In the darkroom, he shivered while shaking the water in the tank. There he stood, waiting expectantly for the film roll in his hand to reveal its full contents. The photographer was taking a bold move, and would he finally discover any dark secrets behind the 90-year-old camera?
1. Martijn The Photographer
No one can deny or stop Martijn van Oers' love for photography, not even his parents. Photography is his unique way of expressing his thoughts and feelings, and it would also be the key to unlocking an unexpected journey before too long...
2. Wandering In Breda
As Martijn saw the glittering cross atop the church in the early morning tranquillity, he had a strong urge to feel the beauty of his hometown, Breda, a place that had brought him cheerfulness and peace that no other city could. So he took his camera and set foot on the old town road…
3. Just A Plain Store
Before Martijn realized, he had already stopped at an antique store. His eyes told him that it was just a plain store filled with ordinary old stuff. Yet his intuition was speaking to him, "Let's go in. There may be something good awaiting..." And sometimes you just gotta trust your instinct.
4. Something Eye-Catching
So he slid into the store, browsing all the items on display and feeling disappointed. "Plates, clocks, chandeliers… Why would I think I might find something?" He thought. Just at that moment, he saw some black iron stuff sitting on a low shelf. It was a vintage Zeiss camera!
5. It Was Precious
Even for an experienced photographer like Martijn, this camera was precious and hard to come by. He knew he would take some incredible pictures with this camera, but what he didn't know was that a whole new journey was about to begin.
6. A Roll Inside
With a snap, a film roll labelled "EXPOSÉ" dropped on the table as Martijn was checking the camera. He immediately stopped, looking at the roll full of confusion and a bit of terror. What was on the roll? What could "EXPOSÉ" mean?
7. Wild Guesses
Thousands of questions and wild guesses flashed through his mind at once: Did this 1920s' camera belong to an infamous serial killer of the period? Or would this camera contain any important historical moments? Should he look inside at the hidden secrets? Or should he just leave it to the police?
8. A Bold Decision
Martijn collected himself and decided to uncover the unknown. The decision sounded reckless, yet he made an even bolder move: using a hairdryer to dry the roll. He knew the harm it might do to the film quality, but he had to try. In the darkroom, history was about to unfold…
9. Black And White Photos
As the black and white photos became clearer, he saw figures. In one shot stood a woman, staring straight at him as if to engulf him in the past. With only the cement pathway behind her, Martijn couldn't tell where this place might be. So then he jumped to other photos...
10. Down By The Shore
It was still the same woman, but the scene was changed. This time she was down by the shore, and instead of looking at the camera, she glanced out to the sea. There she seemed softer, more thoughtful, and more at ease than before.
11. Her Photographer
Then Martijn saw a photo of a man sitting in the same position where the woman had stood in another photo. He was holding the Zeiss camera case. It was all clear; the couple had recorded every single moment of their travels. The whole film roll was their memoirs. Now it was for Martijn to decide what he should do with such precious memories.
12. Spread The Word
Martijn stood silent in the darkroom, holding these 90-year-old photos. Knowing for sure that their owners would no longer be alive, he still wanted to find someone who might happily inherit the time capsule. So he spread the word through social media and waited patiently…
13. A Long-Distance Call
The truth didn't keep Martijn waiting long. Soon a woman named Marion Jurrjens from Canada reached out to him. The couple's granddaughter Marion was amazed when she saw her grandparents' photos together with the story. She contacted Martijn and revealed the family history…
14. Family History Revealed
The man in the photo was an architect whose life cannot be detached from the camera. He used it not just for work but more importantly for documenting his life, since memories fade so fast. These long lost photos were a record of their airy footsteps and rosy-pink youthful time in France.
15. Bygone Times
Marion's grandparents were so good at preserving bygone times that their house was full of photos of the good old days. "I've collected 10 photo albums that belonged to my grandparents and put them on the wall to remember this whole event," said Marion. And she was indeed about to do that…
16. Something To Pass On
"The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do," once said Andy Warhol. No one can always stay rosy cheeked, and memories grow pale with time. We do have a reason to trust photos, for they preserve something for us to mull over and then later to pass on.