Category Archives: Art

a short treatise on disposable cameras

i know it might be very antediluvian of me but i do not have a smart phone. i don’t even have a picture phone. so the world of instagram and the like is pretty much unknown to me. i can appreciate the camera phone/smart phone revolution but i want to write a blog about something that i grew up with. the disposable camera. i was a kid in the 90s when the point and shoot cameras came out with a new model every single year and before the affordable digital camera was around. if you were a kid like me in an average lower middle class household your parents probably had a point and shoot viewfinder camera that they used for special occasions and vacation pictures. Polaroids were still around although less common and popular probably due to the cost of the film. there weren’t many toy cameras that i can remember anyone my age using. what we used were disposables. they were cheap, relatively sturdy and absolutely user-friendly. they were our cameras. we could write on them, use them for whatever and for me at least they were the first things that were really mine. i explored my world through those disposables. i would ration my shots and rarely let other people shoot. they were the most basic form of photography. you couldn’t control anything expect the framing of the picture. not the film, exposure, development or paper. i look back through my pictures and so many were taken with disposables. the washed out, out of focus, un-sharp pictures that were quintessential disposable. i know technology has moved on for the most part and camera phones are to my younger siblings what disposables were to me. but damn if there aren’t some good pictures from those wonderful disposables.

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120

Last week I took 2 rolls 35mm and a roll of 120 film to processed and printed at Blue Moon Camera in Portland. The 120 roll I had found not completely finished in a Yashica camera I haven’t seen in over a year. It was still packed in a box I thought I had lost along with my Rolleiflex. So many things were still in storage, mainly my things, that I hadn’t seen since the big move from Tennessee. Anyway, I couldn’t believe that I found them safely packed away and the yashica with film still in it, so I finished the roll and brought it in to be developed. I didn’t think I would get anything good off of it, I wasn’t sure if the film would be fogged or what was even on it. So I got it back and I looked at the pictures, only nine were old ones, and it felt like I was looking at ghosts of myself. It was so surreal to see these strange prints of a place I left only a year ago but seems as if it were decades. It’s a place that I can never go back to even though it makes up the biggest parts of me.

here are a few of them. i didn’t print them so sorry for the average print quality. it’s weird having someone else print your prints. I suppose it’s like a female gynecologist getting a pap smear. if she could do it herself she would. maybe not the best analogy but do you get my drift. a dentist getting a tooth pulled. an executioner going to guillotine. a cab driver taking a taxi.

kacie, abs, nan. i miss you

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