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Photographer’s 3 12 months Mission to Get better His Grandpa’s Movie Digicam

Benjamin Dome didn’t have a lot hope he would ever see his grandfather’s movie digicam once more after it was stolen in Ethiopia three years in the past.

The Nikon F-E disappeared after a bus driver sped off with it whereas Dome was visiting the nation to {photograph} the Mursi tribe.


“I went on the market simply earlier than the pandemic, about three years in the past,” the London-based photographer tells PetaPixel.

“I used to be on a visit and we instructed the motive force to cease whereas we went and received some meals earlier than going again to the lodge.”

However as Dome and his fellow vacationers stepped out of the van it sped off together with his grandfather’s digicam inside.

This sparked a panic to seek out the motive force late at evening, whereas there was a curfew in place.

“We discovered some military and defined what occurred and so they began banging on the gates of the lodge,” explains Dome.

When the group received into the lodge they discovered the motive force who “mentioned he knew nothing,” and after they checked the van, it was empty.

“They put the motive force in a police automobile to attempt to search for different stuff, they went to a bar and interrogated a person with their truncheons,” says Dome.

The police promised Dome that they might discover his grandfather’s digicam, however he left Ethiopia empty-handed.

“It had my roll of movie I used to be capturing on contained in the digicam. I used to be gutted I’d misplaced the photographs and gutted I’d misplaced my grandad’s digicam.”


All Appeared Misplaced

Dome has been visiting the Mursi individuals within the Horn of Africa with anthropologist Dr. David Turton for 20 years.

“I went again to London, however I instructed my pal within the native village to maintain an eye fixed out for it and test in with the police sometimes,” Dome says.

Time handed and his grandfather’s digicam that held sentimental worth appeared misplaced, however Dome by no means gave up hope.

“About eight months in the past, I reminded my pal to look. He despatched me a hyperlink on Fb of a man posing with it and mentioned ‘Is that this your digicam?’”

After Dome’s pal went and retrieved the digicam, they cross-referenced the serial numbers and certain sufficient, it was the stolen Nikon.

Dome’s pal with the digicam after he had retrieved it.

In March 2022, three years after Dome misplaced the digicam, he traveled again to East Africa the place he received his palms on the misplaced instrument.

“It learn 36 frames on the roll, so nobody’s opened it which means my movie continues to be inside,” he says.

“The winder was damaged off the highest and the movie was damaged off the canister. However my uncovered movie was undoubtedly inside.”

Broken winder
Damaged winder.

Dome struggled to open the digicam however managed to pry the movie out and get it right into a protected pot. However, that wasn’t the tip of his struggles.

“I lastly received it open with the movie, however I didn’t bear in mind how I uncovered the movie,” he says.

“I do know good apply says I ought to write it on the canister earlier than taking photos, however on the go, it’s not all the time attainable. And I by no means anticipated to have the digicam stolen.”

After a lot soul-searching Dome determined to get the movie developed as ISO 200.

“I assumed it could be an excellent center floor to work from, assuming the movie hadn’t been uncovered within the two years or so it was out of my possession,” says Dome.



After a nail-biting wait, the movie got here again with lovely black-and-white photos of Ethiopians on it.

Evidently, Dome was thrilled to not solely retrieve the images he had traveled to date to seize but in addition, to have his grandfather’s digicam again in his possession.

“I’m hoping to have an exhibition subsequent 12 months with extra pics from the ‘stolen roll’ and 20 years of visiting the Mursi,” he provides.

“I’ll be posting a video of the entire journey to retrieve the digicam on my new YouTube vlog too.”

Nikon F-E

For the upcoming video and to see extra of Dome’s work, go to his YouTube, web site, and Instagram.

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