Monday, November 22, 2010

Belser's archive

Archive of 40 film rolls found exposed but undeveloped -- USA, 40s-60s. Street Photography of Miami, San Francisco and Key West by Emir Shabashvili, see,, or

Here is another dig into old vernacular photography: I started developing the unusually large (about 40 rolls) archive of film found on eBay few month back. The archive starts in late 40s, about 15 rolls are from 50s, and the rest is from 60s and few are from early 70s. The last 35mm Ektachrome 400 roll looks relatively modern. Many of the rolls are in the original boxes/wrapping paper; nevertheless,  all but 2 are exposed and none had been developed.

There is a letter; I received it with the archive. The letter is addressed to Mike Belser. It is a touching birthday writing from his dad Jack. Jack is sending new boots to his son and he is worried about the size, asking Mike to send it back for the exchange if the size is wrong. He is also mentioning the names: Patty and Brian. These two could be Mike's wife and son. The letter has a date: 12-17-57. It was in an envelope, addressed from J.Belser, Oklahoma City (General Delivery, Main P.O.) to Newkirk, OK, also General Delivery. The letter clearly was sent, received and opened by Mike. Also one of the rolls I developed today has a hand-written note with a date and Mike's name. So I assume at least part of the archive at one point was Mike Belser's.

Here are my findings so far...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Government Center bus station

Downtown Miami, 2010. Street Photography by Emir Shabashvili, see,, or
I'd been caught in this "Mexican standoff" yesterday near the Government Center station.
On a different note, I'm still trying to adjust to Plus-X pushed in Diafine to E.I. 400. This one frame came out ok, but many are too flat. Probably Tri-X is a better choice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Old tower (Yelabuga, Russia)

Old tower in Yelabuga (AKA Devil's tower), 2010. Street Photography by Emir Shabashvili, see,, or

Yelabuga is a small town, the place where I had been born and where my parents live. It is beautiful three-hundred-plus years old Russian town; before Russian there was the Volga Bulgarian border fortification (since 11th century). This tower had been restored in 19th century by local businessman and mayor, Ivan Shishkin (father of famous Russian painter Ivan Shishkin.) I found this point of view so the tower looks remote and solitary, as it was when I was a child. It has some restaurants-shops build in vicinity and they are not visible from this point. The picture had been taken few weeks ago, it was nice and cool there (especially when compared to Miami), frost on the grass in the morining, the air was clean (the place has a lot of industrial cities around, so unfortunately the air is not always smells good). I was lucky to catch this day in the fields.