Back in June, I was excited to post my results in the first Shitty Camera Challenge. At the time, the results were completely appropriate for the camera I used at the time, and I still lie awake at night wondering how my life would have been different, had I been selected (at random) as that contest’s winner, making me the proud owner of a vinyl copy of Chicago’s first album.
I’ve managed o work through the trauma and the self blame, and have taken all of that guilt and remorse and squeezed it into a tiny ball and tucked it away in the recesses of my large intestine. Appropriate, given the name of the contest. I’ve turned over a new leaf, because it’s October, and a new challenge has unfolded on Twitter.
I searched far and wide for the camera to be used in this month’s challenge, and I came up with this wonderful plastic Samyang no-name camera that comes with tele and wide options, auto focus, and a built in automatic flash that still works.
It came to me with a roll of film already inside – maybe 5 or so exposures already taken. I happily went off and snapped the rest of the roll, developed it in my kitchen sink, and was surprised to see that all of the photos were completely identical:
Given my past performance in this event, my fragile self-esteem was already shattered, and I would have given up at this point, but I had already started a new roll by the time I realized the extent of my failure. It took the rest of the month for my noticeably less enthusiastic self to complete that roll, and when I hit the “rewind” button on the camera, it made a grinding sound, but nothing else. The battery was OK (the flash still worked) but I had to pull the film out of the camera in the dark, using some force. A metal pin, which may have been the cause or the result of my problems, came tumbling out with the film.
When I unrolled the film from the developing spool, my worst fears were confirmed when I didn’t see any pictures on the film.
But then I looked closer, and I could see faint shapes and shadows when I held the film in front of a lamp, and so I decided to run it through the scanner after all. And to my surprise I learned that I had a full roll of horribly underexposed photos. A bit of enhancement in Lightroom to see the images and it seemed that about halfway through, something happened which caused all of the photos to have long scratches/scrapes horizontally. All perfectly legal and appropriate for this type of contest. Here are some of my favorites. The first three are from the island of Anjouan, in the Comoros; the rest are in and around Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Did I win?