It’s been a while since I last posted. It seems fitting that I return to this blog with photos from a film camera I recently purchased.
Before anyone calls me a hipster, let me set the record straight: I’ve always had an affinity for film. After all, it’s what I grew up with.
Millennials are perhaps the last generation in America who will fully experience straddling the big technological chasm between analog and digital. Most of us in Gen-Y still remember the era of the tape – quaint little antiquities such as the VHS, cassette and 35mm film.
My first camera was a Bialosky that took 110 film. This red and black toy camera came with a picture book, which had a teddy bear that would explain the basics of photography to kids. This was my first foray into photography.
I received an upgrade for Christmas a few years later. My second camera was a consumer-level Nikon that took Advantix film, which was a major development for film photography back in the mid-1990s.
I remember relishing the fact that I could just pop some Advantix film into my Nuvis A20 and begin shooting right away, instead of hassling with rolling out some 135 film and making sure the cogwheels caught the edges of the film. The Advantix format was quickly eclipsed by the rise of digital photography, however, and it flopped like my MiniDisc player.
During my teenage years – when the zenith of digital cameras was a whopping 3 megapixels – I experimented a bit with my dad’s Voigtlander Bessa. I relished the smoothness of the all-metal rangefinder, the solid-sounding click of the shutter and the tension of film being rewound into its roll.
I realize that digital cameras will always trump film cameras in my profession, where breaking news events demand the quickest of turnarounds and the precision of auto-focus.
Yet even as I enjoy the instant gratification of seeing my photo magically materialize on the LCD screen of my Nikon digital camera, I still yearn for the excitement I felt when the mail carrier would ring the front door of my childhood home with a fresh roll of developed negatives from York.
Reclaiming a piece of that memory was the impetus behind my impulse purchase last week: a 1970s-era Canon AE-1 that I found on Craigslist. I’m happy to say it was worth every penny of the $50 I spent.
These are the fruits of my first roll of film. There will be more, I’m sure. More rolls, more photographs, more experimentation.
And just as I return to film, I plan to return to this blog. I won’t promise much though – just that I haven’t forgotten about this little space I have here on the big, wide Internet.
Photos: Henderson and Downtown Las Vegas | April 2013