The photographs below are some of the most amazing images I have ever seen. That sounds like quite a dramatic statement, but when you see them after reading the following context, I think you will at least agree that they are pretty cool, if not at the top of your all time amazing list.

My friend J Randall Updegrove, who has been mentioned several times on this blog, recently told me that he had sent in some film to be developed that he thought was 6 years old. He didn't even know what was on the film. He just wanted to get it developed so he could work with his flat bed scanner.

What ended up on the negatives blew our minds. These are unintentional double exposures. Somehow the same roll of film was used in what he believes was two different cameras. One exposure was made on a trip to New York City. The film must have been somehow not fully rewound, and then re-used in the same or most likely a different camera because the second exposure, taken at Yellowstone National Park, is flipped 180 degrees from the first exposure. Again... completely unintentional, and Randall has been going nuts trying to figure out how it even happened.

The film is not 6 years old. As you can see, the Twin Towers can be seen in both of these images. Randall can remember being in New York City in the Spring of 2001, six months or so before 9/11. So that is 8 years ago, and he can not recall if the Yellowstone exposures were made before or after the New York exposures.

These images are unaltered scans directly from the negatives...dust included.

New York City with Yellowstone #1

When you see the Twin Towers mirrored against the unsettled landscape of Yellowstone, and especially hanging from the heavens in the image below, amidst the steam and clouds and dust, and knowing that this was a mere couple of months before these buildings were gone forever, it begins to sink in how freaky these images are. If someone showed me these images and told me they were photoshopped, I would probably still think they were pretty remarkable. But the fact that these are completely random compositions from analog film that sat in a desk drawer for 8 years is just stunning.

New York City with Yellowstone #2

There are about twenty images from this magical roll of film, and Randall is putting them together on his photo blog along with his thoughts about what these images mean to him in the context of environmental and economic issues. As soon as he completes the project I will add a link to it. Stay tuned...

Here is the link to the full set of images...

The Earth Reclaims It

"For the artist photographer, much of his sense of reality and much of his sense of craft or stucture are anonymous and untraceable gifts from photography itself"

John Szarkowsky
The Photographer's Eye
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