My somewhat unsuccessful photo project with the students I’m working with left me with a disposable camera to spare. I heard about people taking apart cameras and making tazers or strobe lights, but I also heard about making double exposures, filters, and doing other manual film tricks with a $7.00 plastic camera. On a weekend trip to Pucusana and Lima, I bought my disposable camera with markers smeared on the lens, needles poked through the body, and a good amount of custom modifications.
Digital cameras can capture images faster and clearer then our brittle memory. But something about these photos feel like they capture the moments better. Some are blurry and confusing. Some photos I remember taking, but can’t find the print. Other things look cooler then I remember them being when I was there.
I put my 20 centimos into this video game console that was running bootleg Wii mario. The local kids started jamming buttons and make selections and I almost tried to stop them but one of the older ones simply said “two players” in the clipped style that I’ve gotten used to in Perú. 20 centimos got 7 minutes of Mario, and I had about a Sol worth of coins. I spent the afternoon squashing mushrooms and riding Yoshi with a crowd of stoked beach kids.