** Happy WORLD Photography Day ** To celebrate, I will give airtime to a special find.
It is a long story and needs its own page, but the summary: a camera found in an old house. A film in the camera. I took it to ORMS in Cape Town, to see if we can get the film developed. It was worth a shot (excuse the pun). The staff at ORMS was not positive (so many puns) but gave it a go. Chances were that the kodak film was too old and it would come out blank. I could not tell them how old it was. We could only speculate. They called in some favours and took special care to develop.
I received a call about 10 days later: “I think you need to come in”.
I expected maybe snapshots of a Sunday afternoon family gathering in the garden or around the house on the farm. Or maybe a few pictures of the grandchildren. If any pictures at all. What greeted me was a little more than a surprise.
Not only was the film in perfect condition, what was captured and brought to life was photos of an elderly lady’s last adventurous trip overseas. Possibly the last trip she ever did and probably the last set of pics she ever took. The owner of the camera was Christo’s gran. She passed away in 2006 and we cleared the house of old family furniture, kitchen goods, boxes filled with poetry and prose. She started travelling at the age of 65 and died just before her 90th birthday. We had more than my husband in common and this was my most treasured find.
The pictures below are what was on the film. I have no idea when or where they were taken. We have tried to work out, and according to the family it is most likely around 1977-1985.
That made the preserved film around 26 years old.
The pictures you see below HAVE NOT BEEN TOUCHED for colour or exposure at all.
I simply downsized the file to easily load for internet viewing. No edit. No filter. What you see is the result of the original Kodak Colour film, printed and scanned. Magical and mysterious.
“A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” – Ansel Adams
I wonder where she was, what she thought, who she was with. But who knows? We can only look at it and make up our own story. For her and for us. You are welcome to speculate and dream with me.
“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” – Ansel Adams
The camera is on display on our bookshelf in Cape Town. I also have a few others, older, on the same shelf. The collection in our house also include my first film camera, my first digital SLR (a Nikon D70 – it took a long time for me to finally convert), my pocket digital Olympus and few more.
Photograpahy is on the shortlist of the things that make my eyes sparkle, and good old fashioned analogue photography is right at the top.
Happy snapping, whether you are using your smartphone, SLR or pinhole-shoebox -homemade camera. Keep making memories and enjoy life’s view.