In times gone by...
The fair humanities of old religion,
The Power, the Beauty, and the Majesty,
That had their haunts in dale, or piny mountain,
Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
Or chasms and wat’ry depths; all these have vanish’d.
They live no longer in the faith of reason!
But still the heart doth need a language, still
Doth the old instinct bring back the old names."
From Schiller’s Piccolomini (II.iv.110ff), translated by S. T. Coleridge
In times gone by, you could stand outside Happy Snaps, press your nose to the foul-tasting window, and watch photographs appear as they were being developed, trundling, in a long, unbroken strip, up a conveyor belt to be dried, diced, and parceled up for their owners. who'd come in an hour, a week, or a day. Occasionally, a picture would break the mould of satisfactory, passable pictures, and a bored-looking lab technician might stick a sticker on it, giving standard advice about using a flash, or a tripod. But, very occasionally, there'd be a picture for which there was no sticky explanation: a strange, torn, half-image, and incongruous double exposure, or, perhaps, something had gone horribly, horribly wrong the lab's C41 processing drum, and prosaic things like colour balance had been thrown to the wind.
The age of digital doesn't allow for such mysterious pictures that exist beyond the power of all mortal photographers. At least, that is what I thought until this morning, when I successfully recovered every single one of the 200 images that I took yesterday on a single memory card, which, inadvertently, in a state of tiredness and slight drunkenness, I'd formatted. Twice. And recorded video over: