I seem to spend a lot of my time taking photos of my baby growing up but find for convenience I use a digital camera. During my childhood though there was no such thing and all the photos my Dad took of me growing up are purely analogue. It's great that I can now look back at these photos as memories come flooding back.
I guess I am quite fortunate that my dad was an amateur photographer during my childhood as it means I have a lot of memories to look back on. For as long as I can remember he had a camera and it was this that probably started my interest in photography too. Even more importantly it’s looking back at this time that brought me back to film and Lomography as I remembered those times and cameras with fondness.
I wouldn’t have much negative to say about digital photography. I think the combination of digital cameras and the internet, specifically social networking, has meant we all share our memories, events and lives more than ever before. Certainly my latest DSLR is a technological marvel with a maximum ISO of half a million (512,000!) and amazing performance all round.
But still there is something about film that takes me back to days long gone. The feel and smell of the film, the waiting for developing and the less than perfect results all take me back to a simpler time when I used to take photos purely for the sake of it.
Even before my fascination with analogue photography my Dad was busy recording my childhood, mainly on his Chinon CE-4, and saving those photos for years to come in empty shoe boxes, sometimes showing slides on a projector set up in the lounge against a white screen.
Where once the photos remained hidden in shoe boxes at the bottom of wardrobes, scanners and the internet have let those memories and photos be shared.
Looking back on some of those photos brings memories washing back. A holiday to Spain, a visit to a theme park, staying in Nana’s caravan; the photo makes the memory feel like it could have been yesterday.
Of course along with the fond memories come the bad fashion and embarrassing photos that come hand in hand with looking back into the past. Photos of my childhood from the 80’s and 90’s make the fashions at the time look decidedly terrible and wondering how my parents could dress me like that! I wonder if my baby will think the same in 20-odd years time?
I wouldn’t save any amount of embarrassment for not having the photos though as the memories are invaluable and I will carry on looking at them for many years to come. As nice as it is to be able to access them on the internet too I will still rummage though those shoe boxes from time to time for that true analogue feel.