It did cross my mind when doing the article on “Dad’s Cameras” that it would make tedious reading, especially for those not ‘into’ photography.
I decided to do it anyway. Why?
Ever since I got into photography, about 40 years ago, there have been dramatic changes in the way pictures are taken.
The cameras of the 60s and 70s worked solely on manually inputted settings. On those contraptions, photography could only be learnt the hard way – by trial and error.
There were no Internet sites to browse and photography books were few and far between… and expensive!
The disappointment at receiving a botched batch of prints was significant; leading to the inevitable search for answers: What went wrong?
Again, trying to remember where you screwed up was far from easy, as the interval between taking the picture and having it developed was often a couple of weeks at least.
Finally, correcting potential mistakes before shooting the next roll of film, hoping and praying that you finally got it right ensured that this was certainly not a hobby for the faint-hearted!
Let’s fast-forward a bunch of decades…the manual film cameras gave way to the automatic film camera…automatic film SLRs… automatic digital cameras…and (before I start to get technical again :-))… slow down to the present time.
The fully automatic digital camera of today.
Just point and shoot the camera will do the rest.
Switch to the ‘preview’ mode on the camera and instantly see and confirm if you got the picture you wanted. If not, simply hit the ‘delete’ button and retake it.
And, it get’s better.
There is no camera film to buy. No cash to fork out to have the prints developed. You can click away till-the-cows-come-home (one of my Dad’s favorite expressions, by the way) and not worry about recurrent expenses.
On the rare occasions where you do get a slightly bungled image, there is the computer software program, (which often comes for free, bundled with the camera), which can ‘unbungle’ it!
Today’s photographers are spared the blood, sweat and tears routine that was associated with yesteryear’s photography. (All right, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I’m sure you get my drift!)
They have no idea what it is like to miss a shot! No idea of the anxious time spent waiting for a roll of film to be developed and the sense of disappointment when a particular image or group of images did not turn out well, knowing full well that those moments (and the money spent) had gone forever.
That’s why I decided to do ‘Dad’s Cameras’.
It was an attempt to document in my own little way an era of in the history of this hobby that has long gone. One that will never be experienced by today’s generation of photo-enthusiasts.
And so, though I do admit the article did tend to be a bit technical, (and I do apologize for that), I have no regrets doing it.
In fact, as a natural extension of ‘Dad’s Cameras’, I am strongly considering doing two more pieces on photography.
The first one based on my migration from Dad’s cameras to my own film cameras in the 90s. And the second on my transition from film to digital photography.