Mysterious Developments Case #002
The Kodak Star 835AF was produced between 1991 and 1995. It’s an everyday point and shoot with all-auto features…even auto flash! At the time, the camera was purchased new for about $100 and they took simple AA batteries.
The film is Fujicolor Superia 400 as listed on the canister, but they have since added “Xtra” to the title. I double checked the edge marking to be sure it wasn’t another, similar, discontinued film, and it is in fact the Xtra without the title. The negatives themselves were very dark, these images were taken awhile ago.
The very first image gives away a lot, It’s a hockey rink, and several flags hang in the background, including the Ontario flag on the very left. Then, on the ice, you can see some lettering. Googling the different possibilities with a couple missing letters and taking into account it’s likely a hockey team, the Ottawa Senators comes up.
So we know the film did some travelling because I found the camera & film in Alberta.
Images 7, 8, and 9 show a man and a woman figure skating, and following images reveal it to be a competition of sorts. There are kids and parents present, and the room is decorated for the Christmas season.
These are the people photographed on the rink. At this point it can already be assumed the photographer know one or both of them…..purple and blue skates, cute!
There’s a list of sponsors. The names I can make out are Artwood Office Supplies, Buro Plus, Auto Pro J.C. Auto Service, Figure 8, Gilmore Global Logistics, Kinsmen Club of Manotick, Kiwanis Club of Manotick, CIBC Imperial Service, Lions Club, & Allure Hair Design & Spa. Manotick, by the way, is a suburb in Ontario
There’s a party afterwards, with what looks like some of the competitors and their loved ones. I see a Smirnoff Ice on the table, which didn’t come out until the mid to late 1990’s, and once you realize there isn’t a single cell phone on the table, you know it’s probably still the 90’s, but after 1996. There’s a boom box, and a TV with real bunny ears too if you don’t believe me! This also doubles as a birthday party. It’s the same day as the young woman is in the same outfit.
Last image is below. it’s dark but it could be the birthday boy. He’s carrying luggage, might be off to the airport….to Allllberta perhaps??? Closer inspection reveals it’s probably a Greyhound depot. The reflection in the window shows a pretty small parking lot, two individuals on a bench, with their own luggage, and a blue van on the far end.
We’re lucky to have this extra photo, as it was only a 24 exp film. The gentleman is carrying the bags, but signs indicate it may belong to the photographer, a visitor to this amateur skating competition/birthday. This camera is full auto so right after this image was taken, the roll would have rewound back into the canister. Usually when cameras are abandoned it’s because the batteries died halfway through the roll. In this case, I found the film in camera with the canister already rolled up. We can only assume the photographer put their Kodak in their bag with every intention to develop, but never got the chance to. It’s a small detail but the biggest question mark left for me.
A Kodak Star 835AF with a full roll of 25 images on a 24 exposure Fujicolor Superia 400. The camera and negatives were found in Alberta in 2013, but the images were shot in Ottawa Ontario, as confirmed by the hockey rinks lettering on the ice, flags hanging from the rafters, and list of sponsors during the award ceremony. Photos most likely taken after 1996, as indicated by a bottle of Smirnoff Ice at the after party/birthday event.