I’m always interested when I see people post photos of themselves at different points in time. The whole outward journey from cradle to grave documented in a handful of photographs. I’ve never been one to take a lot of self-portraits, or to seek out the attention of the camera in the room, so photos of me throughout the years are few and far between. However, I’ve been playing around with “scanning” my old film negatives by using a macro lens (more on that at a later date, probably, if I stick with it), and I came across a couple of photos of myself at 20 and 30 years of age, and realized how I’d never truly considered how much I have physically changed in all of those years.

The first photo, at age 20, was actually scanned from my one of my first rolls of black and white film. I was taking a black and white darkroom photography course in CEGEP in Montreal where I grew up (CEGEP is the equivalent of grades 12 and 13 in other Canadian provinces, I suppose), and our teacher wanted us to get into the practice of having a photo of ourselves as the first image on every roll of film so that the roll could be returned to its rightful owner should it get misplaced. The second photo I took when experimenting for a brief period with studio lighting setups. And the final image is a random digital shot from a few years ago.

Man, I had a lot of hair at 20.

Anyway, I’ve had a bag of dozens of rolls of unexposed 120 and 35mm black and white film lying about for the last 10 years or so, since I stopped shooting film, and I’ve been thinking about loading up the old Holga and experimenting with that a bit. I still have my old film development equipment lying about as well, I think, so I’ll just have to get my hands on some film developer and fixer and I’ll be on my way. It’s been so long since I developed a roll of film … and I’ve never been great at it in the sense of being strict with temperatures and the like … but it may be fun and freeing to shoot with the Holga. It’s all random and hit and miss with the Holga anyway, so my haphazard film development technique will hardly be the weakest link in the process, I would think.

I’m just waiting for some free time and relatively mild weather so I can set about wandering, with Holga or without, to do some more photography. I need to stop neglecting this and build a strong habit of regularly going out with a camera.

  1. Cool, Paul! I agree… the, now three, “revisits” of photographs that I took a quarter century or so ago, to again these past few months, interesting to look, side by side, at the two mes’ from across time.

    I didn’t know we were of the exact age… I thought we were in the ballpark… just found that bit of trivia interesting… maybe because that is what I am left with finding interesting, being I am living in a van in a desert! X-D That and seashells

    And cool too about doing some old school shooting… and not only that, developing your own film. Would have been a lot easier for me if I could have done that, with the two rolls I took so far… maybe someday if and when I ever get settled, I will set up a darkroom in my place, so as to be able to do the whole process from shoot to develop to print, just like the good ol’ days.

    All the best, Paul, and happy shooting!

    • Yeah, I think we are probably only months apart in age … I think I saw somewhere on your blog the year you were born, and it is the same year as me, if I’m not mistaken (Aug 1969 for me).

      Yeah, for the film developing pretty much just need a pitch dark area and those old plastic film development drums where you can load up the film. After that, you can develop in light. I’m sure in the dead of night you could load up a roll of film over there in Slab City without risking exposing it 🙂

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