The perils of old-school photography


When I was young the four of us went on a family holiday & took lots of photos on a single camera. We posed in front of waterfalls, staring into the sun in order to get a better picture. We lined up along a brick fence & we smiled on cue. When we got home I watched as my stepfather carefully rewound the film. It was a ritual I quite enjoyed – you’d get to point where the camera wouldn’t let you wind back anymore signalling that you’d reached the end of the roll. On the top of the camera there was a leaver to lift & turn that allowed you the spin the film back into its plastic casing (you could feel it but not see it) & only when the film was safe from sunlight could you release the latch & retrieve the roll. P was a methodical man & all of this was done with great care & no haste. He slowly pulled the leaver & peeked inside the cavity. I was watching his face change from curiosity to gravity as he stared into the empty space where the film should’ve been. Nothing.
No film.
A face that realised the absurdity of the whole family posing 36 times for absolutely no reason, on a holiday with no record. A lesson learned about the perils of old school photography.

Original story, written by Victoria Mason
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