Reul na Mara (the lost film)

Early in 2023, clearing out a camera bag, I discovered a single, used roll of Ilford Delta 3200 black & white 35mm film…

For two weeks in November 2018, I joined the Scottish fishing vessel Ruel na Mara and her crew, working about 100km northwest off the Outer Hebrides. I don’t wish to romanticise something that these men do for work, all year round, but for me, it was an extraordinary experience. “A proper adventure”, as a friend dubbed it – two weeks on a 25-metre, wooden-hulled trawler with two Scotsmen and four Filipinos somewhere in the North Atlantic, sharing their, ‘Fish, Eat, Sleep, Repeat’ linear life.
Around this time, I was shooting most of my maritime work on film, transitioning only occasionally to digital cameras. On this trip, the first of many out into the North Atlantic, I burned through about 40 rolls of colour and black & white film. On my way home, I bagged up everything I’d shot, stopped at Thurso post office and sent what I thought was everything to a lab for developing. I’ve never been one to log every roll of celluloid I use.
Early in 2023, clearing out a camera bag, I discovered a single, used roll of Ilford Delta 3200 black & white 35mm film. The 37 images in this book are all from that roll of film, overlooked for four and a half years.
All films can be delicate, but 3200 ISO is especially so. Delicate and sensitive. Heat is bad, and X-rays are worse. Over nearly five years, this particular roll of film went through at least twelve airport hold-baggage X-ray machines and then sat, stewing, in the boot of a Volvo for two years, including two sweltering summers.
I sent the roll of Ilford to be processed, scanned and traditionally printed; as soon as I saw the images, the years of abuse were apparent. I immediately thought of taking the photographs into Adobe Lightroom and attempting to ‘save’ them, but doing so took away the feel and originality, making them look almost artificial.

This book, ‘Reul na Mara’, contains all 37 images from that lost and found roll of film, printed in the exact order they were taken, reproduced with all the imperfections of nearly five years in hiding.

Signed & numbered, and limited to 100 copies. This will not be printed as a book again.

Printed one image per page on 200gsm recycled paper, 210x210mm.

£10 (£2.50 postage in UK. Rest of the world £5.90)
Paypal – (please include your address)


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