THE JOY OF FOUND PHOTOGRAPHS – INTRIGUE AND ASSUMPTION!
A GOLDEN BEAUTY
A few weeks ago I was sorting through a very old cupboard of equipment at VC and found a stash of old and antiquated camera’s.
Most of which where not much interest – the sort of thing you can pick up at any car boot for pence. However, amongst the hoard, I spotted a particularly fine Box Brownie – not the usual really old type either, but an all together snazzier more beautiful version. The Brownie F to be exact.
This golden beauty stared up at me and begged to be freed from her prison and I was happy to oblige. However, this was only part of the treat, inside, lay the ultimate gift – a film! I love it when I find an old camera that still has a film in it – in fact, you can often find me riffling through the camera’s in charity shops – just in case one contains the golden nugget of an undeveloped film. Rarely, however, do I come up with the goods.
This find was especially exciting because it was a Medium Format film and I had literally no idea where it had come from, who had donated it to the college or when the film was taken…so I developed it.
The film was starting to degrade quite badly and there were only 3 exposures that actually were images – after that, it is like the camera died.
FOUND IMAGES & UNEXPOSED NEGATIVES
What I love about a find like this is that all you have of the person whose camera and film it was – are the images you develop from the negatives. The only information and insight into their lives are contained here in a chemical reaction with light. A fragment of their time is given in those negatives for someone like me to look at, make judgements from and share a very small part of their life. No doubt at the time of taking the photo’s, the photographer would not have considered a stranger would be developing them years in the future, most probably they were private images for a private audience.
I particularly love this set of images because it is almost as if they are the lust mutterings of a dying camera. It degrades as the images progress – finishing with a cough of light and marks as though it were the last breath it had left.
What we can get about the owner from the images on the negatives I do not know – but I thought I would share them with you along with my thoughts.
This find has inspired me to dig out my other found negative collection and see what treats they have in store.
THREE GLIMPSES AT ANOTHER LIFE
I wonder what conclusions people might draw about my life based on a small selection of photo’s they may one day come across.
I also wonder why it is so interesting to peer into other people’s lives we don’t know and never will.