Blog & News

The hidden (or forgotten) world of analog photography

A year or so ago (2021, in any case) I found two old unused rolls of Kodak film, which had expired in 2006. They were the last two of a box with 20 film rolls that I bought because they were cheap, precisely because they were about to expire . Back then, shooting pictures was expensive: the camera wasn’t cheap, neither was film and it was limited (24 or 36 exposures), and developing it was also expensive, if it was done frequently. That’s why I tried to save money in what was my hobby at the time; buying expired or expired film, looking for cheap places where to develop film, etc.

So, I dusted off my old Zenit SLR camera, which I hadn’t used for at least 15 years, and loaded it with the film. I didn’t know what would come out of it; I didn’t know if the film might not work anymore, or if it would have been exposed. I also didn’t know what state the camera was in. The internal photometer did not work, so I used a photometry app on the phone, and with those values I adjusted the diaphragm and shutter of the camera. Someone recommended me, because it was an expired film, to measure as if it were one point less than the ISO of the film, in this case it was an ISO 100 film, so I measured as if it were an ISO 50.


I had to relearn some stuff and drop some habits acquired with digital. First, not to make three, four, five shots of the same photo, “just to be sure” or have different shots. I had a limited film stock and wanted to take advantage of it. Second, I had to re-learn to compose visually with a relatively “closed” objective, unlike the wide-angle lenses of cell phone cameras. And finally, to be patient and wait for the stock to finish to develop the film and see the picture.



The whole process was uncertain, not knowing very well what was happening. Not knowing if the photo had been framed correctly, because I couldn’t see it after shooting; not knowing if something was actually being exposed, because I didn’t know if the camera was working well, nor if the roll was still good, or if maybe the emulsion had come off. After all, 15 years had passed, and perhaps a few more, since the film was manufactured. And finally, the roll got stuck inside the camera: it didn’t move any further. So one night I turned off the lights, went into a closet and closed the door, as a precaution that it wouldn’t be exposed when I got out the film (I didn’t know if it had rolled up again or was still in the camera). Luckily it turned out well and I got it to develop.


The results is as unexpected as familiar. The pictures feel alive, they are interesting even the trivial ones, unlike cell photos or even DSLRs, which I feel (and of course this is subjective) “too reals”.


I think that the reasons I feel them more alive and interesting are they way I shot them. The camera is heavy and umcomfortable, you have to dedicate a thought to where to place it. Furthermore, as I was assuming a lesser sensitivity of the film, I limited myself to situations with lots of natural light, or I had to be very still to use a slower shutter speed (1/60 or 1/30), narrowing the shots to portraits and landscapes. The lens also plays a role, bieng 50mm, it allows to blur the background in a portrait, but in a very natural way. Finally, the effect of the expired film made the pictures have a particular tone, with accents on greens, reds and yellows, with fairly weak blues. In brief, this are unique photos, which main ingredient is patience and randomness.

All images in this post were shot in 2021 and 2022, and have not been edited.


Blog & News

New track: “Las Calores de Febrero”

In the southern hemisphere there’s full winter and still very cold. That’s why I wanted to remember the “calores de febrero” (the heat of February), which is summer here; hot days where we’re drowning in sweat and the heat is roasting us, but also we can walk barefoot, and at night wear just a shirt and shorts, and the laundry dries quickly, and there are watermelons, and melons , and peaches… ah, I miss summer.

I had finished this track last February, but for some inscrutable reason hadn’t published it. As always, I invite you to listen to it, and if you like it, to share it.

Cover design: Patricio Pacheco

Also on SoundCloud:

Blog & News

Some stuff I used to make in Blender..

20 years ago, I spent a lot of time playing in Blender, the 3D creation program. These is a small sample of what I made in those days.

Algun tipo de pájaro?

Some kind of bird? © 2002


Jugando con la especularidad © 2001

Playing with specularity © 2002


Templo del Agua

Temple of Water © 2002

Blog & News

1 year of “Eclipse”, my first album

On December 11, 2020, “Eclipse”, my first solo album, was released on digital platforms. I thank everyone  who has listened to it, and I invite you to listen to it again on the occasion of this anniversary:

Also, to celebrate the occasion, I have made the album available for free download. To do it, just enter your email in the following link:

Thanks again for your support!

Alvaro Medina Garcia

Blog & News

“La Travesia” (The Journey”) in digital platforms

“La Travesia” (“The Journey”), a theme I made some years ago, arrived to Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Youtube and etc. It’s an epic-orchestral theme that I basically composed and arranged in my head when riding my bike to the last office job I had. Maybe you heard it when I published it in Soundcloud, maybe not; anyway, I invite you to listen it in Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube and other platforms, and share it with your friends, if you liked it.



Apple Music


The art from the cover is from digital artist @jplenio,  who creates very evocative and moving illustrations, and shares them free, as this one. Be sure to check him!

Blog & News Ideas and Improvisations

Bass Station II Synth Impro #3 (aug-2019)

Perhaps one of the most “experimental” tracks I have done. Again, a track with the Bass Station II synth, which capabilities never ceases to amaze me.

Blog & News Ideas and Improvisations

Impro – Delay Feedback (apr-2020)

You don’t know how much fun I had playing with this. Feedback and modulation of the delay effect, resulting in a crescendo coupling and pitch variation, producing something like a bad record player.

Blog & News Ideas and Improvisations

Impro Drums (18-may-2020)

An experiment starting from an almost random (“hand-drawn”) pattern of midi notes to the “CASSETTE 606” plugin, a free virtual electronic drum set, processed with tape and delay emulators.


Blog & News Ideas and Improvisations

Bass Station II Impro #2 (may 2020)

This improvisation is an experiment with the Bass Station 2 synth’s arpeggiator and filter. A 3-note ostinato, over an electronic drum pattern. The ostinato is mutating by the different positions of the filter, distortion, portamento, etc., of the synthesizer.



Blog & News Ideas and Improvisations

Bass Station II Synth Impro – 2/oct/2020

From this week on I will start to publish some synths improvisations that I made, mostly during the quarantine of this year, and some from previous years. I start with this impro on the Bass Station 2 synthesizer that I made at the beginning of this month.

These improvisations are experiments, part exploration of ideas, part exploration of the different instruments and effects and their limits. They do not necessarily have a “theme”, a beginning or an end, although broadly they do express a musical idea, or several, that are mutating at the moment. These experiments are, therefore, a “snapshot” of a moment, without rehearsing or editing.

Ingresa tu e-mail para recibir novedades

Copyright © 2023 Alvaro Medina García