Photographic Memories

Kodak InstamaticMy reminiscences of pantomimes earlier this week also brought back memories of the start of my lifelong interest in photography.

I have been hunting round for some of the photos I took of one of the shows when I was about 14. Fortunately for you, I couldn’t find them — they weren’t very good.

I learned that standing to one side of the stage at audience level was not an ideal camera position. Also that the light from a built-in flash doesn’t carry very far.

It was around 1968 and I had been given a Kodak Instamatic camera for Christmas. It was quite innovative for the time with the film in a cassette so it could be loaded anywhere and not in a darkened room or under your coat.

Flashcube on Kodak InstamaticThe Instamatic also took the flashcube, four flash bulbs mounted in plastic that clicked in the top of the camera that would automatically turn the cube as each shot was taken.

I think my mum regretted buying that present because of the ongoing ancillary costs of those flashcubes.

The Instamatic wasn’t my first ‘real’ camera. That would be one I bought from Woolworth’s that cost all of 5/- (five shillings) or 25p in today’s money.

I was aged seven and the film was black and white and looking back, it seemed the entire world was in monochrome.

Young ParrotOne the left is a snapshot of me taken with that camera. I was aged seven and looking very cross because my dad had snatched my new toy and was teasing me.

The damage to the photograph was caused by me in a fit of pique when the snaps came back from the chemist. I’m not sure why I didn’t go on to destroy. Perhaps because dad still had the negatives!

I’ve had a few cameras since then and the technology has moved on somewhat. Today my daughter borrowed my pocket Canon and tripod to video herself teaching as part of her university course.

Tin snowmanAnd I have my Lumix which I’ve just bought a flashgun for which is rather more powerful than the old flashcube.

I still have a hankering for the days of film though and almost bought a Kodak Instamatic boxed kit on eBay for old times’ sake, but then thought better of it.

So I’ll leave you with a seasonal photo I took last night of the tin snowman that is part of our Christmas decorations as I tested out my new flashgun.

But just to demonstrate how cool and cutting edge the Instamatic was in the 1960s, below is a tv ad from the time.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 8th December 2011

    Those old pics might not have been good, but they would have been interesting bits of history.

  • Mr Pudding 8th December 2011

    When I first looked at that picture of the angry street urchin, I thought that magma was breaking through from the Earth’s core. Later I thought it might be a thought bubble gone wrong. What would the little lad have been thinking? “I must be the best Irish dancer on our street” or “Where’s the frigging Queen when you’re ready to wave at her?” or “One day I will be a middle-aged blogger and I’ll post this picture of me”.


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