the disposable memory project

Found a camera? Tell us here!
Are you one of The 100? Visit our new project for 2012

Our 400th camera!

January 7, 2012 by admin

We’ve released our 400th camera!

After almost four years (that’s 100 a year), we’ve reached our 400th camera – which was released by Alex L in Columbus, Ohio, USA – and then quickly picked up by Josh.

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the project since we started, its an amazing achievement to have released this many cameras into the world, and we’re really excited to be continuing on our journey into 2012.

The curious case of Camera 395

January 2, 2012 by admin

We don’t have many rules at the project, we let people interpret the project pretty broadly, and as a result get a wide range of journeys and stories back from cameras. However, we have recently had a camera returned by the person who originally released it, ie. it never really got passed on.

In the interest in openness, I asked the community for their thoughts on whether this camera should be classed as ‘returned’ and therefore added to the project as a camera. The responses were pretty much split down the middle. Half of the people thought that it was still valid, and the images contained on the camera still merit sharing. Others thought that it shouldn’t really go towards the camera returned count.

Personally, I’m inclined to agree. I don’t want to overinflate the returned camera count by allowing cameras which were released and returned by the same individual, else we risk multiple cameras just staying with a single person, and effectively just sharing photographs taken.

Camera 395 was sent to a journalist as part of Kodak’s agreement to provide us with 50 cameras (25 went to the community by us, 25 were sent to journalists across Europe by Kodak). I know for sure that it was passed on to the journalist’s children, but in any case, it was immediately used up and returned to us.

So, to keep things simple, we’ve added the images to this post, which you can see below, but the camera itself will not be added to the project as a returned camera. You can still see the camera details (as we have many cameras which are only with a single person so far) on the Camera 395 page, but it has not been counted as returned.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, do email or tweet us if you think this is the best way of handling this rare occurrence, or completely disagree with our approach.

Browsing cameras by country

December 13, 2011 by admin

We’ve started to recently add new features to the website, and will be, over the next year, giving the entire project a substantial overhaul.
Our first new feature is the ability to see cameras by country.

As every single camera in the project is geotagged (contains information on where it currently is in the world), we’re able to create maps of each camera’s location. We’ve created a page for every one of the 73 countries which our cameras have visited, that’s over 770 locations in total. Of course, this is based upon the last time we heard from a camera, not its real location, but I think it creates an interesting view on the project.

Currently, it just shows every single location a camera has passed through, but in time, we’ll be adding the ability to see click to a camera from a location, and other useful tools. As the project grows, you’ll be able to add your own comments to each location too.

You can find the location pages by visiting any Camera page. On the right, you’ll see a list of the countries the camera visited. Just click the link, and you’ll see the location page.

Here are a few examples:


We’ve already spotted a few of the locations/pins are in the wrong place, so if you see something not quite right, just tweet or email us, and we’ll fix it.

And if you have any ideas for the site, just let us know, and we’ll consider all suggestions.

The missing finished four.

December 7, 2011 by admin

The Disposable Memory Project will be four years old in April, and by that point we’ll have released over 400 cameras.
Since the start of the project, we’ve so far had 30 cameras return home, and many more found, but still missing in action.
However, there are a handful of cameras which we know were finished, but never got sent home.

Camera 353 / finished in Virginia, USA on Nov 8th, 2011
Camera 250 / finished in Pahang, Malaysia on Dec 8th, 2009
Camera 249 / finished in Louisiana, USA on May 13th, 2010
Camera 188 / finished in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec 6th, 2011

It’s really sad to think that these cameras had their films finished, and in some of their cases, travelled thousands of miles, only to go missing at the last hurdle. Sometimes, people tell us they have a camera, and then don’t respond when we ask them to send it home. Others tell us they’re going to send it home, but then for whatever reason, they just never get sent.

We try and make it as easy as possible for people to get the cameras home, but sometimes, it doesn’t work.

We’re always looking for ways of simplifying the process of getting cameras back to us. It doesn’t look like there is any form of international ‘freepost’, where people can just label up the camera, and we pay for it upon its arrival. I’m going to start investigating whether international couriers like DHL and UPS can offer this, but as a non-funded project, it could be expensive.

If you have any suggestions on how to help people get cameras home, do drop us a line.
And of course, if you have a camera, please get in touch, and we’ll do everything we can to help you get it home!

UPDATE: Camera 188 has now been returned! Thanks to Xavier for getting this one home.

How does the camera numbering work? You sent me a code, but that isn’t a number like on the website!

November 24, 2011 by admin

Steve B asks:

I see on the web site that the cameras are numbered 1-306. Is one of those mine? What is the relationship between the camera number and the URL?

The cameras have two unique IDs – the codes for the camera itself (ie. which we send you when you request a camera code) and the number once it is added to the website.

The code on the camera is so we can track the camera (so people cannot just say “Hey, I found Camera 123″ if they did not actually find one, and also, as you can imagine, many people request codes, but do not actually release cameras). The number of the website is simply the Nth camera released. Hope that makes sense? Possibly not the simplest of systems, but it seems to work :)

When you find a camera, make sure you tell us the unique code you see on the camera, and we’ll tell you which camera you’ve found. In fact, if you visit the code on the camera, you’ll be taken directly to the relevant page on the website.

Camera 219 returns home after 680 days of travel

October 18, 2011 by admin

Released back in September 2009, Camera 219 has finally returned home after almost 700 days in the wild, travelling through four different countries, and passing through the hands of 7 people.

Started by John W. at his 50th birthday party in North Yorkshire, UK:

We met up with family in deepest North Yorkshire (Halton Gill), and boogied the night away to Bob Dylan and Basement Jaxx

The camera was handed over to family, who took it via Newcastle, and then on to Scotland, and back down to Hexham, England.

The camera was then passed on to Ruth, who travelled across the Atlantic on to Vancouver:

I received camera 219, from Allison and John while at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, near Allendale, in the north of England

Some months later, we heard about the camera’s whereabouts again in the June of 2010, as it had arrived at Granville Island, Canada with Justin S:

I snapped a couple of shots of the sun setting on the bay. A few weeks ago I left the camera on a 50 False Creek South bus as I exited.

Found on that bus by Jeanne H, it stayed within Canada, until it made its way to Seattle REI with Liz W, and then on to Washington with Ken, and finally to Karl V at the Stonerose Interpretive Centre, also in Washington:

It was discovered while the staff was cleaning up the center at the end of the day. We think it was taken to the fossil site with one of our families who went digging for fossils.

Finally returning home in October, 2011 – the camera has picked up a wonderful set of images from across the globe. Its participants are already commenting on the images, check out its journey at the Camera 219 page.

Are you in the UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy?

September 27, 2011 by admin

Hello to all of the new visitors who are arriving here from twitter! If you don’t know about our project, have a look here at what we’re doing!

Calling out to all our community in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

If you’ve already released a camera, or want to release a camera and haven’t yet, here is an opportunity for you to take part.

Our friends at Kodak have kindly offered us a whole load of cameras, to give out to our community in these five countries. These particular cameras will all be released at the same time, and we want to see what interesting places we can get the cameras to visit.

If you have an idea for a great location where you’d like to drop a camera, and are able to get that camera to that location for us, we’ll send you a camera, along with everything you need to get started. We have 25 cameras to distribute across Europe, so tell us where you’d want to drop your camera, and the best ideas will receive the camera (along with some other disposable goodies) to drop.

We’ll then help you track the cameras journey, as usual, and hopefully the most interesting ones will also be featured in a handful of websites and magazines who are also covering the project.

To get involved, all you need to do is tweet “I’d leave a @foundcam camera at XXXX”, telling us where you’d leave the camera, and we’ll select the best ideas and get in touch. Alternatively, you can send us an email via the usual route.

If you’re not following us on twitter, why not? :)

Camera 341 returns home after travelling 8000 miles

September 10, 2011 by admin

Camera 341, after 111 days of travel, has returned to the project and its 27 images are now online.

It’s life started in the Middle East, and whilst we know relatively little about how it began, it quickly made its way to the Walt Disney World theme park in Florida, USA with Carol J, the final owner of the camera. By the images it captured, it looks like it saw some impressive sites on its journey, including a visit to Petra, in Jordan, and the EPCOT Centre too.

If you have any more details about the images, make sure you leave a comment on the photo page for Camera 341.

F5 Magazine, Russia

April 20, 2011 by admin

Masha sent us a scan of an article featuring the project in Russian magazine F5:

f5_newspaper article

She also helped translate it:

folklore (which is only a name of the section, have no idea why)

Than a large sign ТЕКУЧКА КАДРОВ which can be translated as “Flowing of the pictures (frames)” or “workers routine” (this is a very cool magazine. they have so many word-games)

Than it says:

The participants of disposable memory project leave around disposable cameras with a note, which asks people to take a couple of pictures and “lose” the camera again. People, who find the cameras completely filled with photos upload it to the project’s website.

Thanks Masha, and thanks to the team at F5 for featuring the project. Masha will hopefully be our first Russian camera drop, and fingers crossed we’ll get more people from that part of the world signing up to the project.

You can actually download a PDF version of the article here, and view the online version here.

FAQ: If I just leave the camera somewhere in public, how would it end up in another country?

March 29, 2011 by admin

Chris G in Virginia, US, asked:

I noticed that the cameras on your site travel to different countries. If I just leave the camera somewhere in public, how would it end up in another country? Wouldn’t it most likely just stay somewhere in my city?

The cameras travel around by people finding them, and taking them on to wherever they go. Some cameras stay in the same location, like Camera 73, which just seemed to stay in the same bar in Germany, and other cameras travel all over the globe, like the most recent Camera 24 which had travelled from London to Hong Kong and Australia. It entirely depends on what people want to do with them. It seems like many of the people involved in the project are travellers, or want to keep a hold of them until they find somewhere interesting to release it next.

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