I’ve just been given my grandad’s old camera. It’s a Voigtländer Vitoret with all the trimmings. A beautiful old thing. Just loaded it up with some ILFORD FP4 black and white film. My grandad apparently saved up for a long time to buy this, and it was his pride and joy. It’s not worth much actual money these days but the sentimental value of it is priceless. I remember it from my childhood. It’s been with my Aunty for several years since my grandad, God rest his soul, passed away, but she’d dug it out for me so that I’l hopefully put it to good use. I wonder how many photos of my nana, my aunty and uncle, my cousins have been shot on it and how many photos of my mum have been taken using it. I guess I’ll never know but it’s a nice thing to ponder for a while. Countless photos – some still kicking about – some lost to the winds of time for ever.
If only cameras could talk. I’m hoping that my persistent archiving of the thousands of photos I take will mean that fewer of them get lost to the winds of time. Our camera phones mean that collectively we, (as in the Human Race) are taking a vast amount more photos than we’ve ever done. Never before have so many people had a camera on them for so much of the time – but perhaps we’re also caring less about what we do with our photos than the olden days. We don’t tend to lovingly paste them into a photo album as often to be revered as one of the family treasures like we used to.
Perhaps we should.