Photographers have a fetish for discontinued film stock. Taking images using film that is in very limited supply appears to make their work more exotic, rare and perhaps hopefully more in demand. Such was the case for New York–based photographer Daniel Zvereff who recently got his hands on some of the last remaining supply of old Kodak Aerochrome film in 120 format.
Zvereff was not going to waste this rare opportunity, so he headed off for of all places, the Arctic, a destination just as exotic as the rare film. What he shot was an amazing collection. Arctic graveyards, mountains and roads in the short, fertile Arctic summer are all colored in hues of purples and pinks. This was apparently the result of shooting with old film whose shelf life was way past its usable limits. Quite unpredictable results, but nonetheless spectacular.
Aerochrome is the discontinued infrared film that was originally developed by Kodak for military use to identify camouflage. The Aerochrome 120 when working right, transforms green to lavender and magentas, and brown into vibrant blues. It was later modified for civilian commercial purposes.
As unabated mining and the ravages of global warming continue to disrupt the natural equilibrium, it is not far-fetched that the Arctic may soon look unfamiliar. Zvereff lamented, “It only seemed appropriate to photograph its incredible natural beauty using a film that is no longer in existence.” He also added, “The Arctic will essentially be the next frontier for mining natural resources, and with a warming climate it’s safe to say it will soon be transformed as we know it, forever.”
Zvereff intends to return to the Arctic next summer, or before his limited supply of Aerochrome 120 runs out. The film, like the Arctic, is quickly degrading, and could get to a point where it will eventually become unusable.
See the eye-catching images here.