The Fishermen

During my Florida vacation, I used several of my film cameras to capture various moments along the beaches.  And I hope you understand, I’m trying to focus on these wonderful moments, these serene captures of time.  Something to take my mind off of …

You know.

One of my cameras, the AGFA Chief box camera, was pre-loaded with two separate films – a roll of Kodak Aerial military surplus B&W film from the 1940’s, with a cracked-open roll of Kodak 200 Instamatic film wrapped in it.

At the time, I wasn’t sure if I could get another decent picture out of my splitfilm discipline, at least one that would be superior to my recent Niagara 1970 1995 2016 image, but I would at least give it a try.

Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize was that the military film came with a blank, non-photographable “leader” on the roll – which meant I was essentially photographing onto paper for half my shots.

Still, one of the Instamatic shots did come through on its own.  The shot below is of the Flagler Beach pier.

Instamatic Flagler Pier small

Oh wait, I’ve got at least one splitfilm that might work here … I took a picture of some fishermen as they tried their luck off the pier.  A couple of shots here and there, and now it’s time to scan.

Now to scan in these images, I have to maintain control.  Both images must be scanned at the exact same dots per inch, or I’ll have trouble matching the images back up.  And I have to remember that the Kodak aerial film must scan as a black-and-white image.

Okay, both are scanned in… and…

Aw, dammit.  I forgot to flip the scanning commands to B&W for the aerial film, and the scanner tried to scan a B&W image as a color construct.  Great, now I’ve got a big red monochromatic image instead.  Okay, I’ll have to re-scan this…

Stop a second, Chuck.

This is a happy accident.  In the spirit of Bob Ross, look what you have.


Let’s take this.

Solder the two images together…


The Fishermen small
The Fishermen. Kodak Aerial film, expiry 1957, scanned in color; Kodak Gold 200 Instamatic film, expiry 1981, AGFA Chief camera. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Well well well.

This is quite an interesting exposure.

Again, it’s not going to replace my other splitfilm successes in competition season, but still…

This little “accident” gave me a monochromatic red-black exposure.  And it also made me wonder what would happen if I tried that with future film scans, i.e., introduce the random element of letting my film scanner determine a B&W photo’s color output.

Keep this idea in the back pocket, Chuck.

Save this image – if not for competition, at least for inspiration.