Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Camera itch

I remember when I heard Polaroid was being discontinued. I wept quietly in my room for a good 40 minutes before going out to face the world. I had assumed such a wonderful medium would always be in my life tracking all the mundane moments and major milestones. My parents were often exasperated at the amount of money I would spend on film but secretly I could tell they loved it when I whipped it out at christmas.

The only advantage of the Polaroid demise was that it forced me to try out new and exciting avenues that I had been ignoring. Predictably, first came the Holga which is a great camera for point and shoot. It allowed me to rediscover the joy of developing film which can't be rated highly enough. Next came the Diana. I grappled with this one. Despite the pretty name it is essentially the raw guts of a camera and I am no photo tech scientist. Photos came out either blurry, opaque or utterly uninspiring.

Next I moved on to the Golden Half and this love affair ran for over a year. Although we are on a 'break' I look forward to returning to her soon. A tiny wee thing, she fits snugly in my hand bag allowing me to whip her out at a moments notice to point and shoot. The Golden Half captures light beautifully and the double frame shots put a new spin on chosen subject matter. For christmas my boyfriend got me a multi coloured flash (and a BP gift voucher?) allowing me to take my day hobby across to the night.

Next came the big guns. The Nikon D80 which to say it politely, raped my bank account. A digital camera was a whole new realm for me. No developing film anticipation, no tangible photos, no opportunity to have a happy accident with botched film or beautiful light. I felt puzzled holding such a large contraption in my hand. Tentativeness soon gave way to an overwhelming enthusiasm as I took photos with carefree abandon. There was no developing costs, the opportunity to review a night of debauchery the morning after, and the ability to edit photos on a computer. I became hooked. Although I would pick film over digital any day the D80 improved my technical skills through hours or trial and error, error, error.

As winter approaches I am keen to document the falling snow, blinding light and hazy nights of drinking to escape the cold. There is an itch for a new camera to document this. I'm contemplating the Fuji film instax, a rather ugly imitation of Polaroid. Half of me is dying for point and shoot instant photo contraption but the other half can't help but wonder if I am buying into over priced hipster camera? Also sitting on the wish list is a Minolta xg-m and a Canon Rebel 2000. There are also a few planned outings with a plain old disposable camera, taking me back to the days of school camps and underrated photographic fun.

Photos: by Katrin Braga, by Hilda Grahnat, Fuji film instax, Hello Kitty Golden Half

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