Monday, July 24, 2006

mama don't take my kodachrome away

I miss my old camera. I had a sturdy old 35mm Minolta body and two lenses: one, a respectable zoom, the other a solid wide angle.

Digital cameras are great. I love having a camera I can slip into my pocket for snapshots, but I miss the cold, metal, tactile feel of a real camera.

I miss the whole process: loading a curling strip of 35 mm film into the film chamber, the sound of the rewind crank or the internal motor advancing the film, standing in the light to read it by its warmth on my skin rather than appearance or meters, adjusting the small buttons for speed and aperture, steadying the weight of the body in my hand, pressing my eye to the cup of the eye piece, focusing the lens, and finally waiting for that nearly imperceptible moment when everything is honest and bare before the lens.
Then releasing the shutter.

It's all a bit erotic.

For my fourteenth birthday my father, a photographer (shameless plug: go to his website here), gave me the extraordinary gift of building me a darkroom. I immediately started shooting, developing, and printing all my own work (always black and white), and I have never since been able to hand my cartridges over to anothers hands.

Its been years since Ive worked with film or shot for artistry. I stopped shooting when I moved out on my own in my mid to late teens; photography was too costly a hobby for my non-existent bank account.

My mom called me yesterday because she came across my beautiful old enlarger while she was packing up our house in Iowa which just sold.
She wanted to know what to do with it.
I asked her to keep it.

It's time to pick up a camera again.

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“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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