Today I found something that I have been seeking for an awfully long time.
It’s a 1947 Box Brownie (as used by the famous photographer Henri Cartier Bresson) Model E made by Kodak.
£4 in the Cancer Research shop. And they had others! The woman looked at me like she was thinking ‘well that’s not going to take very nice holiday snaps, why don’t you try Argos?’.
And I agreed a bit. I’ve never even considered finding one to actually USE, it’s always been an aesthetic thing. However, when I look through my parents’ and grandparents’ photo albums I am hit with a wave of jealousy for their romantic, grainy pictures with odd angles and bad exposure. They look so much more LIVED IN.
My mother took photos of EVERYTHING at a time when you had to pay through the nose to hand your (potentially crap) film to a creepy man who would probably make an extra print for himself of you in a bikini. And so you took ONE photo of each event, carefully gathering everyone and holding your breath while it took. Because of this, every emotion involved was wrapped up in that one precious photograph, which is so much more powerful than the 700 we snap carelessly every time someone changes their shoes.
During my photography A Level I adopted a Pentax SLR that I lugged around everywhere with me. I loved developing the photos, holding my breath as the image appeared, swearing profusely when it didn’t. Those prints that I still have I TREASURE, because I feel like I made them. Nothing a digital camera does is amazing. It’s just good technology.
So we’ll see. Maybe I will.
By the way, Kodak are launching a new look Box Brownie for the 2012 Olympics…and yes, they’re HELLA cute…