For the past five months or so, I've been using my 30 minutes lunch break from the day job to snap a few photo's with my trusty iPhone. After a bit of messing around, accidental deletion and subsequent cursing, I post these on my photo blog, Lunchtime Lens. This is an exercise that serves two purposes; to get me out of that damn office and to help toward developing my obsessive collectors mentality.
These days (god I sound old) it is a simple matter to pursue this kind of project. Digital photography is a miracle of modern times. I doubt that there's a kid under ten who would remember those funny film cartridge thingies. But go back blah blah years and I'm just the same.
One day, some time around the beginning of the 70's, my father bought home what was then the latest in photography tech. The 'Polaroid Swinger' (that's its name, not it's lifestyle choice). This was the first affordable instant camera to hit Britain. I'm not sure of the price but from research it would appear to have been about £9 ($19) and it was actually made on home soil. Oh, and it was only black and white, which today would be great for those grainy, moody shots.
But, just like some entry level technology today, it was fiddly to use and temperamental. You couldn't leave the house with out a bag full of new film as it only shot ten or twelve pictures per pack. Walking along a sandy beach with this hanging by it's carrying strap was like having a brick swinging from your wrist. The pleasure came from the moment that you ripped the newly taken snap from the back of the 'Swinger' and waited those tantalising 30 seconds until you could peal the backing from the photo to reveal...that you'd cut of your mums head and wasted another exposure.
The 'Swinger' was in the family for years. I'm not sure where it is now though. It probably ended up on a shelf in some charity shop. In fact it's probably still there gathering dust because, lets face it, who'd want that old thing?
Actually, I'd like it, please. The photo's were flawed by the inaccuracy of the photographers aim. The memory's however, return in the time that it took those photo's to develop.
I like to think that, even if I'm not at the cutting edge of technology, at least I'm close enough to it to get a nasty nick.