Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dorian Gray? Give me Louis Daguerre

I seem to remember how to work a Camera. However, my stubby fingers are no match for the ubiquitously small digital gadgets,that seem to pervade the market today!  No, give me my old Mamiya RZ 67 any day! The whole process was a study in perfection, selecting the lighting, film, product placement, the  model  Ah yes, the model!  Even loading the film, clipping the film back onto the camera body, attaching the lenses, where has it all gone?   As you all know by now my digital camera took a tumble, so I am on the look out for a good, useful and easy to handle camera.

But they`re all to bloody small!  If I press the shutter on one, it also triggers the mode, or some such other button. I dont want the camera to make tea! Just take a picture, and to let me select the composition, lighting and colour rendition. I dont want to spend six weeks reading the manual!  To do so would require new spectacles! Or laser treatment. Good God! Where has proper  film gone? 

I have been trying out one of my friends digital thingy`s!  It looked really good, almost like a real camera. But then after I pressed the shutter, a symbol came up in the view finder, then a light flashed, and it then wanted to know if I would like to alter the colour saturation?………..I handed this electronic monster back to my friend, I was starting to become almost depressed. But two days ago, another old friend, still in the business, asked me round for tea. (Whisky!)  After several hours of idle chat, he said, “ I have an 8x10 plate in the studio!”  Well, I almost died and went to heaven!

There it was! A magnificent Mahogany bodied piece of technical heaven!  A Plate camera, Oh my God!  I fondled the wooden body, the smooth sensual feel of heavy wood. The glossy smoothness of the beast before me, caused  desire to well up in one!  The Schneider Kreuznach Lenses, all perfect and crystal sharp, then finally, the ultimate piece of equipment, part of which is essential.

The Film holder! A single sheet of colour negative film, encased in  the film slide. I inserted the film slide into the holder at the rear of the camera, and lowered my head, and as I did so, lifted the black velvet cloth over my head and shoulders! It was almost erotic!  Removing the film slide, I could clearly see through the  lens, currently stopped open at f4, although as is normal, the view was upside down, it was fantastic! The emotions all came flooding back to me, the tension, the sense of wonder as the shutter clicked down, capturing the image before you!   Ahhh! The wonder of it all!  Knowing that you have taken a masterpiece! The developing of the film, the waiting, the suspense! 

Daguerre wasnt wrong, he knew a thing or two! ………..Then I stood back, I realised this wasnt to be, my day had gone. Mainly `cause this contraption weighed a bloody ton! And I was at least 25 years older! So lugging it up a hill, or doing an Ansell Adams was out of the question!

Anybody know of a good point and shoot digital??


  1. HAHAHA!!! Yea, I had a digital that got funky on me..and now I adore my CANNON POWERSHOT SX110 9.0

    It's been on 2, maybe 3, loose horses(as you have read by now)...and with those, dangling volitaile rides...is still going strong!

    I have to say that my padded case is the key..and always strapping my wrist strap, after it comes out of the case, while I am atop the equine!!

    For a digital, it is HEARTY! There are many settings. I try when NOT on the equine, but while on and MOVING, sometimes at top speeds galloping down the beach, I set it at 800 or 1600 ISO...it takes nice photos!

    I am self taught with this one...so far, have not had to read the instructions...but use it learn and adjust and go again!

    Bet you'd like it for a handy trail camera...it is awesomely easy!I think, once you know WHERE TO PLACE YOUR FINGERS...Muscel memory and you'll never change the setting again...unwillingly so!

    I prefer what you described..loading the film and using cool lenses and filters...but for the trail...This is the perfect camera!

    Try it out...CANNON POWERSHOT SX110 IS

  2. Thanks for the info! I shall look at one, and have a bash! See how they work! Pleased you like the tale!

  3. I'd much prefer an old film camera as well, but the upsides of digital have really won me over. I have a Panasonic DMC-FZ7 that I've been using for two or three years now, and it takes great pictures. Simple mode is easy enough to figure out, but it will do A LOT more that I just haven't taken the time to learn, though I'm slowly starting to.


    I've traveled all over the USA with it. It's been on hikes, been rained on, been dropped a few times, and it's still kicking. I've been pleased with it.

  4. Boy do I know what you mean. I cried when my old Nikormat (the poor man's Nikkon) finally succumbed after all those years of packing it around on a horse. It drove my kids crazy because everything was manual and nothing with it was ever point and shoot but it was also almost impossible to take a bad picture with it. Those real metal bodies that camera's use to have, sigh.

    I am currently holding my plastic bodied Kodak EasyShare z612 together with Duct Tape (after only one season a horseback). But in it's defense I can take a hundred pictures of the same thing (one usually turns out) but there really is no cost involved, which is good on a working cowboy's wage.

  5. Hi Chris! CCC! I will look at the types suggested, and see whats what!

    Thanks for all the help.

  6. I use a Sony Cybershot 12 megapixel, it is really easy to use and I keep it in a carrying case on my belt. The downside is that it has developed dust spots on the lens and I have no idea how to get it apart to clean it.

  7. Hey Chey!

    How you doing cowboy!?

    Long time no see! Glad you're back!