Today my son said, “Dad, throw that old camera away”!

We all know that this is the age of technology we are living in.

And we all love the ease with which this new-fangled technology helps us in our daily lives, relieving a certain drudgery we had before it came along.

Want to find out about something? Just type it into a search engine and Kapow! Within seconds a 1001 pages come up with tons of information. Want to buy groceries, or clothes, or cameras, or virtually anything else? Sure, search for the store you want, choose your stuff, click and you’ve bought it, to be delivered to your door.

I remember working in business in the days when there was no such thing as the internet. My work involved commodity trading, such as sugar, cooking oils, etc, and to source both sellers and buyers the world over, I had to trawl through commercial directories, magazines or periodicals in order to find companies or people who also did business in that field. It used to take me days on end, and of course, when I did get around to phoning them, more than half turned out to be time-wasters!

Now, it’s just a matter of a web search, an email and the job is done.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about the days when digital cameras were not even a pipe-dream. The electronic flash had to be set up separately to the camera (but hang on a minute, before the electronic ones came out….I still remember using my first flash unit… opened out the folding metal leaves which formed a perfect reflector when opened, plugged in your flash bulb and connected the unit to your camera via a little lead!). Then there was the camera itself to be set up….exposure speed and apertures, as well as distance to the subject, were all done using experience…no light meters used.

The shots were taken and the film unloaded and either taken to the local chemist shop, or sometimes posted away for processing. Then there was that agonizing wait for the finished prints to arrive, but it wasn’t a big deal, as that suspense was part of the fun.

Some of us were brave enough to do our own film developing and printing and that was the ultimate in pleasure. Those weird chemical smells in my darkroom, the little tasks involved in preparing the fluids, the paper, the enlarger, were kind of ritualistic, rather religious even, like a pseudo japanese tea ceremony! Then there was the absolute silence… if you were getting ready for a meditation session or something. And of course the final thing was printing…seeing the print appear in that white plastic tray….that was the closest thing to sheer magic on Earth! And no matter how many years I did it for, every time it was still the same….magic!

Now I sometimes look at my own children and youth in general and wonder what they are missing. They have all been born in the digital age…they are Children of The Digital Age. They will probably never ever experience that magic of the darkroom, or even loading their own film into a classic camera and taking their own carefully composed and exposed shots.

No; alas, their only experience of taking photos will be via their ever-present cellphones that somehow seem glued to their ears all day long. But…all is not lost, I console myself. They will have have the option of “doing up” their photos with software like Instagram, to look like those taken by real film cameras, on real film.

And then they will look at those “Instagrammed” photos that look nothing like the original shot, and laugh….laugh at what kind of photos their dad used to take with his weird, heavy lump of metal he called a camera!

If only they knew.




About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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4 Responses to Today my son said, “Dad, throw that old camera away”!

  1. ’tis difficult to argue with youngsters using their phones to capture their digital images when you see the quality compared to what some of those old cameras gave. I ran a film through an old Baldixette I a few months ago – I won’t be using that again in a hurry – with its f7.2 lens having two settings f9 and f16 (a large hole and a small hole, no iris) and shutter speed of B or M.
    But then it made photographs and their toys only make digital images……

    • aha!
      youve hit the nail on the head…exactly what im trying to put into words!
      my cameras make photographs…whereas their cellphone cameras, even with Instacrud or whatever they call it, just make images…thank you for dropping in!

  2. We have a very similar collection – in fact some of the same cameras you have there. Never get rid of them. I know we won’t. Most of ours are still in good working order. We just keep collecting more. Have a good weekend.

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