What is swabbing film? What do the Homeland Security folk hope to find?
I had this happen to me flying out of New Orleans. As it turned out my camera bag picked up some trace of gunshot residue and their equipment detected it. TSA agents literally spent 45 minutes hovered over 36 rolls of 35mm film. In the meantime I was boxed into a corner by three of them and it was clear they meant business.
While my line of sight was partially obscured by the TSA boys I could see a tech swabbing cassettes. Happily they let me go in time...just in time...to catch my flight.
Well, just came back. Love the Downtown Portland vibe. Wish I had a chance to drop by Blue Moon but managed to check out some of the other stores. Not having to pay tax made it very tempting to buy more than I needed!
(Pro Photo Supply, Camera World, Shutter Bug).
The train ride to the border and bus ride back were very uneventful in terms of having to take my film. On the way to the Amtrak train, we did have to have our bags scanned. I told the guard at the Xray machine that I had film and he actually told me to take it out and he scanned the rest of my stuff. No harm to film.
Bus ride back we didn't get any Xray scanning of anything but I heard they usually do.
Anyways, the main take away from this is that it's always good to have film separated and be prepared for them to swab it if they're really picky. However, my experience was pretty lenient and so my film is back in the fridge to be processed... without any xray exposure.
Didn't get too much of a chance to take street photos but I did ask people if they wouldn't mind if they took their picture. All the stores I asked were happy to let me take photographs in their stores as well. A good experience overall.
It's been a while since I've ridden a train - but they x-ray luggage on trains now?
The last train I took near Portland and the like was the coast Amtrak from Union Station in LA all the way up to Seattle - then a bus through the border. This was all the way back 30 years ago for Expo '86 in Vancouver. I remember giving the border agents my *report card* as evidence of US citizenship and nobody had any problem with it. I was around 10 years old at the time.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.