I was looking for something, a photo, in fact, but I found something else, a different photo. It’s a Polaroid SX-70 print, that classic almost square instant format that comes out with a whirr and develops with (or without, actually) a shake. Depending on your screen, the scan below is probably just about life size.
Did I take this photo? When? Why? What was I trying to capture? Is this subject on purpose or by accident? Why did I save it? I have no idea. It seems a little too composed to be a simple error. Maybe there’s someone or something behind the curtain but the lighting didn’t work out as expected. Maybe it’s a picture of a ghost.
It’s hard to imagine keeping a digital photo that was a mistake or a test, even though there’s arguably almost no cost to storing it forever. Plus, there’s almost zero chance of stumbling across a digital leftover in the way that I stumbled across this physical one.
So I’m glad I kept it (yes, I’m assuming I took it, and I think I know where that curtain is), even though I don’t really know what to do with it now. I probably had no idea at the time I took it that it would seem such a quaint object now. You never know at the moment how something’s going to look to you later.