Somehow, digital cameras have turned me away from photography. It is, somehow, I don’t know… Too technical? Too easy to get a good shot? Or perhaps a part of me loved the exclusivity of photography that no longer exists.
I remember the first camera my father gave me when I was ten years old. A Hot Shot camera that had a cartridge, not a regular reel of film. How gloriously exciting it was! I photographed my family and my teddy-bears. One particularly interesting photo on the balcony shows how hasty ten-year-old Varsha was too excited about photography to notice a highly unpicturesque pair of bathroom slippers in the same frame as her dolls.
Around that time, my grandfather also gave me a camera – one that I could not use because film was no longer available for that one. You sling the camera around the neck and look down into it to see what’s ahead. Truly fascinating – particularly the satisfying sound of the shutter.
Then there were cameras that you had to rewind once the film was used. Then came the automatic-rewind ones, which also had an inbuilt flash! Then, the intelligent camera that even knew when to use the flash.
And then, the digital ones, where we could see the photograph as soon as we took it. No suspense of how many photographs would actually emerge from a film. No irritation about wasting a photo because someone came in the way. No attempt to try and get 40 shots from a film meant for 36. No laughter about how funnily different the print looks from the original attempt.
Now, I carry a diary instead of a camera.
Photo Credit: Nisha Seshan
(This photograph is, of course, taken with a fancy digital camera – Nikon D5000.)