Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tortoise world

Ever since I was 11 years old, I always wanted to own a camera. The art of photography fascinated me and held various challenges that I knew could be overcome if given the right tools and opportunity.

When I was 11 years old, film was king. It was also the age of the platform shoes and the afro hair style, so you can imagine my joy when I took my first picture - using black and white film.

My progression into color photography was slow. I liken this to the time it takes a tortoise to complete a sprint of the 100M. Suffice it to say that the tortoise and I have many things in common but unlike the hard shell of the tortoise that can protect them from the elements I was subjected to all the turmoil life had to offer without much protection.

The Canon A1 was the first camera I owned, and this launched a series of 'episodes' - I was taking pictures of everything and anything animate and inanimate. Not knowing I had to pay to have rolls of film developed encouraged the enthusiasm to the brink of fanaticism.

Many years would go by before the dawn of digital photography. Having lived in both worlds, I can appreciate the fact that going digital affords certain types of advantages - not paying for film processing, erasing the bad pictures before someone else views them and you being embarrassed, easy file sharing etc, etc.

But what of film? My brother had indicated that I use my Canon A1 as a door stop and I disagreed. I do believe that the reign of film cameras is at an end but this does not mean the end of film photography Some specialized field - and I can't think of any - will still be using film for some reasons I am sure will be very valid.

I will still keep my film camera, not as a door stop, but as an important nostalgic piece to remind me of an earlier life.

The author is an educator at a private college in Atlanta, Georgia. He owns and administers the websites Computer Bargains Today and Photo Stuff Online.

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