Friday, April 26, 2019

35mm Mystery

In late 1996 or 1997, when I was just out of high school and thinking I might major in photography, I took a photography class a local junior college. It wasn't very practical, and had a little crush on my photography instructor, a very talented photographer quite a few years older that I was. At that time, I bought a Pentax K-1000 camera at a pawn shop, because I needed a 35mm camera with all manual settings. Although I absolutely loved the class, which taught me technique and how to develop in a darkroom, it was the first and last time I used that camera. It's in my garage, collecting dust. During a manic shopping-spree moment, I replaced it with an expensive digital camera a few years ago, which I also don't use much.

Due to some things happening in my life at that time, I never did finish that photography class. I wasn't much in a place in my life where I cared about things like passing classes. Much to the chagrin of my present self, in addition to being impractical, I was also frivolous. Until this morning, I didn't even remember I took that class. Then, going through an old keepsake box in my spare bedroom, I found a roll of 35mm film still in the canister. The tab is rolled in, so the film has been used.

Shaking it out from inside the plastic canister, the outside of the roll is somehow rusty. Considering it's 22 or 23 years old, that's not too surprising, though I have no idea how it could have gotten like that. The roll is still firmly sealed, it doesn't look like any light has gotten inside. So, I'm thinking it might be able to be developed... maybe.

There are, of course, a few problems with that. The first is a simple matter of where. Where can you get 35mm film developed anymore? I'm likely going to have to mail it somewhere. The other problems are a little bit more complex. I have no idea what's on that roll of film. Zero idea. I'm a little bit afraid of what it might be. I would imagine it can't be anything too risque, but who knows? And what if that film isn't mine? What if it's something from one of Matt's grandfather or mother's old boxes? I wouldn't imagine it is, but who the hell knows? Since the film is black and white, it's almost certainly a relic from that long ago class.

I think I'll write to some people who develop film, send them a picture of the roll and canister, and find out if they think it can be developed. Worth a shot, right? And, at this point, my curiosity is killing me.

1 comment:

  1. Unless you were doing naughty photo shoots back then (haha), I wouldn't be scared of the film. The whole thing is so mysterious and intriguing! The irony, of course, being that you'll spend all this time wondering what's on that film, only to discover it contains three pics: One of a tree, one of your dog, and one of the ground you accidentally snapped. Lol. Kind of cool though. I'd totally develop it!
    P.S. Off topic, but I learned about old-school photography and film developing processes for Black Lilies, and man was it fascinating stuff!

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