One of the fun aspects of “found film” is the fact that it’s usually old, and developing it opens a window into a forgotten past, maybe involving forgotten people. But this week’s roll is an oddity in that it’s not that old at all. Which I find strange.
I picked this up as one of six rolls on eBay, identified as, “Six exposed rolls of mystery! I have no idea what’s on these, shot by me and some friends long ago.”
It turns out that “long ago” is a relative term – these are photos from San Francisco from 2000 or after. How do we know? Well, there’s this Toyota Prius, for one:
Someone who knows a bit about late-model cars could probably nudge this estimate a few years forward based on the cars in the photo below:
The seller suggested his film’s buyer “develop them as is, or run them through your camera for a double exposure treat!” What I find odd is that someone took a bunch of pictures just a few years ago, probably remembers the circumstances in which they took the pictures, and yet chose not to develop them, instead selling them on eBay. This first roll I chose to develop, I never expected to get any photos whatsoever. It’s a 3200 ASA roll of black and white film – extremely sensitive. They say you shouldn’t put anything above 800 through the airport security scanners, as it’s sensitive to radiation – so I expected a 3200 roll would have degraded quickly over time through ambient radiation. Yet the photos came out crisp and clear.
In addition to city scenes like this one:
the photographer also took a few “artsy” shots on this roll. Like this one, which I particularly like, and about 4 shots of…feet. I only posted one.
There are a couple of people shots too. Like this guy, for instance, who may fancy himself a boxer.
But what I find most interesting about this roll of film – and the biggest proof of its recency – it that it was shot in the “age of the selfie.” Because it includes a shot of the photographer, and the camera he used to take the photos.