Found Film Friday: Yellowstone, Part 1

I’d say “everybody has pictures from a trip to Yellowstone,” if I had ever been myself.  But I have previously posted a “found film” roll that featured shots from that national park.  A few weeks ago, I received 14 rolls of film I had bought – for a pretty good price, if they ended up containing photos – from someone on eBay.  The rolls that were marked were identified as “Yellowstone” or “Eclipse.”


When the film arrived, I was disappointed that I might have been too hasty – as all of the film was Ektachrome slide film, marked E-2 or E-3.  Modern slide film is processed using the “E-6” process.  So I was worried it might not turn up anything, particularly because Ektachrome resembles “Kodachrome” – which is also nearly impossible to develop these days.

The E-2 process was used between 1942 and 1966; the E-3 process, in the 1950s to 1976. And there’s the Kodacolor-X roll on the far left, which was manufactured from 1962 to 1974.  And there were two unused rolls with the lot, one stamped with an expiration date of 1970, and the other 1973.  So I think we can safely say this film all dates from the early to mid-1960s to the early 1970s.  And then it sat for years in someone’s closet, until it was inherited by an unknown guy who lives in Santa Cruz.  Who gave or sold it to another guy, who posted it on eBay, and now it’s in India.

So a bit of research convinced me to develop it in black and white chemicals.  I used HC-110 for most of it, if not all, and used about 8 minutes for developing time.  The first roll came out with a sort of squishy layer of film that appeared to have swollen a bit.  Some websites talked about removing this with cotton swabs.  So I tried that, and it didn’t work too well – I scratched off some of the image:


So then I decided to just leave the film on, and let it dry. And then I scanned it. In color, so you can have an idea what it looked like:


When you use photoshop to turn that image into a black and white image, and then reverse it from a negative, and then clean it up a bit and play around with the brightness and contrast, here’s what you end up with:

Found Film: Yellowstone Roll 1…which I think is pretty cool.  Google’s “search by image” function will reveal that this is Artist Point, “one of the most photographed views in Yellowstone.”  It’s a snapshot taken nearly half a century ago, which ended up forgotten in the back of someone’s closet, until now.  Here is another shot, from the Jackson Hole website, taken from nearly the same spot, in 2006:

canyon_1a 2006

Here is another shot, also followed by a recent counterpart – sent to me by my wife’s cousin, Lynn Daniels Anderson:

Found Film: Yellowstone Roll 1


This one’s probably my favorite in this group.  I’m amazed at the detail that is still visible in this film from so long ago:

Found Film: Yellowstone Roll 1

And then there are a few more:

Found Film: Yellowstone Roll 1

Found Film: Yellowstone Roll 1

There were 13 rolls in total – some of them didn’t turn up any pictures at all, but there are a lot more great Yellowstone (and other) photos to come. I will post the rest on future “found film” Fridays. You can see all of the photos from this batch at this Flickr Yellowstone album, or see all my “found film” in this Flickr “Found Film” album.

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