06.11.22 — Journal

My Neighbourhood on Film

I recently sent a couple of rolls of film off to be developed after taking plenty of photos around the USA and Canada. As often happens when I receive the developed film back, there were a few surprises thrown in there in the form of photos that I’d forgotten I’d taken.

The first set of these photos was taken during a walk around my neighbourhood shortly after they began allowing us to head outside and stretch our legs after a long and strict lockdown here in Spain. My favourite area to walk along and escape the dense streets of the city is the park which winds alongside the river.

It seems that the day I headed out was quite a spectacular sunset, which was rather lucky as it’s vary rare that I take my film camera out of the house just on a whim – I usually reserve it for special occasions. The Manzanares River which forms the central column of the park, unimaginatively named “Madrid Río” (Madrid River), is typically very low on water. It was enough to reflect the bright sunset of that evening, though.

Although dulled by the expired film, the sunset still came out pretty glorious.

Being presented with these photos was a somewhat bittersweet experience. The photos themselves are pretty, but they took me back to a rather dark era during the lockdown where my daily river walks were one of the few things that cheered me up.

I’ve not retouched these photos at all, as I think the film grain and the pronounced vignette (the darkened corners) reflect those difficult times perfectly. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as other photos from these rolls of film came from much happier aventures. I’ll be back to post those soon!