Always nice to get a positive review for one of my books and even better when it comes from another 'ex-pat' Burtonian! Carol post...
Monday, 2 April 2012
Sometimes, you have to look back to see just how far you've come. This thought struck me the other day when we were buying some new trainers for our grandson and wanted to check if these were ok with his mum. Using my phone, I was able to take a photo of the proposed snazzy footwear and send it via SMS to her. It's quite remarkable when you think about it, and certainly light years away from the Kodak camera with its rolls of film and metal viewfinder that I was telling you about last month. Moreover, I didn't have to dress as Wee Willie Winkie to get my phone (see What a Picture!), which is a relief to all, I'm sure.
The beauty of capturing images now is that you can instantly see what you have got, and decide whether you want to keep it, or not. This is a real boon to someone whose ability to take pictures of his own thumb is unmatched. I see there is a camera now which will start taking pictures before you have even depressed the shutter. This would be a boon to me as I nearly always take the photo just after the ideal moment, and thus have an unrivalled collection of pictures of the backs of peoples' heads.
Being rubbish at taking photographs is no longer the expensive and time-consuming pursuit that it was. I could guarantee that at least a third of the exposures would not come out at all. Of the remaining two-thirds, about half of these would be blurred, out of focus or the subject would be hopelessly out of range of the camera's limited scope (such as my Thor's Cave picture from What a Picture!). If I was really lucky, I might have three or four snaps that actually depicted something recognisable. It always used to grieve me that I had paid good money to print out such blurred and useless pictures as that shown here, again from my Manifold Valley trip. This was supposed to capture, for posterity, my mates from our shared tent. If you can recognise yourself in this photo, then I would strongly suggest you take more water with it in the future.
In an effort to improve matters, I took a huge technological leap forward in the 1970s and bought one of those slimline Kodak Instamatic cameras. Remember them? The beauty of this was that there was no longer a roll of film, instead a cartridge simply snapped into the back. It was made even more idiot-proof by stopping the inadvertent taking of two exposures on the same frame of film. You could even take photographs indoors, as the camera had the facility for using a flash cube either mounted on the camera itself or on a sort of black plastic tower for maximum effect. When the cartridge was finished, you could send it to one of the new breed of cheaper and quicker photo processors that had sprung up.
Of course, all of this new 'point and click' technology could not guarantee a great photo if you were hopeless at framing a picture in the first place. In evidence, I submit the picture taken by my mum (who was at least as bad as me, if not worse) of me sitting in our lounge. I think the purpose of this was that I was all dressed up to go somewhere but, as you'll see, this will forever be a mystery. Good shot of the light switch though!