Photography – A long, long time ago … (but not in a Galaxy far away)
Hi, my name is Penny. Welcome to my website.
Photography – A long, long, time ago … well, it certainly seems a long time ago now, looking back.
Do you remember when you first came in contact with a camera? When and how you looked at your first photos? I do. It was back in the days of the good o’l box Brownie cameras, and the sun always seemed to shine. They were good little cameras.
This was our bull terrier, Punch
As you can guess I am of a certain age, but hey, who cares? Not me. In the 1950’s the photographs back then were tiny and only in black/grey and white. Of course there existed cameras, and movie cameras that could take coloured photos, but they were only for the rich people.
Looking at these photos now bring back so many happy memories of holidays spent on the south coast of England, playing on the beach in the sand (and wind), or in Wales visiting my grandparents on their farm. What happy, delightful times. I remember the litter of little kittens in the straw of the cowshed. I remember the handsome cockerel on his dung heap, lording it over his feathery ladies. I remember the lamb that my grandfather ‘gave’ me, with my initials painted on it. All of these memories have been captured in photographs.
I also remember the time when my father combed the knots out of my hair because I had no time to brush it myself. I was way too busy for that sort of thing. As you can gather, I was a real tomboy, but it was all so exciting. So much liberty to roam around the countryside and discover things. Everything was safe then. Farms were quite far apart, no traffic to speak of. Only cows and sheep. Wish I was there now.
Me and my knotted hair!
My mother kept all the family photos such as they were in an old gold biscuit tin with red and pink roses on the lid. No photo albums then. We would periodically get them out to have a look at them. Some of the people we saw there were already long dead and I had to ask my mother who they were. We had their photos, and they weren’t dead or forgotten anymore, at least not to us, because we could see them there. It is vitally important not to lose your family’s history. Researching your family history is a huge industry now, but back then we only had some black and white photos to look at.
I don’t know if it goes on in boot fairs in England, but quite often over here in France you often see family albums for sale, at some flea market, with someone’s old family relatives peering out of the pages. So, so sad, and what a loss. Geneaology is only just catching on over here.
In the past, some people grumpily thought it a complete waste of time to take photos, and expensive too. Don’t see the point of it? What use were they, they asked? You can surely remember where you were, where you went, what you saw and did? No, I don’t believe you can always remember everything that clearly without a photograph at hand to remind you. You can completely forget things until you look at a particular photo. The photograph not only brings back memories of those times, you at the age you were then, but the feelings, the ambiance you felt at that time too. That one photo can trigger off a myriad of other memories as well. What was happening back then in your life? Photos are like mini time machines, a receptacle of memories and feelings. You can go back in time, whenever you want.
Back in the fifties, we couldn’t even dream of a time when there would be such marvels like computers, Smartphones, laptops, tablets etc. That would be considered as space age technology. In the realms of the far off future in some Sci-fi book or film. In the 1960’s, it was in the realms of Star Trek. Not in our times. Little did we know. When I first heard of computers in the early 1970’s, I had to type up a document for some guy and in it he mentioned about computer hardware and software. It seems strange to someone now, but we had to ask him what it meant.
In the late 60’s early 70’s we were living in Geneva at the time and my father decided to buy a Polaroid camera. Have you ever had one of those? The films were expensive but it was something akin to magic when you could get your photo developed just like that in a couple of minutes after taking the photo. You could also see straightaway if it was a good or dud photo and quickly take another, better one, if it was awful. You know, “I hate that one, take another one. You can see my double chin in that one”!
It must be said that we didn’t take many photos back then. They were for special occasions, like going on holiday, weddings etc. People didn’t take rolls of film with them either. It was deemed too expensive, and then you had to get them all developed when you returned back home, and that was another big expense, and you had to wait quite a long time to get them developed too.
In the 1980’s, my first camera was a Kodak 110 Star. I used it for quite a while until it was stolen when I was on holiday in Greece. No photos of that holiday!
In the 1990’s I had a Pentax, which was a very good camera. There again, I didn’t use it that much. It was, in comparison, a rather heavy, bulky camera to take on holiday, for me anyway, but the photos were always clear and sharp. I took it to Egypt on holiday back then and after that holiday I never took it away again, because of the weight of it.
Do you know, I have had stacks of photos from various times, various trips and loads of outings on my computers and, like you, have had to eventually store them onto cd discs so that they wouldn’t be lost to me when my computer went on the blink, as they are wont to do. I don’t think that a picture on a computer or laptop, whatever, carries the same significance as a paper photograph.
Now and then, my husband and I enjoy picking up a pack of photos and pouring over them and remembering where we were and what we did. We can also see how we’ve changed since those times, even if not so many years have passed I believe you need a solid picture in your hand, that can be easily found. Nowadays,I would have to go through discs and discs of photos, load them onto the computer, and then perhaps never find the photo I was looking for.
I freely admit I’m not very organised. In times gone by, I would keep these packs of photos in shoe boxes, and I quickly knew where to find them and it was no great deal to look through the packs and find the photo I was looking for. Over the years, sadly, I have lost a lot of photos when my computers inevitably got old, or just broke down. It’s such a shame. Other photos are stored somewhere in the loft or an outbuilding. I wonder if I’ll see them again.
What do you do with your photos? Have you got some of times gone by, through your parents or grandparents? Do you store all of those on your computer? Pack them neatly away? What do you do with the pics on your Smartphone? Do you look and re-look at your photo albums?
Everywhere you go now, everybody has a Smartphone of some make or other. Anything, slightly out of the ordinary and out come the Smartphones clicking away at whatever’s going on. There’s no privacy these days either. You only have to fall flat on your face, and someone will probably take a shot of you, to your complete embarrassment. Next thing you know, you’re probably on YouTube! Cringe…
Nowadays, what you have to hand on the camera front is truly astonishing. There’s so much choice that it is hard to decide which camera is the best one for you. The mind boggles. You go into a big store and you are faced with hundreds of cameras of all shapes, colours and sizes, with all sorts of gimmicks and specs on offer.
These days, I can’t think of anyone who would say that taking a photo is stupid or a waste of time. That said, there are times in your life when you take a look at the photos you have taken and think, ‘OMG, these photos are SOoooo boring’. ‘I didn’t take any photos with people in them’, and although the shots of mountains, ancient buildings are sort of interesting to you, personally, they are nevertheless yawningly boring, boring, boring, especially to somebody else. I once had to sit for around an hour while my friend showed me picture after boring picture on her computer of various scenes from her holiday? I had to feign interest so not to hurt her feelings. So what can we do to improve our technique of picture taking?
Some people are not bothered by their inane photos. They don’t seem them as we do. However, some people are aware, but they can’t think where to even start. “Where should I go to for advice?” “What camera?” “What equipment?” “And where do I go to study photography in the first place?”, if you’ve actually decided you want to go that far?
I have had a look at various photography courses held in schools and colleges, and believe me they are VERY expensive. I’m not talking about hundreds, but thousands of Dollars, Pounds, Euros. It’s frightening how it’s all so expensive. Another point is, that unless you have considerable wealth, you wouldn’t be able to take around 9 weeks holiday to do a photography class at some college. I think I can safely say that most people cannot afford the luxury of a photography course. Can you? I know, I can’t.
So what can you do about this? This is the problem. You may already have a posh dslr camera, it’s waiting there ready to be used, but you don’t get it out because you don’t really know what all those buttons and settings are for. You did use it to take a few pics in the beginning, but then it all got a bit too complicated. The User’s Manual is not very well written, or translated from Japanese or something, things are hard to find, and you don’t really understand what they are going on about. Phew. And you’ve probably wondered why you bought the damn camera in the first place? Let’s stuff it away in a cupboard!
Well, so that you don’t get discouraged, I’ve come across a young, very experienced, Photographer who has done years of studying and experimenting for you. You don’t need to worry about a thing. He will explain what all those buttons and settings are for. He will explain everything in great detail, and you will understand what it’s all about. It will be exactly like attending one of those expensive photography schools, or colleges, except it will better, because you will be on a one-to-one basis with him. You won’t have to compete for attention with 20 other students in the class, when you’ve got yet another question to ask the tutor in the expensive college. You will have your very own private tutor, and you won’t have to take 9 weeks holiday off from work (even if that were possible) to attend that photography college either.
Wouldn’t you really like to take photos that your girlfriend, boyfriend, family members will be amazed by? They will be shocked and slack jawed when they see your shots because they had absolutely no idea that you could do such a thing because they were used to seeing your ‘old’ photos You’ll be in great demand from then on to do the pics for all those family and friends ‘Do’s’, weddings, christenings, etc. Even make some money? Whoa!
So this Photographer guy has actually created two in-depth courses which you can follow ONLINE. You don’t have to attend a college, pay out expensive fees, get yourself to and from college. It’s all there, in your living room, to follow at your own leisure, whenever you want.
I’ll briefly go into each course and then you can decide if one of them could be the one for you.
So, I’ll go and write some more pages about these courses then.
Bye for now.