The Photo Archives

I hardly ever carried a camera back when I was beautiful and had just the one chin. “I’m video’ing it in my head” I would say.

Of course now I’m really grateful other people carried cameras and I could get pics from them. Even in the days when you loaded a roll of film in the dark and wound it on by hand frame-by-frame some people carried cameras. I salute them!

And I admit I would grumble when they said “Stand closer together” “Smile” “Hang on! Just one more!”. Of course some people would think they had put in the roll of film when they hadn’t and all our posing (“poeseer!” remember SanMarie the game ranger’s joke?) was in vain. Yes, I’m thinking of you Taylor. He posed us in various ways on a buffalo carcase and when we eagerly asked for the photies weeks later (they had to go off “for development” of course) he had to sheepishly admit he hadn’t had a roll of film in his steam-driven camera.

Anyway, my memory of that moment was much better than his pic would have been: I remember a bloody carcase with glistening red meat still on the bone and lion prints around the sandy scene. We were posing looking over our shoulder, worried the lions might chase us off their prey at any minute. When later we did get a pic from someone better organised than Taylor the truth was far more mundane. The photo spoilt a good story.

Wilderness Walk.jpg
Intrepid non-photographer on the left with empty camera

So although I do have some slight regrets I still think I was generally more “in the moment” than many camera-occupied companions over the years – and I saw more birds. Anyway, my memories of what happened are usually far better than boring reality. Usually I play the starring role in them.

Once I met Aitch things changed of course and we had a fulltime photographer in the house. The years from 1986 are well documented. Then the kids arrived and the number of pics went through the roof. Thank goodness for digital! Even now when we drive through a game reserve Jess will say “Mom would have said ‘Stop! Go back!’ and you would have to reverse and she’d take a picture of a flower, remember?”

With cameras as ubiquitous as they now are all this smacks of days gone by. I was prompted to write this post when I read this yesterday: ‘If a millennial goes to a beautiful place but doesn’t get a photo, did they ever really go?’…

To end, some advice for Taylor:

Life like Camera.jpg

Here’s a graph showing camera sales in 1000’s since 1933:

Camera sales.jpg

2 thoughts on “The Photo Archives

  1. headhuntbds

    Since my teen years I have been a good photo recorder of events, regarding it as a diary. Have many school photos and thousands of unorganised hard copies in a big box from then to digital. Nothing beats a bottle of champagne early Sunday when no one is around as I flip through nostalgic memories. At least digital is not as messy. But here`s a new one I discovered seeing I`ve kept all the negatives: For a mere R1500 one can capture them to digital. Watch this space.
    What does irritate is that everyone has a cell camera.

    Like

  2. Jon Taylor

    The filmless camera was just a plooi in the plot to provide an authentic Bollywood atmosphere of non-stop excitement and paparazzi buzz amongst the star-studded cast. Well kind of star-studded. Ackshully there were, in truth, no stars, hence no film in the camera. But lead in the pencil for sure. Great photo by Aitch – Bless her for her perspicacious perseverance despite my protestations that no more photos were necessary as I had it all covered….

    Like

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