a few reasons - 1) I didn’t want to spend the entire trip behind an LCD screen and 2) I had just received a batch of expired film that was eager to try out and 3) space was tight in my cabin bag.

I’d be seeing some amazing landscapes and sights so I wanted to take my trusty 6x6 medium format Zeiss Ikon Nettar (Below, from around 1959 - Almost 60 years old!) which I had just got serviced.  

The cameras & film I brought with me to Sicily (Canon EOS 50e [late 90's] & my Zeiss Ikon Nettar [Late 50's])

As for the film… well, there was some fun stuff.  Below are what I shot on, what I rated them at & some photos.

How Did I Rate The Film?

This batch was unrefrigerated from I gathered so I didn't to throw plenty of light at it to minimise grain.   In my books overexpose is always good when we're talking film.

For every 10 years the film was out of date - +1 stop of exposure.  Ideally, I would always overexpose film by at least 1 full stop.



Agfa Optima 100 (Exp. 1999) - I had wanted to shoot some Agfa for years but only ever managed to shoot the B&W APX.  I rated it at 25.

The results were pretty good, a little grainier than a 100 speed film should be but that's OK.

Fuji NPC160 (Exp. ??) - I always knew this would not be a revelatory experience... I had shot most of the similar films like this but never this particular one.  Didn't know exactly how old it was, but I rated it at 64.

Ektachrome 200 (Exp. ??) - This I was excited about. I had shot a little Ektachrome in 16mm cine film but never stills (screengrab below from when I was still in college).  I even knew how I'd use it - on Mount Etna to capture those blues and greens.  I wasn't sure how old it was because it came without a carton but I rated it at 50.

Was I disappointed with how it turned out?  Yes I was.  For me, it was pretty ugly.  Maybe I didn't more light to minimise the magenta hue?

120 FILM

120 Film
Fuji FII (Expired 1984) - this was, by far, the gnarliest film I got my hands on and the biggest unknown factor.  It was a 100 speed film that expired way back in 1984; making it almost as old as me.  I believe many moons ago I shot the 16mm cine film version and the results were pretty interesting.  I ended up rating it at 12.

Results were... like nothing I had ever seen - As I should have expected.  Super psychedelic and interesting like some over-edited Instagram photo but in this case #nofilter.

Fuji Velvia 50 (Exp. 1999?) - I had never shot any version of Fujis famous Velvia line of pro slide film and I was very excited at the chance to do so on this trip.  Rated at 12/25.

Unfortunately... I did something very dumb and didnt wrap up the roll tight enough when unloading so I destroyed some exposures... was I happy with what turned out though? Sure.  For me though Velvia showed maybe a bit too much contrast.

Fujichrome 100D (Slide film, Exp. 1994) - something about shooting a film that expired in the year of the 1994 World Cup was a hoot to me. I knew nothing about this predecessor to the Velvia line but knew I'd have to rate it at 25.

I was very happy with how this turned out.  I liked the look, the contrast and pretty much everything.  I'd be eager to get my hands on some more of this.


It was alot of fun.  Going on holidays without really having an idea what the finished photos will look like is alot of fun.

But really, shooting slide film that is expired - It's a real gamble, at least if it hasnt been kept cool.

More than ever - Digital for Work/Film for Fun.

For More Photos, visit my Instagram!