Nick DeWolf: endofroll
Nick DeWolf was an amateur photographer that shot between the 1950s and his death in 2006. One of the great individual archive projects online, it currently contains over 68,000 photos.
The archive would not exist online if DeWolf’s voracious shooting wasn’t matched by his archivist, Steve Lundeen. The scanning of 68,000 photographs on different negative and positive mediums, the constant uploading, the tagging, the sorting; it’s staggering. And then there’s determining and describing what’s in the photos. It’s easier to shoot this many photos than it is to keep them organized.
How to do an edit? There are trips to many places at particular times that are interesting. Bangkok, 1972. Martha’s Vineyard, 1961. The Ramblin’ Raft Race, Atlanta, 1977. A jazz club in 1973, Miles Davis’ giant sunglasses reflecting red stage lights onto Kodachrome.
Wandering the archive on Flickr I noticed the tag “endofroll.” Lundeen is also scanning the misfires. There are dozens of photos taken at the end of the roll, as the film runs out. Looking through the rolls in sequence, sometimes you feel the tension from the frames leading up to the end of the roll. DeWolf is plugging away at a scene, unaware how close he’s getting.
Occasionally the half frame improves an uninteresting shot, isolates a gesture or aspect of a landscape. Like a dip into any archive of this scope, my edit accurately represents DeWolf’s photography, yet it doesn’t. It’s merely an entry point to cascade through his life and times on film.
This article originally appeared in LPV Magazine 7