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The Dearly Departed: Rediscovering My Father Through Photos and a Love For Analogue Film

Creating a slideshow for my late father helped me rediscover him as a man. It also started my obsession for analogue film.

Photo by dsrtfnx

The Diana+ camera I just started to use was originally intended as a Christmas gift for a friend. Three years passed and my friend never received the gift. She moved around often for work and I was always too busy to ship off her gift. The Diana+ sat in my closet inside a shipping parcel that never left the house. The whole time the camera was in my closet these past three years I never gave it a second thought or was curious to try it out.

My father passed away in October. I took it upon myself to create a slideshow. I started to rummage through old photo albums in search of photographs of my father. I found plenty of him. Moments captured of him enjoying a party or proudly holding up one of my siblings were discovered. My father lived on a farm, served in the Army, and worked hard most of his life. These were the things I knew about him growing up. He was usually serious and had a low tolerance for nonsense. He had a sharp tongue and wit and I inherited these. I am more like him than I thought I would be.

Scanning all the photos I collected to organize was numbing. Of course I cried when the slideshow started to take shape. How could I not? I was viewing my father’s life through photographs flash right before my eyes. Working with his photos ended up being the best bandage to this gapping and all too fresh wound. I rediscovered my father. I could recall the sound of his laughter, phrases he would spout in certain situations, and his words of wisdom I now live by.

Something was off about my slideshow. I had plenty of photos from his youth, his time in the Army, our parents wedding and most of our family vacations. I realized why this slideshow was a bit off. We stopped taking photos. No one was capturing special moments anymore on film. And if any photos were taken they remain on someone’s phone or on a computer. No one is going out to have photos printed to add to an album. Then, I remembered I had a camera in my closet. And that camera uses film. I became curious and ventured into my closet. My friend had forgotten about the gift and I wanted to start snapping pictures.

I found this site and started to explore. I ordered film and anxiously awaited my order to arrive. While I waited, I became obsessed with the Lomography site and the community of analog lovers. I found a home. The photos posted on people’s walls have a soul and a warmth I do not find in digital photos. Something special is captured on film that digital cameras just can not replicate.

My Diana+ has opened up a beautiful world for me. That film I anxiously waited for came in. Now I anxiously wait for my film to be developed so I can share it with this Lomography community of analog lovers I now share a kindred spirit with.

The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.

written by dsrtfnx

5 comments

  1. gvelasco

    gvelasco

    Great story. Thanks for confirming why I'm so interested in photography.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. aspie

    aspie

    Thank you for writing this. Capturing family moments is probably most people's firtst contact with photography, and in many ways is perhaps the most important form of the art. I have a lot of respect for people who know the value of what they have, and long to preserve that.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. driotinto

    driotinto

    dsrtfnx, thank you for writing this piece. Beautiful writing, inspiring and emotional story. The opening picture of your dad in the army remembered an old picture of my dad took while on service with his old Canonet 28 (that now belongs to me), and how can the power of a picture unite two - or more - people so strongly.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. dooby

    dooby

    kudos

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. mishika

    mishika

    lomography reminds us of what matters most...thank you for the lovely story!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam