Disposable Cameras

Months ago--I'm honestly not even sure how many ago--my grandmother handed me a Kodak disposable camera. She willed me to take some pictures with it, some images of my travels between Indiana and Iowa, I'm sure. I kept it for a few seasons, left it in a shoebox with my camera cords and flash drives, waiting. Waiting for something interesting, waiting for a time when I would need to seek solace and peace behind a lens.

Last week, I finally used the camera. That one and another one, actually. However, I did manipulate the cameras and film a bit.

The first camera yielded softer results of which I wasn't entirely a fan. That gave me my first lesson: don't scratch and etch the lens as much. Though I enjoyed the softer, rounded edges, I did not take to the overall fuzziness. I also tried to color the flash with a Sharpie, which didn't make too much of a difference (lesson two). The most fun part of the first camera's manipulation was the melting (I held a few matches to the lens until things boiled and bubbled and puckered and warped).

In truth, I really liked the results of the second camera. I colored the flash and the lens this time with a Sharpie, which I hoped would give the film a warmer, pinkish undertone. I softened the edges of the lens with a pin, leaving the majority of the little glass bubble unscathed. I also placed the camera in the freezer overnight, which allowed condensation to form on the film.

It was, quite honestly, expensive to have both of the rolls developed. I haven't ordered actual film in years, so I was quite clueless as to how much it cost. However, the results are irreplaceable and, despite my disappointment with the first roll, I learned a few valuable lessons in the art of manipulating disposable cameras. I actually have plans for a third camera which, like the first, now rests with memory cards and cords, flash drives and chargers. It waits within its silver package, a present to myself. I am eager to explore double exposures and over-saturation with it, and look forward to the time when I finally peel back its sleek wrapping, when the enveloping and delicious scent of film will encompass me.

If you would like to see more from both rolls of film, you can look here.


  1. I love love love the result!! It´s true that to develop can be so expensive but the photos are great!, I love the light, color....on them! I am also looking for an old camera, I hope I find one soon!

  2. I love the results! They look so dream-like. I'm definitely going to be giving this a try!

  3. These are great! I love that you're so adventurous with film; unfortunately I cannot say the same for myself, I just have this really narrow sense of what a "good" picture is when the photographer is me! :)

  4. That's so cool that you altered the film like that! They turned out really cool.

  5. What a treat! Don't mind if I go around destroying (ahem, altering*) disposable cameras from now on. :)
    In fact!
    Found a disposable camera while packing my apartment, and I've been using it to document our move. The roll in it has was partially shot back in '06 (what forgotten treasures it must contain...!)
    The camera has a bit of a light leak, and a lot of chromatic aberration. Can't wait to see the results.

  6. The second last photo is absolutely beautiful, you are such a creative spirit!


  7. i LOVE these :) i don't think i could ever go back to just using a roll of film (like we used to before digital came along!) because i really do love my digital slr, but i love the randomness of film. plus nothing beats that anxious wait to get the roll developed and flip through the photos to see how they turned out. well done, can't wait to see more :) x

  8. These are wonderful photos. It is what I love about analog, the surprise of seeing the images for the first time after waiting for them to be developed. My favorite is the top photo, I can see it as a large wall print:))

  9. This is so awesome that I've linked to this post on my blog! (The post is due to come out next week.)

  10. really really nice, great colors.
    second last, wow, spot on!

    i also like disposable, still havent tried to color flash and lens, but i'll do it in my next camera!
    check out what came out of my rolls: http://giuglialago.blogspot.de

  11. Anyone know what Sharpie colours are best to colour the lens with?

    1. The only Sharpie colors I have ever tried are red and pink. The red one definitely made more of an impact than the pink one did. I'd be curious to try a blue or green one--the hues might come across as richer. I would suggest buying two or three and just making an experiment out of it!


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