Monday, May 19, 2008

Film anticipation

Took a long weekend to help out at my kids' school festival, and to go on a field trip with my daughter's class to the Marin headlands, right at the northern base of the Golden Gate Bridge. I've already killed one digital camera in the past year due to some uncontained dampness and didn't fancy ruining another by plunking it in the bay, so I hauled along my grandfather's old Rollei 35, a fascinatingly tiny little 35mm camera. My daughter kept insisting on seeing the photos I had taken immediately after, and was having trouble coping with the solid black panel on the back.

"Where's the picture, dad?"

"It's inside, honey. It's on film. I can't open it up, or the pictures won't come out."

[disgruntled face]

I'm sure that she thinks that The Old Man is Crazy. After all, her own camera from Fisher-Price has an LCD right on the back, so she can easily check out her latest shots ("A series of feet.") Unlike her older brother, she's never been confined with me in a bathroom-turned-darkroom to watch the magic of the image materializing on paper. Available bathrooms are in short supply these days, so she's just going to have to wait, but I am thinking about cleaning out the old processing tanks and at least letting her "appreciate" the anticipation of seeing a wet roll of negatives slowly reveal themselves as they are unspooled and hung overnight in the shower to dry.

If the ability to handle delayed gratification is a sign of intelligence, then photographers must be very intelligent indeed.


Monda said...

Ah, the darkroom. I spent three years in high school developing pictures in darkrooms.

That's all I'll say about that.

Duffy Moon said...

My kids are the same way. I've never owned a digital camera, but my daughter has one - one of those designed for kids, that you can drop down the stairs with no ill effects. They don't understand film. I don't undertand digital.

We had a shared moment, however, when I took some Polaroid one-step pics. They howled with laughter at that.

mpclemens said...

Duffy, my biggest fall into the generation gap thus far was at the party for my daughter's last day of preschool. All the kids got disposable 35mm cameras to run around and shoot photos, and to a one, all the kids kept checking the back after each shot. One poor kid kept shooting the ground by his feet as he complained loudly about the camera being "broken."

Were those the Polaroids you took of your typewriter collection? Perhaps they were laughing for a different reason... did you talk to your models? ("C'mon, my lovlies, let's so those pretty little keys...")