We don’t often find ourselves on sailboats out on Lake Tanganyika, but one sunny weekend day (months ago) we did. Back then the washing station wasn’t even fully built. It feels like… a lifetime ago. If you can ignore the threat of hippos and crocs, the Burundi shores of Lake Tanganyika are a great place to play. Our family rule on swimming in the croc and hippo occupied lake? “You only swim if there’s, like, 110% visibility and if you see a hippo… run!” I have no idea if this is sound advice, but I did google “what to do when you encounter a hippo” once and I seem to remember running being on the top of the list of escape strategies. Running… and possibly tree climbing. So far so good, as no hippos have roamed our way.
These images aren’t from months ago just because I am a very behind blogger (which I am) but also because film and I have a special relationship. I’m way out here in this country with an “interesting” mail system… and by “interesting” I mean totally unreliable. It is often months before I send my film to the lab because I wait for unsuspecting friends to visit and then ask them to carry it half way around the world in their handbags for me. Who doesn’t love carrying small strange looking objects in their carry ons for friends? Probably everybody, but so far everyone has been pretty kind about it… maybe it’s the pathetic “pretty please” look on my face as I beg them not to put the film in their checked luggage (I don’t trust it, I just don’t!).
Anyway, I’ve grown to appreciate the long pause between shooting and seeing. It’s kind of like Christmas when film scans finally do arrive in my inbox. The long pause also helps me to see my images less as “my work” as a “photographer” and more as an emblem of our family history. I find myself being less critical about focus and light and “blah blah blah” and more appreciative that I paused at all to capture our moments and our places.
Hasselblad 501C, Fuji 400, Indie Film Lab