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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photographic Evolution


I received my first camera the Christmas I was nine.
Together with one film.
A twelve exposure.
I hoarded those pictures judiciously. Carefully.
Only taking pictures of very, very special occasions.
And then, only when conditions were especially perfect.
Not.
I used up that first film in 32 seconds flat.
We had pictures of wrapping paper.
Kids admiring just-opened gifts nestled in a pile of wrapping paper.
And Mom stuffing more of said wrapping paper into the trash.
Okay, I admit it. Wrapping paper was the most exciting thing I could come up with.
Which says something about my life.
I should also mention, here, that my camera also came with a packet of little bulbs that you could press, one-by-one, into the flash. After they had been used, you pressed a little button and they would be forcibly ejected. This was an especially handy feature when brothers were hanging about. It’s amazing just how fast a brother can move when he has been shot with a little bulb of flaming-hot, molten glass.
Just FYI.
Moving on . . .
For the next few years, I snapped pictures of friends.
Doing . . . stuff.
Of pets.
Mine and other peoples.
And vacations.
Most of them blurry and unrecognisable.
“Okay, this is a shot of Great Aunt Maud. Or of Old Faithful. Take your pick.”
In college, I was handed a ‘real’ camera.
With dials and buttons and switches.
And sent forth into the hinterland to ‘take some shots’.
Yikes.
I will admit that my picture-taking had improved.
Vastly.
Now, people were easily differentiated from, say, cakes.
And my basketball players looked like basketball players.
Not the LCC square-dancing team they were usually mistaken for.
On or off the court.
In fact, my picture-taking skills had improved so much that I was given the position of official photographer in our Journalism class.
A promotion that came with its own dark room.
Yessiree. On any given Tuesday evening, I could be found in my darkroom.
Developing.
Now why does everyone smile when I say that?
It’s true.
I was developing.
Okay, yes, I usually had a young man in there with me.
But, inevitably, their idea of what goes on in a darkroom and mine were vastly different.
Hmmm. I think I know now why they looked so surprised when I told them to, and I quote, “Sit over there and stay out of my way!”
Back to my story . . .
Following college, I was given a ‘point-and-shoot’. A camera that guaranteed perfect pictures. Without any input from me.
Perfect.
For several years, it faithfully recorded early years of marriage. Baby arrivals. And family life.
With one ore two side trips into ‘someplace green’.
Until that momentous occasion when it died.
Never to go again.
After a normal grieving period, I got another point and shoot.
Digital.
No more films.
No more trips to the store, picking up or dropping off.
That little camera and I were inseparable.
Until recently.
When I got my new phone.
This is why.
Edmonton, Alberta at sunset.
I will admit that I sometimes think back to my little flashbulbs.
And the ejector that was so effective.
But only fleetingly.

10 comments:

  1. Such memories of all the cameras I ever owned come crowding back. My first was a little blck Tower with a braided chestnut coloured cord. You had to wind the film around a spool inside the camera. I passed it on to my cousin. I hope he got the camera bug and passed it on to his kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'd LOVE to see that one! Bet it din't shoot little hot bulbs at your family, though . . .

      Delete
  2. I remember my first camera, it used to be so special to take a picture, I do love the digital age, I just pop a picture whenever I feel like it. Now I just have to take some time to down load the 1000 pictures I have on two cameras and my cell, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sometimes I think I'd have been better off with my Instamatic 104 instead of getting so frustrated at my Canon 7D. However when the gods are smiling, there's no comparison. I'm trying to regenerate my old negatives from my Instamatic and am having some luck but there is no comparison when I look at one of my poorer pictures today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember that little camera! It went miles. And miles. I have to agree that your pictures today are amazing, though. Couldn't come close with your little Old Reliable.

      Delete
  4. I was just thinking about that. How we digitally click away, knowing the delete button is just under our finger. We really did take more care in the old days, when we paid for processing. And film.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well . . . some of us took more care. I think my Dad would have something to say about that as he was looking at the feet, gravel and floors I photographed.;)

      Delete
  5. How wonderfully easy cameras are today. And even when you do not get a good shot, it can edited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! My son-in-law has retrieved some terrible shots for me. He's a magician!

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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