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    It is always disappointing when you’ve sent a roll of film off for processing, only to find that it came back unexposed / blank. Let’s look at the reasons as to why this might have happened. Probably the most common cause of unexposed films will be because the film may not be advancing within the camera. If using a manual 35mm camera a good indicator of checking that the film is advancing when the back door is closed, is to visually watch the rewind crank on your camera as you turn the advance wheel. The rewind crank should spin as you advance the film. Severe Under exposure can also cause a film to be blank, because the images will be so feint that the scanner will not be able to pick up any detail. This can often be the case if taking indoor photos without using flash and there not being enough available light to expose the subject accurately. Another issue could of course be a camera shutter malfunction, when it does not open on taking the photo, therefore not exposing the film to light, most cameras make a nice click when the shutter opens so if you don’t hear this sound then this may be the cause and need to be checked by a camera repair specialist. We operate a partial refund policy for blank films charging only for the processing, we refund the difference for the services requested for the blank /unexposed film.
    Underexposed film occurs when light exposes the negative for too short a time to record a well-defined image in film scans, meaning not enough light reaches the film on exposure. Some reasons for too little light reaching the film can occur if the speed of the film was set too high on the camera, the shutter too fast or the aperture too small. Perhaps the flash did not fire when taking an indoor picture or taken at dusk when the light is low. Of course, there’s always a chance that the light meter being used either handheld or within the camera may not be working correctly, it’s always a good idea to check the batteries if you have consistent underexposure throughout the film. As a result of under exposed negatives your scans will appear dark, faded, grainy, and have very low contrast. In fact, the negative film itself may appear faint and almost see-through. Have a look at our blog post on underexposed vs overexposed photos to see how these images visually look.
    Overexposed negatives occur when light exposes the film for too long resulting in negatives that will look too dark. Some reasons for too much light reaching the film could be that the film speed may have been set too low, shutter speed too slow, or the aperture too wide. Alternatively, it could be that the light meter being used either handheld or within the camera may not be working correctly, it’s always a good idea to check the batteries if you have consistent overexposure throughout the film. Another potential issue could be that the shutter is sticking open for longer than it should be and may need a camera repair specialist to check its accuracy. For some photographers, minor amounts of overexposure can be an intentional stylistic decision that increases saturation and contrast. However, extreme overexposure will give you increased grain, low contrast, and dull, grey highlights.
    It is always disappointing if you send a film off for development, only to receive half the images back that you took. 😣 Here are a few of the potential reasons that this may have occurred. - The film was intentionally/ unintentionally rewound and removed before finishing the film. - Improper loading of the camera, where the film fails to take up initially on the winding mechanism. - Lens cap left on the lens in error on some exposures - Mechanical Issue, the shutter fails to open when taking the photo, this may occur partway through the film or be intermittent. - Extreme underexposure, which can occur when taking photos at night without flash, or incorrect exposure setting. See our section for underexposure
    Partial Fogging appear as bursts of white or red/orange/yellow colour on your scans, often in a streak pattern and is often referred to as light leaks. Some people will deliberately create the effect that light leaks give and there are even stocks of film that you can buy that come pre light-leaked for all sorts of cool effects. However, they can be a nuisance when unplanned and unwanted. In which case, it’s good to know what may have caused them. A lot of things can cause partial fogging, but the most common perpetrators are accidentally opening the back of the camera whilst the film is loaded, if just the first part of the film shows partial fogging but the rest of the film is fine, then this normally occurs if there were problems when loading the film in the camera. Another potential issue is failing light seals within the camera, most cameras particularly 35mm keep the light out by using foam seals, however overtime these naturally deteriorate, and light can seep into the back of the camera and cause partial fogging on film which we call light leaks. Partial fogging can also occur on the film edges of 120 roll film, this occurs when the film is wound too loosely onto the spool after exposure and the film and backing paper extend beyond the width of the spool ends.
    A completely fogged roll of film appears totally black, without any visible markings on the edge of the film (this is true in colour and black and white films, but the opposite is true in slide film which when fogged is totally clear). If the film is fogged edge to edge or close to it and there are no visible images, then the back door of the camera was opened prior to the film being rewound into its cannister inadvertently, and the exposure to light causes fogging. We operate a partial refund policy for completely fogged films that have no scannable images, charging only for the processing, we will refund the difference for the services requested for the fogged film.
    We always recommend getting old films developed otherwise you will always be left wondering! When we receive older film, whilst we will do our utmost to provide the best results possible, due to the age of the film, you can expect the colour to have deteriorated somewhat over time - there would be no knowing of the exact results until it has been processed. It is worth noting that we are only able to process C-41 / black and white / ECN-2 films. There are some older films that require different chemicals (such as C-22 and CNS) that we are unfortunately unable to process. If you are unsure of what chemistry your film needs for processing feel free to send us some pictures of the film and we will do our best to work this out for you! It is worth noting that if your old film turns out to be blank or there are no scannable images that we operate a partial refund policy charging only for the processing. This means, if the film came out blank, we would action a refund for the difference for any services requested with your order.
    Double or multiple exposure on a roll of film is a photographic technique where two or more exposures are made on a single frame, creating a single image with combined elements from each exposure. This can be done intentionally for artistic effects or accidentally. Accidental double exposure can happen if an already exposed but unprocessed film is reloaded into the camera. It may also occur due to a winding fault in the camera, where the mechanism fails to advance the film by a full frame, causing overlapping exposures. Additionally, if the film is not properly loaded and does not advance with the winding mechanism, multiple shots can be taken on a single frame.



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