Restoration Project #9
I shot this mysterious pair in Venice in 1980, the first time I visited. Tempting as it is to make up a fanciful story to accompany the picture, truth is I guess I was super tired from the train trip from Paris, and I don’t even remember the circumstances under which it came to be. I simply asked her if I could take a picture and - it must come naturally to Venetian girls - she just put on a super enigmatic look from some conveniently-found Rembrandt lighting.
Anyway it has always been one of my favourite pictures. But, as you can see, it hasn’t weathered the years too well (who has?).
I know it was on Agfa CT18 slide film, a lovely 50 ISO film of the era. Common to anything that wasn’t Kodachrome back then, its keeping qualities were a little (ahem) rudimentary let’s say. Also it is way grainy but that’ll be because the actual transparency is pretty underexposed (I was using my Canon F1 which was, unbeknownst to me, giving quite a few underexposed pictures at the time).
Sadly, the blue poles and dots are not an attempt at some post-modern abstract expressionist re-imagining, they are holes, crinkles and gouges in the emulsion of the film. This is a bad thing. I have a feeling my storage methods were a tad shoddy back in the day (not like today - ha!). The result you see here is despite the scan being processed with Digital Ice (which is legal) and which is supposed to get rid of this sort of thing. It seems that the craters are too extreme for the software to handle.
So one fine day I’ll rescan the image to as high a resolution as I can then spend some time trying to eliminate the blue bits (well, actually I quite like them so I might keep a couple).
Then I’d really like to do a big print of this on nice watercolour paper and hang it up somewhere.