Monday, March 31, 2008

Near middle little helps photographer. (1, 1, 1)

_ _ _

After church, I went to find a film developing shop I'd noticed, just outside Dahra. That was after I had a burger - a real Libyan burger: a thin burger, (it needed to be, wait until you hear what else), a slice of cheese, a fried egg, ketchup, harisa, and a few chips thrown in for good measure. Last time I had one of them was on a hot Thursday morning in Janzur... Sometimes, you can see where Proust was coming from. And then I found the film developer's. The first good discovery was that they had the right batteries, A76, for the Chinon. Once I paid for the film to be developed, I learned that they didn't have a film scanner, and queried what I was getting for my Dinar (about 40p, mind): "So you can hold light, look at." I've never heard a better description of development only. It would take a couple of hours, so I'll go back later in the week.

It still remained to get the rest of the roll I had developed the other night scanned in, and eventually I re-found a shop just off Green Square (it had been shut at prayer time last time I went by it). The man there had a wonderfully kind, puzzled, child-like face. He invited me into the back shop. He had just bought a new scanner for 400 dinars, and put it to work. It was an Epson V350 and it wouldn't feed the film. After a few abortive attempts, he got out his old scanner, which worked well enough when you cut the roll into strips.

All of this took a while, and whilst I was there a youngish woman came in, a big lass in a headscarf. She shook hands with the developer, and then to my astonishment with me too. Later, another lass came in and the same happened. She wanted to tell the developer something, and didn't want to in front of me, and kept giggling nervously, not believing that I couldn't understand Arabic. Eventually she whispered some story to him, which partly involved him giving her money to pay off a taxi outside. I don't know what was going on here.

Tarik phoned me and eventually found the place. Two young men waited patiently in the front shop all the while, apparently seeking copies of prints they'd brought. Tarik joined in with working the scanner. When I'd got my 16 files onto the CD, the developer looked stunned that it had worked, and charged me three dinars. I'll go back there.

The xpros, after all that, aren't too good. There's another roll in that Dahra place, hopefully that'll be better. And now I've got a battery I've also got a light meter, which should make a world of difference. Another big problem is mis-wound frames: either the winder's faulty, or (more likely), I'm a bit slap-dash with it.

Battery? Light meter?