Time Capsule: Madeira Honeymoon, 1980

Time Capsule
Time Capsule

 

Where and when was this photo taken? 

I took this photo in March 1980 when my husband and I were in Madeira for our honeymoon. The island is an autonomous region of Portugal and a family friend had recommended it as a beautiful place to visit. And it was magnificent. We spent most of our time in the capitol, Funchal, but also traveled a bit along the terrifying narrow roads that wind along the precipitous edges of the mountains. Although it is well-known for its superb wine, we discovered that Madeira had long been one of the poorer areas of Europe. We passed old women sweeping dirt streets with bundles of straw, children helping their mothers at market stands and a lot of crumbling houses. As you can see from this shot, (which I believe was taken in Funchal) this boy was carrying some kind of insecticide in an ironically beautiful copper canister. The background, with the wall of roughly stacked cement blocks, gives a hint of the neighborhood's economic troubles.

 What film was and camera were used?

At the time I was shooting with my trusty Nikkormat, the camera my father bought for me when I was in college. It had been well traveled—throughout West Africa, across the Sahara, across the U.S. (When I brought it in to be cleaned after my trip hitch-hiking across the Sahara, the repair guy said, "Geez, it looks like this camera has been in a sandstorm!" And he was right.

To be honest, I have no idea what kind of film I was using. 

Scanned and preserved at PhotoLounge for the family of Melissa D.

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