Matt Jones

Double Mirror Project Submission

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A few years ago, my Grandmother [who turned 90 this year] gave me an old Kodak Folding Camera. It had been sitting in a cupboard gathering dust for years and I decided that it was finally time for it to be used again. Back in the 1920's, she took it with her on seaside excursions, taking pictures of her family, friends and fashions of the time. Along with the camera, she also gave me some original negatives, many of which have never been printed. So, off I went to the darkroom with the negs and a fresh box of Ilford paper to see what happened. What I found was a snapshot history of my Grandmother from when she was a teenager up until when she was married [and presumably when the camera was consigned to gathering dust in the cupboard]. One picture I printed was a ‘Jezebel's Mirror’ type of shot; my Grandmother with the camera, looking down into the viewfinder, and to her right her sister gazing into the lens. It was amazing to see this and realise that experimentation while snapshooting [lomography, wristcam style imagery etc] is nothing new - it was something that came along with miniaturisation of cameras and hasn't gone since. In 1998, hoping that it still functioned, I decided to do some work with this old camera. At first it was difficult because it's not possible to get the type of roll-film for it anymore [an out-dated imperial measurement], but eventually I worked out how to use a standard roll of 120 instead. With the mirror-shot that my grandmother took in mind, I took a picture of myself in the reflective window of a 1960's office block in the centre of Newcastle. The picture was difficult to print as the film had fogged severely [due to holes in the camera bellows]. But I got a decent picture anyway, and here it is displayed at Friends of Jezebel's Mirror, shown alongside my grandmothers picture taken 70 years earlier with the same camera. Thanks to Heather for uploading it - the mirror project is top notch.