This week I’m lucky enough to travel in Belgium. I’ve enjoyed Brussels and a quick day trip to Bruges. I took a lot of photos. When I shoot, I shop less and I hope my photos don’t suck. But my Brussels souvenir (aside from copious amounts of chocolate) is an odd combo of shopping and photography. I bought negatives and slides at a flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle.
It’s a little bit strange to be in possession of these photos. It’s a very intimate glimpse into the life of the photo subjects and the photographer and now that I have the negs I can pretty much do whatever I want with them. That makes me feel like I have some kind of responsibility to these unknown people. But at the same time, it’s an art resource that was pretty much thrown away.
I have no idea how these images came to be at the flea market. Maybe someone did a massive purge, maybe a storage locker fee wasn’t paid and the contents went for auction. Perhaps someone went into elderly care and their house contents had to be dealt with in a hurry. I will probably never know.
The first batch of photos is black and white 6×9 negatives from the 50’s maybe. I can’t quite be sure of the era. I played around with photographing some of the negs with my iPhone and then editing them with Photoshop Express. The photos have some environmental background since I didn’t use a light table.
The slides, it turns out, were mostly shot in Algeria, assuming the text on the box is accurate. They look like photos from the late 70’s or 80’s. They are a bit harder to deal with by only using the iPhone. I’m going to try scanning them when I get back home. Here are some iPhone attempts.
What will I do with these photos?
I’m working on a project that uses old Japanese women’s magazines for characters to use in a diorama or a collage. I think some of these photos characters might make an appearance. Maybe I will incorporate them into some type of photo collage.
These photos do make me think about what I want to have happen with my photos in the future. Probably nothing. They will likely be buried in the millions of photos we take every day.