My Last Roll Of Fujicolor 200, And The Edmonton Ice Castles.

Film photography is full of ups and downs. For as much reward as there is in this medium, there’s also plenty of disappointments. Generally though, you’re pretty safe when shooting film. Modern emulsion technology is very reliable and it’s rare that you get a bad batch. When it comes to film mishaps, the two biggest culprits are the developing and the camera. Today, my mishap was with the camera….

The Camera

The camera I chose for this little afternoon adventure was the Minolta Big Finder AF50. It’s a cracking little point and shoot camera I picked up at a garage sale. The first roll of film I put in it totally surprised me and I’ve been using this camera a lot since. It’s been very reliable for me so I wasn’t concerned at all using it for this outing. One of the last rolls I shot in this camera though, I noticed things were getting a bit underexposed. I assumed it was either my developing or my stubborn will of always turning the flash off. So I didn’t think it would have any problem outside, with blinding ice everywhere. I was wrong…

For some reason, everything was terribly underexposed. I’m still not 100% sure of what caused this. Thinking it might be the batteries getting low, I’ve since changed them and am curently in the middle of another roll to test this theory. Another thing that may have affected its behavior was tbe cold. Winter isn’t kind to electronics and may have messed up the light meter. Whether this is possible or not, I’m not sure. Either way, they were all underexposed and grainy. The photos took a fair bit of correcting to get anything usable, but to tell the truth I kind of like the look of them. It’s certainly a different look than if I had just shot with my phone.

The Film

So a little bit about what I think about this film. Last year, the Legendary FPP (Film Photography Project) was selling Fujicolor 200 for $1.99 usd a roll. Jumping on the opportunity, I went in with a friend, each getting 10 rolls and splitting the shipping. Being so cheap and having so much of it, I was quite loose in how I was shooting it. While I may have got a few frames out of this film that I really like, I never felt a bond with this stock. It’s a nice film, but I don’t feel excited to order another 10 rolls. So I shot it all until I was down to the last roll.

Now, if you’re like me, when you get down to the last roll of any stock, you suddenly don’t know what to do with it. For some reason, it feels as if you have the last roll you will ever get your hands on. A total ridiculous notion, but I can’t help but want to save it for a special occasion. This happened to be the Edmonton Ice Castles.


If you’re in the Edmonton area this winter, you’ve definitely gotta go check out the Ice Castle. It was a lot of fun, and if you can keep them warm, the kids love it too! It’s located in Hawrelak Park, and when you’re done running around with Olaf, go over to the lodge and get some sweet baked treats and yummy homemade hot chocolate. There’s also plenty of other things to do there, one could easily fill a full day.

At first I was a bit disappointed with how the photos turned out. I did, however, bring my X-700 loaded with portra for back up, but the more I work with these images and look at them, the more I start to appreciate them. The camera probably wasn’t the best decision, but I’m actually glad I brought it. This little mishap gave an interesting result and I can almost guarantee no one else has photos of the Ice Castles like these! Don’t be afraid to take a simple little camera somewhere next time. Take some interesting and creative photos of places you go! Sure, I have the shots on the portra that probably look way better (will be finding that out when I get them developed), but I’m really pleased with these. They certainly give a different feel and perspective. Maybe I’ll get some more Fujicolor 200 one day….

Here’s a few more.

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