Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rather Shoot Than Eat


I have heard this exact phrase from two separate mouths. It was said of the same photographer but the interval separating the conversations was about 42 years. The most startling difference is that in one case it was said with praise and in the other with utter scorn.

On the first occasion the person in question was in keen competition with a lot of other young Perth photographers. 35mm cameras had just started to become more affordable and bulk film meant that more shooting was possible. Events that might have justified a single roll – or part of a roll - of 120 in a TLR could now be given 36 or 72 exposures on FP3. So he did, and learned how to process a decent negative, proof and show it, and eventually how to get the customers to purchase a postcard print. Sometimes the cost of the film, plus the developer, stop, fix, and paper (and the petrol for his old car) meant that there was a real decision to make; cover the event or have enough to go eat at the Madera or the Roma. Frequently Dektol won out over scallopini. He was seen, working hungry where others were fed, and someone commented on it...

After a long time taking film pictures he finally digitized and was pleased to find that the skills that he learned with the old cameras were still relevant. He could still take pictures that people wanted to buy – and with the new equipment he could take a lot – lot – more of them. And people wanted a lot more variety in what was taken – 5 views of something that might have been adequately illustrated before with one shot. Thus he was whirled to and fro at events adding more and more files to the card, and frequently left with no time to grab a bite to eat or a sip of water. Hence the “Rather shoot than eat.” statement.

Now, you tell me – which occasion earned the blessing and which the curse? Then or now?

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Tim Smith said...

I'd say the early days was the blessing as he sounds like he did it out of passion as opposed to just being so flat out busy in later times!

January 30, 2012 at 7:39 AM  

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Rather Shoot Than Eat


I have heard this exact phrase from two separate mouths. It was said of the same photographer but the interval separating the conversations was about 42 years. The most startling difference is that in one case it was said with praise and in the other with utter scorn.

On the first occasion the person in question was in keen competition with a lot of other young Perth photographers. 35mm cameras had just started to become more affordable and bulk film meant that more shooting was possible. Events that might have justified a single roll – or part of a roll - of 120 in a TLR could now be given 36 or 72 exposures on FP3. So he did, and learned how to process a decent negative, proof and show it, and eventually how to get the customers to purchase a postcard print. Sometimes the cost of the film, plus the developer, stop, fix, and paper (and the petrol for his old car) meant that there was a real decision to make; cover the event or have enough to go eat at the Madera or the Roma. Frequently Dektol won out over scallopini. He was seen, working hungry where others were fed, and someone commented on it...

After a long time taking film pictures he finally digitized and was pleased to find that the skills that he learned with the old cameras were still relevant. He could still take pictures that people wanted to buy – and with the new equipment he could take a lot – lot – more of them. And people wanted a lot more variety in what was taken – 5 views of something that might have been adequately illustrated before with one shot. Thus he was whirled to and fro at events adding more and more files to the card, and frequently left with no time to grab a bite to eat or a sip of water. Hence the “Rather shoot than eat.” statement.

Now, you tell me – which occasion earned the blessing and which the curse? Then or now?

Labels: