Images, Records, Memories, Thoughts

The Investigation: The Case of the Two Cameras

Even with my obsession with strict chronology and despite the success of this investigation in identifying the years in which the photographs were taken, it will be impossible to file the negatives and/or negative sheets chronologically. The culprit is the usage of two cameras on this trip in the summer of 1991: The Leica M6 and the Olympus XA.

Some days I would shoot using both cameras interchangeably, depending on the situation. I used the Leica primarily for pictorial use and while riding in cars, and the Olympus with the A11 flash attachment mostly for family occasions. Any photos with flash were taken with the Olympus. 

The chronology is often broken because on one roll from one camera there may be three days worth of shooting, while the other may have seen three or four rolls go through it in one day. 

#14 - Khalo Georges' daughter with the Leica M6

#04 - My cousin Laurent checking out the Olympus XA

#24 - The only reflection of me taking a photograph in a vitrine most likely on Hamra Street. The way I am holding the camera, it has to be the Leica M6. In the reflection with me is my friend Walid who on this day, would take me on a drive through downtown Beirut to look at and photograph the devastated city.


In 1992, I took yet two different cameras : A Nikon F5 with an array of lenses and the SB-24 Flash, and a Contax T-2 for snapshots. Although there are no photographs of either camera in the series, there are clues.

#41 - The Contax T2 is the only film camera I had at the time that could do a time stamp. Although I hardly ever used it, I sometimes would turn it on accidentally. The day stamp on this photo may be correct, but the year was off by 3. Yet another variable that is definitely misleading if used incorrectly. Furthermore, the Contax T2 complicates things even more as it winds the whole roll immediately upon loading, and shoots the film in reverse order and upside down; so when batch scanning a whole roll, it is impossible to do so chronologically in the proper order, and one has to go back manually and renumber the frames in the correct order.

#46 - The Nikon F5 with the SB-24 Flash Off Camera, as can be seen by the unusual shadows of the chandelier and of my cousin Lamis.

 

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