-- 03 April, 2005 --

Ancient history in Kakadu

'Kakadu Camp'
Kodak Box Brownie

My new e-friend, Blue, who is a talented photographer and graphic artist, suggested that dedication is the key to becoming a presentable photographer. Blue tells me that it takes a lifetime, not a week.

Of course, my friend is absolutely right. What Blue doesn't know, thanks to the magic of the digital age and the tyranny of distance, is that I have quite a substantial part of a lifetime behind me already. I have been pointing cameras at things for about 40 years, beginning with a Kodak Box Brownie given to me by my auntie when I was about 12 years old.

The photograph above is one that I took with the Box Brownie when on a family holiday to what is now Kakadu National Park, in the Northern Territory of Australia in about 1965. The beauty of the old Kodak camera is that there was no settings to mess up. You just pointed at at the subject and pressed the shutter release. I think that with this photo, I put it on time exposure. That means that the shutter stayed open until you let go of the button. It was really important to lean the camera on something solid and hold your breath. There was no such thing as a shutter release cable for this baby. Exposure time was a guess and you never knew if you got it right until the picture came back from the processing lab which could take a week or more.

My big problem these days is that modern cameras have so many choices. Selecting 'Auto' or 'P' makes my camera take a short period of time to establish the correct settings before it takes the shot so, sometimes, the picture gets away from you. Silly me has misplaced the CD with the comprehensive manual for my Olympus C750 digicam so I work by guess.

OK, my friend - I have bought the National Geographic Field Guide to Digital Photography and have made it my holiday reading goal during the end of term break beginning next week. When I grown up, I want to be a creative photographer.

Posted by robynls at 6:39 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack