Keeping Film (and 12×12) Alive

Posted by on September 23, 2010 at 9:29 am.

There was never a question that film would be the medium used for the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon. It seemed a sound idea at the time but we quickly discovered that film (and in particular, 12 exposure film) for all its amazing qualities, is a dying technology. A call to Kodak Canada all but confirmed it, especially when the person on the other end of the line started referring to a “Death List” for the different types of film the company produces. So what we thought would be one of the simplest tasks – procuring film and development – started looking like one of the trickiest. As those of you who have followed this story from the beginning know, actually getting a hold of 60 rolls of 12 exposure film for the event turned into a nail biter and we were only able to get the last 20 rolls for 2009 the day before the marathon. Our rescuer? London Drugs. Not only that, they also came forward to cover the cost of all our development, scanning, printing, and even provided enlargements for our theme winners!

For 2010, London Drugs stepped up well in advance of the event and offered not only to take on development and printing as the year before, but also to provide all the film for the event. This kind of support is invaluable for an event like ours. So why would a big company like that want to support such a project? Well, it may surprise you to learn that its President and CEO Wynne Powell is an avid photographer and that many of the photos you see blown up in huge prints around the stores are actually taken by him. London Drugs still does full in-house film development and printing, not only of 35mm film but also 110, APS and more. They even print from 120 film, the development of which has to be sent out due to its delicate nature and complicated preparation process. Judging by the overall trend towards digital as the only photographic medium, it seems like London Drugs’ promise of sticking with film for the long haul might very well mean it could become one of the rare places where you can get your rolls developed in the future.

All the rolls for the 2010 12×12 have been shot, developed, scanned, printed and are as you read this, being adjudicated by our panel of judges which includes ET Canada’s Erin Cebula, VPW Director Marc Koegel, the dynamic duo of Adam & Kev from Adam & Kev Photography, and 12×12 Committee member John Biehler. Come October 16th, you will see the 700+ prints on the walls of Vancouver Photo Workshops – for one night only. It will be a gala event you will not want to miss.


  • Vincent says:

    Hi, I’m new to film photography. I’ve picked up a medium format camera but don’t know where to go to get my 120mm films developed and printed. I’ve stumbled upon this page in my search.

    You mentioned that London Drugs still processes and prints 120 films, is that still true? If so, would it be a square print (I didn’t see any square print on their website), and would you happen to know how much it would cost?

  • Wayne says:

    Hi Vincent,

    We can print any of the print sizes from a 120 roll of film. Keep in mind that the camera determines the negative size – they vary from 6×4.5 to 6X6 to 6X7 and even larger. Depending on the size we either print in house or ship to our outlab.

    We send 120 and 220 negatives to our outlab for development. 120 Black and White or Color Film developing is $5.99. 220 Black and White or Color Film developing is $9.99. 4×4 or 4×6 prints are $1.18 each and are printed at our London Drugs location at 41st & Victoria. Larger prints are developed at our outlab which tend to be slightly more expensive.

    Let me know if you need any other info.


  • Vincent says:

    Thank you so much for the info, Wayne!

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