When you think about it, enjoying photography is kind of like eavesdropping on a conversation or looking over a stranger’s shoulder to see what he’s reading. It’s through photographs that we gaze at a reality only experienced by the person pressing the shutter button. We see a world we have no right to see, since we weren’t there at that precise place, at that exact time! We are voyeurs, peeping toms, mamboboso.
That Being John Malkovich feeling, this is mainly why I like reading photography books – collections or portfolios rather than how-tos. It’s also why I like rummaging through old photos in antique stores and why I am always on the lookout for orphaned rolls of exposed film, whether they be undeveloped rolls found in your grandmother’s baul or mystery rolls you find in thrift shops and junk shops.
A couple of weeks ago, while digging through the stuff at my favorite Japanese surplus store, I came across a used Konica C35 EF. The price was right and the camera was in remarkably good condition, but what sealed the deal was my realization that there was still some film inside. The indicator told me five shots had been taken. What could be on those five shots?
I’ve tried my hand with mystery film twice before, with poor results. The first roll, picked up from an antique dealer, came out totally blank. Another roll that came with my Kiev 88 had really bad photos of someone’s leftover spaghetti. I mean, wtf? Maybe the third time’s the charm?
I think so. Here are the results.