Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Rescued Film Project

Click to enlarge

I've written plenty of times about found photographs. But Levi Bettwieser, a photographer and video producer from Boise, Idaho, takes the found imagery phenomenon a step further: He specializes in found film — old undeveloped rolls that he finds at flea markets and thrift stores, or via online auctions. He then develops and prints them and shares the results on his excellent website, the Rescued Film Project.

The photos shown at the top and bottom this entry are among the many thousands of images Bettwieser has produced from these film rolls. As usual with found photos, some are excellent and some are, well, not so excellent, but all are interesting simply by virtue of having been orphaned. All the usual questions about found photography apply here: Who are the people in these photos? Where are they now? And so on. But Bettwieser's project adds additional questions to the mix: Why didn't the people who shot these rolls of film get around to developing them? If the film was neglected, how did it avoid being thrown out?

If you want to know more, there's a good article about the Rescued Film Project here — recommended.

(My thanks to Mary Bakija for letting me know about this one.)

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