Stills & Cinema

The Guts and the Glory

A blog on the mechanics, philosophy, and art of image making

Reflection 1: The Current Generation’s Film Ignorance

| Real film is old and people usually don’t understand it. |


This is especially true in this digital age but its not usually a thing that has any issues for you on a regular basis. However, I do feel like there is a place where this reality really rears its head and that is when you bring large format film or any film for that matter into airport security.  I mean it is kind of understandable… a box where they can’t look into or use xray to look into.  But what am I supposed to do here?   I brought a large box of 4×5 Kodak Tri-X on my trip.  Our flight out to Denver was flawless and I had them manual check the tri-x box and we were in and out of security super quick.  However on the return journey manual check, security for some reason really didn’t like the official Kodak Tri-X box and they were ok with the unofficial bag/box combo (I was surprised about this) where I put my exposed film.  I ended up transferring some of my unexposed film in my film changing bag over to the black bag/box combo where my exposed film was. It stressed me out thinking about all the work and time that went into the photos that could be destroyed by an ignorant TSA worker opening the box,  but everything went ok in the end.  All that to say –there has got to be a better way to accommodate us large format photographers in the airport.  


| There is an interesting phenomenon in this generation. |


You either know about film photography or you really don’t know anything about it.  Because digital is so standardized, film currently is reserved as a cult following, so a younger person either knows because of how hip it is or they are completely ignorant.  So in an airport with TSA officers, you either are lucky or you are not (with a younger worker).  Or, you just get an older TSA officer that grew up where film WAS the standard and you luck out.  

My takeaway:  profile your TSA line for TSA officers (preferably older folks) who you think will give you a smooth manual search.


And of course here are a few photographs I took in Colorado.  Enjoy.