It sat mockingly, gathering dust over many months. But in a way, it was doing its job. In contrast to the relentless unfolding of smartphone image folders – the past continuously stored, if rarely consulted – the role of a disposable camera is to be forgotten. If you then, at a later date, remember the existence of the thing, the pictures contained within are a delightful surprise, or a horrible jolt. You feel something, at any rate.
The camera sat for approximately nine months. It was moved to a position where it was meant to be noticed, on top of the chest of drawers by the door. The logic being, its presence would reproach me into picking it up and taking it to the chemist’s, assuming chemists still develop photographs.
It was invisible in plain sight by the end. The nagging desire to see the photos had been subsumed into a whole mass of other things I knew I should probably sort out at some point in the future, if not now. Never now. It never stood a chance.
Mercifully, another human, with more agency at this point in time, took matters into their own hands. Not only did they take the camera and put it into a bag, they went further and developed the images themselves, having access, as they did, to the means of production.
When the images arrived, they were like time travel.
Here are a few highlights from the set, with as much context as I can muster.
Image 1: Man in tree
I like to climb trees.
Images 2 & 3: The Dunwich Dynamo
I try and do the Dynamo every year. Last year I was replaced in my role as Narayani guide, and so rode most of the way on my own. It was awfully lonely at times, and I missed the hours-long conversations about everything and nothing. But it was mentally theraputic, I think, and I surprised myself with my fitness and the ability to keep up with fast riders on fast bikes. I’d played cricket the day before, failed to get much in the way of sleep, and borrowed a powerful front light from Kelly. This was to be used only in emergencies, as its batterly life was suspect. Hence a lot of the following the fast riders on the fast bikes.They had fancy lights.
Image 4: Lizard kite
Kite day is one of the highlights of Streatham’s social calendar. It’s the place to see and be seen.
Image 5 & 6: A tourist trip in Hokkaido
When I went to Japan last summer, I vowed to keep a daily blog. I failed in this pursuit, but the entries I did manage to write reassure me that this was indeed a trip that did happen and when I tell people I went to Japan I’m not making it up.
These pictures were, if I recall rightly, taken on a day trip from Hakone. Not pictured: the tandem bicycle we hired.
Of all the pictures in the set, these had the strongest effect on me.