Happy Accidents: Over Saturated Photos of the Sierras from a Baked Film Roll


All photos shot by and used with permission from Mike Burchett. Follow him on Flickr and on Tumblr.

I think only a film shooter can truly appreciate and understand the beauty of film photography, from its power to its unpredictability to its imperfections. Sure, those who has never shot film before can maybe notice how its different; but it takes someone who shoots film to know the joys you get from its quirks – light leaks, grains, discolorations, what have you.

Take Mike Burchett – a film and digital shooter – of Portland, Oregon, for example. On a recent road trip with his girlfriend to Southern California, he loaded his Minolta X-700 with a roll that he’d forgotten and had been baking on his dashboard for a while and used it to shoot the beautiful scenes of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California.

Even the most dedicated film user would have probably deemed that roll unusable (I know I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it), but not Mike, who took a chance with it. He explains…

“I like to shoot expired film a lot. There’s so many variables that you have no control over, mainly the separation of the chemicals, that you can often end up with great happy accidents. You can, conversely, also end up with a lot of shitty photographs. But, this all just a hobby for me, so I don’t get too hung up when that happens.”

Little did he know that with this particular roll, he was hitting the film photography goldmine (he’s already gotten an overwhelming positive response on the site!). It turns out, he made the right call. Yielding over saturated hues, some discolorations, and the occasional light leaks, his baked film captured the Sierras perfectly, its imperfections only enhancing the elements that make this region one of the most beautiful places in the country – golden lands and perpetual blue skies.

Mike was more than happy to share his photos with us, and we’re hoping that it’ll encourage the non-film shooters out there to jump on the bandwagon and discover themselves its many delights, accidental and otherwise.

See them after the jump.