On Fleeting Frames


I was sat on the edge of a bench in Canada fully aware that the sense of security I felt with time was false; if I wanted the frame that I thought I did I needed to change over the roll of film faster. 

No sooner than the thought passed, my mind snapped into that heightened state one often hears about where everything works without thought. Tirelessly and without concern as if my body had always known how to do it, the way it heals a broken bone or grows hair, I slid out the exposed roll, flipped it over and licked the tab with one clean motion. It was light-sealed. Twelve frames, intertwined, with only a thin sheet of paper to separate them. Fragile.

I moved over the empty spool into the receiving end of the magazine and tore the protective tab off another roll. I could feel the eagerness of the bus to depart. I clicked the unexposed roll inside of the magazine and fed the beginnings of it into the empty spool. I then twisted the tiny knob until the arrows lined up. I was on my feet, crossing the street and winding the knob on my camera to get to the first frame, all with bated breath. The bus engine came to life and I felt my heart beat faster. I framed up the shot –– too close –– I walked backwards, staring only into the viewfinder, until I got to this.

This frame sits amongst a few that are special in a weird way. There are frames that you’ll want to capture before you’ve actually seen them. You might be walking through them, or parts of them might be obscured by something fleeting, but ultimately you’ll know when you do and it won’t be when you’ve seen them in their entirety. The bench that I changed the roll of film on is situated between the bus and the buildings.

Rehat Kathuria