project Good Ol’ Ollie – the premiere (or what’s left of it)

Two minutes before stepping into my Dad’s car and racing to the airport, I decided to take my Nikon D40 out of my backpack and change it for my seventies baby – an analogue Olympus Trip 35. It was a complete impulse and very last-minute, as if my brain had suddenly decided that I should see this as a personal challenge and go for it. I must admit that I end up using my phone a lot, mainly to quickly share things with friends and family, and I can’t say that I never miss my beloved Nikon, but me and my Ollie are getting closer and closer and I respect him more with everything I learn about him.

But boy, so far it’s been a challenge indeed. Not only is it hard to get film roll, to get that film developed is yet a different thing. Analogue photography turns out to be a lot less of a thing here than it was in Colombia. Amidst the chaos of dental surgery, I totally forgot to buy filmroll when there, so that I had a few shots to take in Galapagos but had ran out of it by the time I made it to the Amazonas. Unfortunately my week driving down the Napo river has resulted utterly photoless. I strolled around Iquitos for days in vain, and it was only in Tarapoto (Peru) that my quest resulted into something. I found roll in a shop where I would never have searched for it if it wasn’t for a helpful photographer in town. The same man who gave me the golden tip, was also able to develop my first film. The result you find below – my happy moments in Bogotá, Galapagos and Iquitos on a roll.

I like to think that with analogue photography, something is added with every step the photo takes. The process surrounding the negative. from the moment it is de-coloured by sunlight, becomes part of the photo’s story. What you see here might not the best quality of footage, but these images have sure come a long way. Of the 36 shots on a roll, only 26 photos came out exposed enough for development (since I left my external flash at home, it’s a bit of a search what Ollie can and cannot do exposure-wise). Then there was a physically challenged printer, randomly leaving black banners on the sides of some photos. With the photos in my pocket, I had exactly one hour to make a quick selection of the photos that I wanted to digitalize, and then had a nice old lady scan them for me four at a time on a scanner of questionnable quality (I was about to leave town, and send the photos home with a package that I had prepared for the next morning). Because I wasn’t able to connect my iPad to the internet, I then had to cut these digital sheets into four separate files with the aid of Window’s program paint, with which the last bit of quality was officially lost. But I like to think these photos are still pretty cool anyway.

Meanwhile, the search continues. Film roll 2 is ready to be developed, but there hasn’t been anyone able to do it in the last two towns I’ve been. Tomorrow I’ll be bussing down to Cusco, where I have good hope to be more successfull. Project Good Ol’ Ollie to be continued!

Before dental surgery


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