Slingfilm is a personal art project looking at discarded film cameras, films, prints, cine films and all the lost memories they contain.
UPDATE: December 2019
I am delighted to announce that Slingfilm – The Exhibition, will be coming soon to the White Elephant Gallery in Morecambe. Check out the fab poster designed by Charlie Kondras!
The Slingfilm project developed out of my own camera collecting hobby and from finding, possibly due to the recent development of digital photography, a growing number of film cameras in charity shops and car boot sales etc which still contain undeveloped rolls of film, and an increasing number of old photographic prints and albums. Given that we live in a society that has enjoyed photographing and documenting almost every aspect of our lives, and that most people would consider their photo albums as the first possession they would reach to save in a house fire, I’m more than a little interested in these cameras and photographs that have been (knowingly or unknowingly) discarded. The Slingfilm project will attempt to document the discarded cameras and prints I find along the way, where found, how much I paid for them, some history of the camera itself perhaps, along with the films often found inside them and the results of the processing of those films – the lost memories.
What brings people to sling their memories away? as we race from one redundant format to another, are we forever fated to consign our old memories to landfill in favour of making shiny new ones?
Bearing in mind the age and poor storage conditions of the items I find the results will be patchy, many I know will be fogged and useless, others will be badly exposed, but perhaps, just occasionally, some gems might turn up. Let’s just see how it goes…
A bizarre find
I find this photo fascinating. I picked it up in an antique centre amongst a pile of old photos, it stood out as being like nothing I’d ever seen before.
A collaged mass of children’s heads with the title “Some of the Juvenile customers who came during the opening week of Schofield’s new extension, Oct 1930” and the credit “photographed by Fielding, Leeds”. A little googling told me that Schofield’s was/is? a large department store in Leeds. The image appears to have been used as an in-store promotion card. I found only one other similar collage by Fielding, of actors and actresses, but it is less compelling as this mass of bodiless children. A bizarre find.
Marineland and Steamtown on Super 8
I found this lovely super 8mm cine film at Lancaster Antiques Centre with a series of other cine films (not yet copied to digital) at the bottom of a box containing a Kodak Brownie cine projector. I bought the projector unawares of the extra contents, so a nice surprise!
Several of the films appear to be of the same family and I have subsequently at local car boot sales and junk shops, picked up around a dozen more reels again all of the same family! If I ever strike it rich I’ll copy them all into digital and share!
For now, you can enjoy Marineland and Dreamworld in this first reel.
Marineland was the outdoor aquarium on Morecambe promenade and Steamtown was a part of Carnforth Railway Station. From the late 60’s I’d guess.
Olympus mju – found film
The Olympus mju (stylus) camera first went on sale in 1991. It’s sleek ergonomic design and case-less, ultra-compact body made it an instant favourite, and over 5 million were made of this, the first model. I picked one up from a car boot sale in Morecambe back in 2013 for a £1, but it was a couple of years before I got around to processing the film inside that had been abandoned along with the camera.
Here’s what secrets it held…
Kodak Brownie ‘Cresta’ update
I just got back the processed film negatives from the 1955 Kodak Brownie ‘Cresta’ camera that I picked up recently for a couple of quid.
Film from cameras of this age do not usually come out too well, and when the labs rang me after processing, I initially thought it would be to say ‘sorry, but there’s nothing on it’ as is so often the case. Surprisingly, on this occasion they called to say ‘Hey, it looks like you’ve got some pretty reasonable negs here!’ and they were right. On first inspection, they would appear to be fairly consistent with the age of the camera itself, probably taken in the late 50’s, maybe someone who knows cars (looks like a rather lovely late 50’s Citroen DS to me) and ladies fashions better than me can help out? Family snapshots taken on a European (Mediterranean) holiday I’d say, anyone like to hazard a guess where?
Kodak ‘Brownie’ Cresta Camera
A bit of a shout out this morning for DS Colour Labs in Stockport who offer a great film processing service for my ongoing Sling Film side project. They just called to say the roll of film that came in my 1955 Kodak ‘Brownie’ Cresta camera (£2 from Lancaster Antiques Centre) has been processed and appears to have 12 lovely 6″x6″ exposures of a 1950’s/60’s family on holiday. Can’t wait to get the negs back now for scanning!!
The Kodak ‘Brownie’ Cresta was introduced in 1955 and was manufactured in the UK until 1958. Taking twelve 2 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ exposures on 120 roll film. The Cresta has a fixed focus f14 ‘Kodet’ lens with a built in sliding close up lens.
It also has a single speed shutter of 1/40th second. It’s a simple hobbyist camera which was known for achieving impressive close-up results. This early model 1 Cresta can be distinguished from later models by the ribbed front casing and the presence of the coaxial flash sync cable.