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October 27, 2005 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Retrieved photos: This fellow develops film that has been locked away in cameras, often for a long time. Some interesting photos. The commentary under the photos is a bit ... lackluster. A nice little site to waste a little time with.
posted by edgeways (49 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
love these--thanks!

this pic of the 2 women is so off.
posted by amberglow at 12:36 PM on October 27, 2005


Very cool!

The first few frames seem to be documenting a funeral service. It's ironic that most of the people in these photographs have most likely had their own funeral services by now.

*nods*
posted by malpractice at 12:40 PM on October 27, 2005


Excellent site...the image of two women amberglow is talking about looks a LOT like a spot in Monroe NY...like, I need to dig through my pics to see if I ever got that angle...
What a great hobby to have, developing old film...I really like some of these shots.
posted by gren at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2005


Oh I don't know, I like the commentary...
This is Ethyl's little boy "Jimmy." Today he's an eight-track cartridge repairman. I think that's a camper behind him or else it's a tractor trailer and Jimmy's playing next to the highway.

He's looking at his mother who is telling him to smile but Jimmy refuses to do so. I'll bet he's thinking about what's locked up in his genes. His clown festooned pail lies empty. We're left wondering if that little shovel he's holding is robust enough to dig a proper hole in that tough looking soil.

posted by lyam at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2005


Muthafuckin cool ass site.
posted by spicynuts at 12:48 PM on October 27, 2005


Supercool.
posted by raedyn at 12:57 PM on October 27, 2005


This site just keeps getting better and better..between the spookiness of the actual photos and the genuine wackiness of the author, it's like a gold mine. Check out the background on this page. Spiderwebs?? Poetry?? Hell yeah!
posted by spicynuts at 12:58 PM on October 27, 2005


Brilliant:
Here's Dad. He took the photo of Mom above I bet. Then he handed her the camera and struck this "Dad" pose. Mom clicked the shutter and made this picture no one would see until today. I know guy was outgoing and friendly. A retired barber no doubt. He spent weekends with his wife in their trailer. They play poker with friends now and then and Dad thinks his wife is the greatest. Somehow he doesn't look like a VW bug kind of guy. Maybe his wacky son was visiting for the weekend.
posted by lyam at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2005


Spiderwebs?? Poetry?? Hell yeah!

Yeah, that's the one behind the link "please let me go back to sleep"

Periodically I get a mental image of uncle sam sitting in the midst of all the accoutrements of a Crystal Meth binge. Maybe he's been injecting. Whatever it is, he must stay awake.

Here's a US flag.
Here's some asymmetrical growth due to power lines.
posted by nervousfritz at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2005


The commentary here was especially cool.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:09 PM on October 27, 2005


Woah. Is that really Lincoln?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:10 PM on October 27, 2005


Excellent post edgeways.
posted by a3matrix at 1:16 PM on October 27, 2005


Ok..this is just insane....look at the expression on the lion's face:


posted by spicynuts at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2005


Kevin: nah man, the camera used to take that photo didn't exist during Lincoln's time.
posted by grimcity at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2005


this is a good camera to bring to a fight. Because it's like a stone. Maybe "stoning" would be a better description of an enjoyable time.

Dogs, ever faithful, have no need for celebrations of death.

Why can't we be more faithful, dammit? Like dogs? Semper Fi. Like, marines, they're always faithful. They have no need for celeb-- oh wait.

trait to be admired in a man from so long ago. Apparently he even constructed a wind-bag to determine optimum drying conditions. The basket in his left hand was one of his favorites.

Good old grampa. Crazy basket case hasn't gotten laid in 40 some odd years. I wonder why? Well it's because gramma's so old. Here's some pictures of Bushs.
posted by nervousfritz at 1:19 PM on October 27, 2005


... Dad's retired from The Post Office recently. He's a bitter man. His kids don't talk to him and it drives him crazy that his wife married John Speedy the muffler tycoon.--from the awful vacation pages
posted by amberglow at 1:27 PM on October 27, 2005


for real, is that REALLY Lincoln? No way, right? I THINK they had cameras back in his time but I never seen an actual photo of him.. he looks too normal in that pic..
posted by pez_LPhiE at 1:30 PM on October 27, 2005


He doesn't look depressed enough to be lincoln.
posted by lyam at 1:32 PM on October 27, 2005




You are being sarcastic, right? They didn't have FILM back in Lincoln's day. They shot on glass or metal plates.

posted by spicynuts at 1:50 PM on October 27, 2005


ah shit...I was responding to this: for real, is that REALLY Lincoln?
posted by spicynuts at 1:51 PM on October 27, 2005


Damn, I never knew there was a Sears Tower in the 1950s.
posted by dhartung at 2:07 PM on October 27, 2005


That can't be Lincoln, because they're walking near the Lincoln Tomb.

People have always liked to dress up as him, for some reason.
posted by dhartung at 2:17 PM on October 27, 2005


This site is awesome, I love found history like this.
posted by Mitheral at 2:21 PM on October 27, 2005


What a great collection of pictures -- nice, sexy grain everywhere, photoartifacts galore, gorgeous! I love these two kids, adorable. Is he holding a cane, polio, perhaps?
posted by undule at 2:22 PM on October 27, 2005


This site is astounding. Best of the web! This is my favourite shot.



I knew an artist once who bought out the inventory of unclaimed photos from a bankrupt photofinisher. He had tens of thousands of prints just like these, and spent years imagining the stories he had come to "own".
posted by 327.ca at 2:34 PM on October 27, 2005


I've been meaning to post an Ask.Mefi about this, so I'll take advantage of this thread.

My grandfather gave me a mid-70s 35mm SLR recently. I was surprised to open it and find that there's film in there. Can I get this developed? Do I need to provide any special instructions to do so? Is there any specialty lab to which I should send old film?
posted by waldo at 2:34 PM on October 27, 2005


As long as the film was rewound into the cassette when you opened it, you may be able to recover the photos. (If it wasn't rewound, then it was probably fogged when you opened the camera.) If it's black-and-white film, then you may be able to get a local wedding/portrait photographer to develop them. (Look for a small studio that's been in business for a long time.) They might be more careful than a lab and might actually enjoy the challenge.
posted by 327.ca at 2:40 PM on October 27, 2005


waldo writes "I was surprised to open it and find that there's film in there. Can I get this developed?"

Was the film rewound? If not it's probably ruined. If it was is there any writing on the outside of the canister. C-41, E-6 and Kodachrome have been around for a long time and can still be developed by an actual lab (not wal-mart or some chain photo place). Knowing the process will let you determine the difficulty in getting it developed.
posted by Mitheral at 2:42 PM on October 27, 2005


Wow, this stuff is fantastic. Thanks!
posted by PHINC at 2:57 PM on October 27, 2005


Yet another reason to love metafilter.
posted by huzzahhuzzah at 3:04 PM on October 27, 2005


This is wonderful. I love the stories he's made up from each photo - I find myself doing that a lot.

Makes me want to pick up a Kodak Brownie off of eBay, and set out in my neighborhood. Anyone know if they'll run off of regular black and white film, or would I need to hunt down antique film too?
posted by kalimac at 3:11 PM on October 27, 2005


Makes me want to pick up a Kodak Brownie off of eBay, and set out in my neighborhood. Anyone know if they'll run off of regular black and white film, or would I need to hunt down antique film too?

Technically, there are a lot of ways you could take photos like these, including a digital camera and a bit of Photoshop -- but I think the magic here is the vanished world they were taken in.
posted by 327.ca at 3:39 PM on October 27, 2005


... I never seen an actual photo of him.. he looks too normal in that pic.. -pez_LPhiE

Here ya go. One of my favorites.


posted by Atreides at 3:54 PM on October 27, 2005


Was the film rewound? If not it's probably ruined.

The film wasn't rewound, but many is the time when I've opened the camera with the film in there, and generally I only ruin 3-5 photos. (I took a photography class earlier this year, so I learned this lesson. Repeatedly. :)

The film in question is Kodak Gold Super 200 -- C-41 -- so I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the advice.

BTW, the camera is a Minolta SRT Super (sold as the SRT102 in the U.S.) -- it's fantastic. It's a freaking tank, but really just a fine piece of machinery.
posted by waldo at 3:55 PM on October 27, 2005


327.ca - very true. I think I was longing more for the time, than any particular style.
posted by kalimac at 4:20 PM on October 27, 2005


Awesome link, thank you!

Some of these really made me feel sad - little frozen moments of people's lives. And you wonder if they ever missed the pictures.
posted by biscotti at 4:31 PM on October 27, 2005


These are really amazing.
posted by amro at 4:48 PM on October 27, 2005


Best of the Web! Excellent find! Easily the best post I've seen on MeFi in weeks. Thanks so much for sharing it!
posted by anastasiav at 6:13 PM on October 27, 2005


undule:
Pretty sure you're right, I think that's polio. It stunted the bad leg, and this one isn't withered, but it's way too short. Polio was about the thing back then that did that.
posted by deep_cover at 6:51 PM on October 27, 2005


thing/only thing
my bad
posted by deep_cover at 6:52 PM on October 27, 2005


Off topic, but isn't there an artist who part of his work is taking photos but only developing the film years, sometimes decades later? My brother, another artist, was really taken with his work.
posted by nanojath at 7:37 PM on October 27, 2005


There is something interesting about this quality of film. I mean, this website: there are millions of old photos out there - many with no more known history or context than these. But there is something different about old photos as compared to these - old film being developed for the first time. To the eye there isn't much difference. But it is significant somehow that these were never seen until now. The image was there, the latent impression of a photochemical reaction initiated for an instant decades past.

Would a memory card found in a digital camera a century hence carry the same significance? Those images could be on there and still have been seen and printed a thousand times. They could have been made in a different camera and just left on it when it was put into the camera.
posted by nanojath at 7:55 PM on October 27, 2005


This was my favorite series. From what I can tell, they're pictures taken by a U.S. soldier who finished out the war in Italy. I recognized several landmarks in Rome. Then he got on a boat and headed back to the U.S., back to the folks on the farm. The rolls are a little out of sequence, but you get the idea. It's heartbreaking that his family didn't get to see his travels. Makes you wonder why he never had the pictures developed.
posted by schmedeman at 8:04 PM on October 27, 2005


His clown festooned pail lies empty.

My clown festooned pail is also empty.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:36 PM on October 27, 2005


schmedeman writes "From what I can tell, they're pictures taken by a U.S. soldier who finished out the war in Italy. I recognized several landmarks in Rome. Then he got on a boat and headed back to the U.S., back to the folks on the farm."

Someone has done a little research on the hospital ship in the pictures.
posted by Mitheral at 6:38 AM on October 28, 2005


Wonderful site, I love it! Thanks for the link!
posted by ktoad at 7:57 AM on October 28, 2005


Fantastic post.
posted by Acey at 8:30 AM on October 28, 2005


Sorry, we seemed to have blown the fuse over there
:(
posted by edgeways at 12:00 AM on October 29, 2005


back up as of 11/1/05
posted by edgeways at 12:31 PM on November 1, 2005


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