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Found: Lost Negatives in Melbourne, Australia

After almost six years (and still counting), will these smirched, tarnished, and worn-out negatives still find their way to their real photographer? Let us find a way to do so. Analogue forces, volt in!

Photo by filby

Last January, Todd Bieber found the lost pictures of New York blizzard. The word spread throughout the internet and, fortunately, after a couple of months, the rightful owner was found. Another cryptic analogue find was unraveled by one of our community users, filby, and he decided to share the mysterious, scanned negatives with us after keeping them for almost 6 years.

We asked him for details and in verbatim, he elaborated that:

“I found the Negatives in a gutter after I had finished work. I was just walking to my car and was about to drive home. I work in Thornbury, a suburb in the north of Melbourne, Australia. I think it was in the latter half of 2006, I say this because I remember where I was living at the time, and I was only there for a short while.

At the time i didn’t really look at them closely, I just knew how precious negatives were. Photography has always been important to me, mainly because it captures memories that are otherwise easily forgotten or corrupted. Maybe part of me was just nosey? Wanting a glimpse at someone elses life? The Negatives have no branding or numbering on them. The only identifying mark is the company web address on the sleeve; www.getgitial.com.au (even that looks like a miss print!) and a barcode number stuck on the end of the negatives.

I remember them being wet and gritty, the water inside the plastic protective sleeves. Later after they had dried out I took a closer look, wiping off the dirt buildup from the gutter. They didn’t strike me as particularly great photos and the scratches combined with water damage was pretty bad. With that, they got put away in some box until i eventually discovered Lomography.

Photo by filby

It just so happened that we had a scanner that could scan negatives, my wife had bought it with the plan of scanning all our wedding negatives. (No, that never did happen.) I did eventually get around to scanning the long lost negatives. I didn’t know what I was doing and scanned them far too small. But it gave me a clearer view of what was captured; Someones weekend or party, with a dip in the pool somewhere through the night.

Sometime later I remember trying to upload the files onto my lomohome for the interest of others. That plan failed when I found out they were too small to be of any use. I reckon It was another 2 years till i finally rescanned them at a higher resolution and put them up for the Lomo community to see. The funny thing is; Now i see how good the photos are, and their damage and imperfections just make them better. To me at least, they are very Lomo.

When I think about all this and how slack I’ve been to do anything with them, I realise: If I ever do find their rightful owner, I’m going to have to apologise for taking so long. Although, maybe the time capsule will be all the more valuable when it is so long forgotten."

Photo by filby

The people in the photos are strangers to all of us right now but they seemed like they were having a great time when the pictures were taken. They may or may not realize that they have been missing these negatives but wouldn’t be awesome if we, as a community, will be able to track them, know them even just by their online names, and reconcile them with their film photographs?

So, what are we waiting for? Six years may seem such a very long time but it’s never too late for us to join analogue forces as we help filby in finding these unidentified pictures’ legitimate owner/s! You may also cross-post this article on your social networking accounts so that more people can help us find them.

Read filby’s blog entry: Lost Negatives Found. View all the other pictures and their geolocation in filby’s album: Found in the Gutter.

written by basterda

3 comments

  1. markkalan

    as the article says, losing your photos/memory cards is not uncommon. read http://bit.ly/bbIJPh to avoid the trap!
    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. jojo8785

    jojo8785

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. woosang

    woosang

    Brilliant. I have 5 or 6 ancient rolls to process. I think I will do the same thing

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam