2/6/16

STILL Camera


Film, in any form, has always been interesting to me. Anything visual, moving or still, attracts me. It's my shiny object. My father is the one who got me interested when I was young. He had a 35 mm and an 8 mm movie camera. Even my mother had a 35 mm. It wasn't until I was around eleven that they gave me my mom's old Brownie. I wish I could find the first snapshots I took. It was a sunny day at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki with my folks and my best friends family. I remember being anxious to get the prints hoping I'd done a good job. I used that camera for several years until my folks bought me my own Instamatic in the '60s.

Also in the '60s my maternal grandmother in Pennsylvania gave me her first Brownie, which looks very much like the one in this snapshot. My grandmother had to sell newspaper subscriptions to get the camera. I think she was around thirteen at the time. Both of her cameras, and my mom's old Brownie, sit on my bookshelf.

Click on image to see it larger.

This snapshot was purchased from a seller in Pennsylvania which leads me to believe the shot may have been taken there. It certainly looks like the rural Pennsylvania I remember from my childhood. The Appalachian Mountains could be seen from my grandparents back windows. Small mountains that in California would simply be called hills.

I like this shot for the simplicity. A woman standing in the sun on a dirt road with her Brownie camera and umbrella. Off in the distance people walking along the same dirt road. I imagine she eventually walked the same area where they can be seen. Perhaps a Sunday walk after church? A slow relaxed walk through the neighborhood, when neighborhoods were farmhouses spread far apart.

It's a still picture; a moving picture. It's my submission for Sepia Saturday.

The final Serious Family with the weird rugs will appear tomorrow.
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23 comments:

  1. You brought her to life. How wonderful that you still have those cameras.

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    1. There are many many cameras in this house. Sadly some of them no longer would work even if film was easily available because batteries were left inside and pfffft…they're toast now.

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  2. You invoke beautiful imagery with both the photo and your words. My dad collected a number of these early box cameras and I often wonder at how such simple optical boxes captured so many fine pictures.

    Of course since this woman is holding a camera, somewhere there must be a second photo taken from her perspective of the person who took this one. That would be a real treasure to find.

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    1. Thank you. I appreciate it.

      I too always wonder about the person taking the photo of the person holding a camera. I like to think that somewhere out there is a companion shot.

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  3. It is a lovely shot. She certainly seems dressed up like she has been to church and there are many people walking but is seems too far for a walk to church? I am thinking that it was a wedding on a farm?

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    1. I'm thinking a walk after church with a nice supper waiting down the line.

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  4. I had a box brownie canera that my father-in-law used, and I even took a few photos with it in the 1990s but sadly I seem to have misplaced it since then - I'm sure I didn't throw it out! It would be great to find a companion shot to that charming photograph.

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    1. Yes, companion shots would always be nice, but I have never found one.

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  5. A still picture; a moving picture - the perfect Sepia Saturday post.

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  6. How very moving, using your use of the emotional word to connect to the movement of film. Thanks for adding your own comments, especially about your collection of Brownie cameras. Keep on taking pictures and sharing!

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    1. I hope people consider getting prints of their photos so there is something to be passed down in the future. Digital files are going to be iffy at best.

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  7. Clever word play on "moving" picture. It seems many of us Sepians have a fondness for our first camera.

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    1. Aren't we lucky those in the past also loved their cameras.

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  8. Loved reading the story f the old Brownie cameras and how your grandmother had to earn the money to buy hers. I still have mine...but then I am 77. This lady looks like may of the ones of my mother when she was a girl. Love the hat and that sepia landscape behind her. A nice contribution.

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    1. As I recall it was a contest. Those who sold the most subscriptions won a camera. So I've always known how precious this camera was to her.

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  9. The weed covered railroad tracks right behind her once had something moving too

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    1. I see that too and wondered about it.

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  10. Ps. I think this might be Gettysburg. I think I see trenches and possibly a monument.

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    1. Wow, I haven't been there since the mid '60s. I can barely remember specifics. But I do remember the rolling countryside where my grandparents lived and where my grandfather was from.

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  11. A quite charming photograph & an equally charming story to go along with it. :)

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  12. I like that the old cameras are sitting out on your shelf.I think I might get some of our old ones out of the cupboard.

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