By Linda Lovely
This month’s theme centers on arts lost and found. In my case, the art is photography. When I was fresh out of college, I worked for Eastman Kodak Company. At the time, Kodak was an international giant. Among its employee benefits were lots of photography courses. I loved them. There was something truly magical about working in a darkroom and watching chemicals alter a blank sheet of photographic paper into a work of art. Or at least a work of art in the eye of its maker.
When I left Kodak, I was a competent photographer, who understood F-stops, exposure options and how to light a scene. I used those skills for years, taking pictures to accompany the articles I wrote for business and trade magazines, newsletters, brochures, and print ads. When I traveled on assignment, including overseas, I lugged two 35mm camera bodies, at least four lenses, a tripod, and lighting equipment. I can’t even imagine doing that with today’s security measures. I never checked my equipment and always insisted that my multiple rolls of film should not be exposed to x-rays.
When I decided to concentrate on writing fiction, I no longer needed to shoot photos for work. By then digital photography had arrived and totally changed the game. No worries about whether a picture would turn out as you imagined. You could look at it in camera a moment after you took it and make instant adjustments. And there was no need to conserve film during a shoot. You could snap all the pictures you pleased—at least until your camera’s battery or internal memory dictated a pause.
You’d think the change to digital would have made me eager to take even more pictures. It didn’t. After giving away the photographic gear I’d invested hundreds of dollars in, I bought a small digital camera for personal, not professional, use and primarily used it to take family photos. I didn’t invest the time required to figure out the computerized options, and frequently got frustrated trying to zoom or take macro shots that once would have been a snap. The camera broke and I didn’t replace it.
Recently, however, I found I was missing being able to capture scenes and happy moments as images. So I told my family I was planning to buy a new camera and asked for suggestions. The answer was “why?” just use a smart phone. I’m well known as a kill joy among my smart phone addicted relatives. You can wear whatever you like when you sit down at our dinner table, but leave the phones in another room. I’m quite content with my flip phone that costs $100 a year for on-the-road emergencies.
But I didn’t say no when my nephew offered me an “old” smart phone sitting unused in their house to use as a camera. No data plan required, and I must say it takes excellent pictures I can download directly to my computer through a USB connection. PERFECT!
I’m having fun with photography again. Hope it lasts.The photos included were taken in the past couple weeks.