Memories brought to life: Calgary photographer develops old rolls of film
Brett Tarver, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, November 25, 2014 9:24AM EST
Many Canadians remember when getting film developed often led to a few surprises. In the age before digital cameras, undeveloped photos quickly became forgotten until they were picked up from the store.
Sometimes those pictures never got developed. Enter Calgary photographer Azriel Knight who has become a treasure hunter for lost memories.
Knight scours flea markets, estate sales and websites searching for discarded cameras that may still have film in them.
And it's worked like a charm. Knight estimates he has found and developed 150 rolls of film to bring long-passed moments into the present.
Memories brought back to life
Photos taken on an old brownie camera reveal a family's visit to Alberta's Frank Slide Interprative Centre dates back to the 1930s.
One of Knight's purchases at an estate sale uncovered a long-lost family road trip in the 1960s.
Other forgotten film at a thrift store in Calgary reveals Second World War-era soldiers in Belgium.
Another photo still in a camera at a flea market unveils a farmer and his wife in the 1920s.
There's even some accidental old-time selfies.
Knights posts the photos onto his website "Mysterious Developments" hoping to reunite people with their lost memories.
Rock band reunion
At least once it's worked. Knight found two rolls of old Kodak film with pictures of an unknown rock band.
"It was a live rock show -- it was an old hair band, they had Jack Daniels shirts on," Knight told CTV Calgary.
Photos of the mystery band dated back to a live country rock show in 1980, taken in the venue Dizzy Duncan’s in New Jersey.
Knight decided to put up a YouTube video with all the clues in the hopes of identifying the rockers.
A musician who used to perform in the New Jersey club scene happened to be doing some nostalgic surfing and Knight’s web posting popped up.
The band was then introduced to photos they never knew existed.
Turns out the group is from New Jersey and still plays together as the “Bad Land Band.”
“They were floored,” Knight told CTV Calgary.
Meanwhile Knight keeps hunting, knowing his next interesting photo is already waiting to be found, developed and hopefully reclaimed.
With files from CTV Calgary's Rylee Carlson