Day 13 —Write about a random picture you would find in an envelope of finished prints at Costco. We don’t have Costco in NZ so I took this prompt in a different direction. Hope you enjoy it.
It was a cold wintry day, the wind was howling through the alleys as we explored this new section of Paris. It was our first holiday in France and we wanted to step outside of the normal tourist traps. Once we saw the Eiffel Tower and I had shopped myself silly, we got restless to see more of the normal everyday Paris.
So we meandered our way through this crisscross section of alleys. I was snapping images as we walked. My main focus was the architecture and I used up a whole roll of film before we had finished that walk. I slipped the film into my bag to be developed when I got home. It just mixed with all the previous ones that I had taken while we were here.
I still like using film because of the surprise that I got when I developed the film for myself. So much more intimate than digital images that could be edited or deleted on the spot. Film made me more careful in how and what images I captured. I also got that great treat of not knowing what I had taken until I develop them.
I took my treasure trove of film home at the end of our three month European holiday. I now had a second kind of holiday to enjoy. Developing all my photographs and deciding what to do with them. I come across the ones from our alley adventure, now that I am in the safety of my home I am able to remember that for some of that day I was terrified.
The alley’s felt closed in, we were towered over by the tall apartments on either side. They were not that clean either, it looked like people used the alleyways to dump their excess of rubbish and possibly buckets of dirty water. I did love the clotheslines hanging between the apartment blocks and the simple pulley system that made them work.
As I develop the images I come across a surprising detail in one of the photographs. I hang the images to dry and then decide to blow up the one with the detail that caught my attention. The magnification showed me a person had been captured among the images that were otherwise primarily of architecture. What really shocked me is that I knew that person.
How could my neighbour from Feilding be in a photo from Paris? What set of circumstances had put us both in the same place at the exact time I took this photograph. I didn’t even know that they had been overseas let alone at the same time and place as we were. I wouldn’t have even noticed because it was such a small part of the photo. The angle was of me looking through the lens of the camera, along the building facade and to the sky beyond.
My neighbour was somehow leaning out of one of those windows and I only noticed because he was wearing the bright red cap that I had knitted for him two winters ago. It was distinctive because he liked hunting and I hope he wouldn’t get his fool head shot off. As soon as I noticed that splash of colour against the otherwise grey walls in that part of the photos it looked so familiar that I had to blow it up to be sure.
I am so taking this image and the blow up of my neighbour over to him to show him and find out how it happened. It is just too random for anyone to believe in the coincidences that had to occur for it to coalesce into this single photograph.