Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Old Film Never Dies

I was in the basement a couple days ago, digging onto the file cabinet that houses all my transparencies from the '80s and '90s, when I came across an exposed roll of Tri-x labeled 2/6/97. It was the last few feet of a 100 foot reel I had bulk loaded back when I was working at a lab downtown.

I quit working at the lab before having that last roll processed and I just never got around to doing anything with it, until this week. I had no idea what, if any, images would be on the film. So with nothing to lose I souped it in Diafine and was more than surprised with the results. Not only were there images, but the density of the negs was right on the money, with good contrast too.

The really funny thing is that about a week ago I had been thinking of some images I shot in the West Portal MUNI station way back when. I was in the station recently and noticed it hadn't changed much at all since I shot those pictures.

You can imagine my surprise when I pulled that roll of 16 year old film out of the tank to see those very images. There they were as if I had shot them yesterday.

It's interesting how memory works, or doesn't work. For some reason I remembered these images all these years without ever seeing prints or even the negatives. I just remembered making them and what I was looking at as I pressed the shutter. There are images I have made just earlier this year that I look at and have to ask my self, "Where the hell was I when I shot that?"

That's just how it works, I guess.

Photo: ©1997 David W. Sumner

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