Every year, a couple dozen Melbournians drive North to the banks of the Murray, inflate a couple dozen toy rafts and other floatation devices, tie some rope to a floating esky full of beer, and let the current take them downstream for the better part of three hours. This year, I decided to take my Holga along, and wrapped it in a plastic zip-lock bag in case of splashing. I only had two rolls of 120, so just before we launched our flimsy vessels I grabbed a roll of 35 from my bag and stuffed it into my pocket. Moments after we set off, the sky opened up and we were stung with freezing torrential rain for 45 minutes. I rattled off both rolls of medium format pretty quickly, clumsily unloading and reloading them in the rain whilst bobbing on the river and trying not to tip my tiny inflatable lilo. I realised too late that the plastic bag I'd used to keep the camera dry was actually doing the opposite. It retained a huge amount of water - enough to ensure the camera and both 120 films were saturated. So by the time I got around to loading this roll of 35, my lens and viewfinder were completely fogged with condensation, and the inside of the camera was full of bright blue chemical-coloured rainwater. I had also forgotten to bring my 35mm mask and back, so I just loaded the film loosely without any padding or mask and used a bit of old gaffer tape I found stuck to the Holga's body to cover the red window on the back (which, in my haste, I put on upside down). Eventually the rain stopped, and a couple of hours later we arrived at our destination downstream. I put the exposed films and camera in the sunniest spot I could find to dry them off, and that night I rewound the film by hand in the dark, though I'm pretty sure it was exposed to light from the moon, the campfire, and a friend's torch. The rolls of 120 are still damp, and I'm trying to figure out how to get them processed.

More photos by werriston