All images by Øystein Sture Aspelund. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Unpredictable and unreliable as they can be, the moody and often surreal imagery of expired films continues to inspire countless photographers and visual storytellers. Our latest favorite example is by Oslo-based Øystein Sture Aspelund, whose stunning space-inspired set is one of the most fitting use of the expired film aesthetic we’ve seen so far. If you still shoot film, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with this series.
According to the set’s description, TWILIGHT, which Aspelund shot in Norway and other European countries from 2014 to 2016, is a series exploring the themes of space, time, and existence. To give his photos an otherworldly look and mood, he shot the series using a cheap point and shoot plastic camera loaded with very expired 35mm films. These films, he also said, were made in the former USSR and had expiry dates of 1986 to 1989. Photoshop was used only for minor dust and scratch removal.
“By using expired analog films, the series is watching the present with the eyes of the past. In this way, it is using photography as a method to raise awareness on the aspect of time,” he also said.
TWILIGHT shows both the quintessential effects of expired film, and why it remains sought after for many out of the box projects today. Grainy, faded, and quirky with color shifts here and there, it’s perfect for adding a dreamy touch to any concept. Aspelund indeed succeeds in creating an impression of a time long past, not only because of the aged film look, but also in the timeless subjects he captured.
On a side note — before you try plunging into the dream worlds of expired films, take note that this effect often comes out of very expired films like what Aspelund used. Even then, the look and intensity of the effects may vary from one film stock to the other.
Øystein Sture Aspelund is actually a master of moody and surreal imagery, so we suggest checking out some of his works that we’ve previously featured, as well as his impressive website and Behance portfolio.