Every child I can think of has been fascinated by a camera at some point in their lives. What’s not to be fascinated by? With the click of a button you can capture a memory forever. I did it a lot when I was younger. Any holiday or adventure I went on, I’d have a disposable camera at the ready, ready to capture some grainy, out of focus, too bright or too dark, memories.
Inevitably as we grow up we focus our wonderment slightly. It’s not that we lose interest in everything we once enjoyed, we just put more energy into a few special things. For a while I had forgotten the joy of being trigger happy with memories. That was up until about a year ago when I brought a DSLR. I know what you’re thinking, ‘another hipster with a DSLR who thinks he’s a photographer’. You’re damn right. You can get some amazing shots with a DSLR without ever really trying. A professional photographer will know in an instant that you don’t know the manual mode exists, But who cares? For the rest of that year I was trigger happy once more, and captured plenty more memories without ever leaving the safety of full auto.
That was all destined to change one fateful new years eve eve in Wales. Having owned the camera for a good chunk of time, Steve showed me how to use it in manual mode, and my eyes were opened to something extraordinary.
When you know how to work a DSLR, you can capture images you couldn’t imagine. You can draw with light, you can see in the dark, and you can see stars you never could with a naked eye. All of this is pretty incredible, but there’s one thing missing from those trigger happy days of your childhood. Proper printed photos. In the whirlwind of instantly available shots that you can simply discard if they offer you anything less than perfection, you can lose sense of that feeling of waiting for a film to be developed. No recollection of the people or scenes you captured. Good or bad every photo will have a story. Be it ‘that was a friend I made on holiday one time’ or ‘that’s my thumb over the lens!’, They’re photos you’re likely to treasure for some time. That’s something you all too often lose with digital cameras.
The good news is film cameras can be brought pretty cheap these days, and there are still people crazy enough to develop them for you. So my next camera adventure was to get hold of one. So my friend Rhys and I decided to drive 30 miles to pay 25 pounds for something we could have sat at home and brought on eBay for a fiver. Stealing an idea from Steve and Rhys, I thought I’d put all the pictures from that roll on a blog.
I say that, I took about 15 other photos before these, but it turns out I never put the film in right, so they’re lost forever. Just like my memories of that day.
So here they are in all their imperfections. The under exposed and over exposed and everything in between. The weird vignette presumably because I used my DSLR kit lense on an SLR from 1992. A collection of memories from a few days on Southsea beach.
Hope you enjoyed them. If you’re keen on getting out and taking pictures, finding yourself an old film camera is definitely a good way to go. It’s like visiting a red light district, Relatively cheap, pretty exciting, and you’ll get some interesting souvenirs.