I love photography. My dad was the family photographer, even taking a few weddings from time to time back in a day when cameras did not do everything automatically. He even had his own darkroom for a while. The camera store in town was half way between his office and the place he’d go for an afternoon cup of coffee. He would save pennies to buy his coffee but spend hundreds on lenses (I still use some today over 50 years later). When I was old enough he helped me get my first job in that camera store and I was hooked.
Film was a sacred thing and a 35mm SLR was the road to enlightenment. Instamatics were toys and only good for children and tourists looking for a cheap fix.
For years I took my camera everywhere. My daughters were shocked if I was ever without it. I took it on the road. I took it in our plane. I took it walking and jogging and took pictures by the boatload.
ALL in film.
Many years, many many rolls of film later, many weeks waiting for mail-in developing companies to return my pictures to me; in fact well into the new millennium, I still used film. I considered myself a purist and refused to switch to digital. I didn’t want my enlargements to have little stair step edges – I believed what I believed and I would not be swayed! All the while my film developer was closing location after location. My favorite film was getting harder and harder to find! The quality of shots was going down – and then I noticed that my film shots were being enlarged digitally a SACRILIDGE! Take my film and convert it to digital – how dare you?
A simple joy left my life because I was no longer photographing the story of the world around me. No grandchild shots. No majestic details of flora and fauna. No pictures were being taken by this old guy who would not change his ways.
Until last Christmas – I broke down and bought a digital SLR from the same manufacturer as the lenses I already had. The detail is as amazing as ever before. Not a pixel can be spotted in my enlargements. The rich color is more intense than ever. The editing capabilities bring the story alive in new and exciting ways and I don’t have to waste all that film trying to get the “right” shot.
New ways are better and more informed than old.
I still have my old cameras – I still have my old King James Bible.
My depth of belief is as meaningful today as it ever was but today I take all that I have learned and see it all in the light of new knowledge, new advancements in understandings, and new appreciation for what scholars can share. Today I take the new and combine with the traditions and appreciate the grandeur of the story in a beautiful new way. Today I use everything new and tell the story with an exciting level of appreciation for what brought me to where I am.
My faith is real and strong and enlightened through today’s knowledge and means more to me than it ever has. My picture taking does as well.
Blessings on your journey friends!