Earlier this week I drove down to DC to pick up the film from last year. Long story short, the film has been sitting since last spring and is now finally being seen with only two weeks left before my visit to India once again. This is unusual for me, and has been an incredible source of anxiety over the past few months due to one detail: the person in charge of processing informed me that the numbers from the paper backing have in many instances transferred to the film itself.
So before this past Tuesday I thought the film was lost, but held out hope for the best. As I sat down to look at the 500 or so medium format rolls with loupes, a sense of relief was felt. The lower speed film had the slightest evidence of numbers, and those numbers were either lost in the white backgrounds of my portraits or in the busy background of the environmental photographs.
As that sense of relief was felt, a photograph was made of this negative and sent to my friends Shari and John. Their words of support helped make this past Tuesday a celebration, and have given me hope for the visit to India next week. Sure, perhaps 20% of the rolls have been irreversibly affected by the numbers from the paper backing. This however will make me look for those people once again even more so, and make better portraits for them and all of us to see.
The hands in this negative are the hands of three sisters, asked to hold hands against the backdrop of the sky. We have known each other for ten years now, and their village will be one of the first on my list of visits in less than two weeks!
Note: This image was made with an iPhone, of a negative made with a Hasselblad V system onto Kodak TMX film.