Keeping It in the Family

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Norfolk may be famous for 'keeping it in the family' and this case is no different. Analogue photography has been a passion for three generations. For me, living in a digital world gave me no time to learn how to use analogue cameras, or so i thought. One box of hidden slides, an Olympus OM10 and a curious mind later and I have a new love for all things analogue. This is about the man who started it all and how he kept analogue alive in a digital family.

My family is no different from most modern families. Overwhelmed with digital tv, ipods and the internet; its impossible to imagine coping without these things. When i was 15 I decided I wanted to learn photography from my Grandfather. We are all an artistic lot – my Grandad especially had a tonne of photography equipment from his days as a wedding photographer. I asked to borrow my Mum’s Olympus 0M10 (her own 18th Birthday present) and learnt the basics. Then, I forgot about it. It was summer and there was too much to do, i didnt want to be fiddling with apertures and learning about light levels.

Two weeks later, my Grandad died.

It was a shock to us all, one minute he was here, the next, gone. I remembered how I’d asked him to teach me photography and now I’d never get that chance.

I decided to teach myself. I raided his bookshelf which was littered with photography manuals and books. I sought out friends who’d done photography A Levels and NVQs and forced them to teach me how to get the best out of my camera. I discovered Lomography and became more and more obsessed with analogue pictures. It was the excitement of not knowing what to expect, the space for experimentation which you didnt get anywhere else.

Last year i went to looked around my Grandad’s old stuff. I was looking for extra lenses for my camera. I picked up a box of film expired in 1992 and underneath it was an old bag. I opened it, not expecting much and found over 300 mounted slides. Showing them to my Nan, she said that she’d never seen half of the photo’s before. It was my Grandad’s work living on. I decided to start a project, scanning the slides, in a way i was communicating with my Grandad. His photos gave me insight into how he saw the world, they were snippets of his memory. His photos meant that he would always live on.

I know that if he was still alive he would have loved lomography. Now I’m teaching my 8 year old brother how to work a camera and he is becoming just as obsessed as I am. Thanks to Grandad, we’re keeping analogue alive.

written by llamasoup on 2011-05-30 in #lifestyle

3 Comments

  1. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Your granddad made beautiful photos....

  2. ipdegirl
    ipdegirl ·

    what a fantastic story!! thanks for sharing it here. your granddad's shots are gorgeous. i bet you and he could have had lots of fun lomo adventures. i am so glad you've decided to scan those slides, too. it'll be a great way to remember him and learn from him at the same time. way to go!

  3. hail90
    hail90 ·

    This is lush. Your grandad's photos are lovely!
    My grandad gave me his minolta but unfortunately it doesn't work anymore, so now i've taken my mum's olympus om10 - that she got when she was 18 also! - and i LOVE IT.

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