Always running into problems with the security at airports. They only seem to understand that film 800 speed and higher should be hand inspected. But what does one do with exposed 4×5 film? If they open the box of film, poof… no more pictures.
No two airports are consistent. Curious how others deal with this.
TSA Film guidelines


  1. BigBabyGenius
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Quickload baby! (This is the only way I’ve been able to get hand inspections on sheet film)

  2. Posted June 13, 2006 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Daivd. Been there and it’s a very expensive place! 😉

  3. Posted June 13, 2006 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Right after they started to enforce this rule (although not all do) I was flying from ORD to LGA. I had just finished a very important project that I had been working on for over a year. I didn’t have time to develop in town so I took my box of exposed 4×5 into the airport like I had done many times before. I ask for a hand-check, they proceed to open the film. “WAIT!! what are you doing? you can’t open that, its exposed film”. “I have to open it, new rules, anything hand-checked has to be opened and examined.” At this point I became hysterical and decided that all I could do was lie.
    Extremely long story short. One of the TSA guys remembered that another guy was a photographer. The photographer TSA guy looks at the box, shakes it and says “let this kid go, its just film”.


  4. BigBabyGenius
    Posted June 16, 2006 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Usually the TSA guys say that the boxes have to have the factory seal on it unless they are going to pop it open. Do you think there’s a place to find a surplus of Fuji and Kodak Stickers?

  5. Posted June 16, 2006 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Hah! David that would be perfect!

    Any luck shipping exposed film FedEx or otherwise?

  6. Posted June 17, 2006 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    The photographer Kathleen Shafer was working on a blog to document TSA atrocities

  7. Posted July 9, 2006 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    There are no real standards, and most security guards are unaware that cameras come in sizes other than DSLR or celphone.

    You might find PhotoPermit.Org‘s information useful.

    Great stuff at Koch, btw – saw it yesterday!

  8. Posted July 10, 2006 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes. I’ve heard Burtynsky has tons of problems with this as well and often brings copies of his books to ‘explain’. Ugh…
    Thanks for the comments on the show. Glad you liked.

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