The Lost Film
You know, it always seems to be black and white films that I lose. I once wrote here; about the joy of rediscovering photos you took more than a little while ago. The last time it happened it was unquestionably my fault. This time, however, I can’t take all the blame. I shot the Abu Dhabi films and then sent them away to be developed and scanned. I exfiltrated myself back to New Zealand via the charity of friends and family, one day finally feeling settled enough to review the UAE.
I had carried home with me the CD of scans, not the negatives and alway felt slightly ajar at feeling there was more than the 5 films scanned. But, my negatives were with friends in England and buried in a rude pile of abandoned belongings. So, for the last 6 months, I have mulled, mentally ruminated and subconsciously remonstrated (the film lab who may have short changed me a scan).
In an unexpected but truly cherished display of friendship, my abandoned belongings have been sorted, packed and shipped to me. Carefully chosen and placed in the parcels was an envelope of negatives. The joy of being reunited with trinkets and curios which hold unexpected sentimental value is a true joy. But the vindication of 6 months of subconscious wringing and throes is a sublime delight indeed.
After a visit to my local and so far faultless lab I have been reunited with 37 frames I had lost. Which are 37 frames I almost didn’t care for. I carried black and white film with me to Abu Dhabi, and immediately regretted my decision, when assaulted by the quality and quantity of light. Desert winter light is rich but subtle, abundant and rewarding.
This film was loaded and shot in haste: perhaps this is why I find it so rewarding? Partly as it was lost, but partly as it was never worth much to begin with. Much like the worn and sea tumbled slate tile I picked up from a Purbeck beach, I use it as a coaster, and it has only just been reunited with me. I like it, despite because of its lack of obvious value.