I remember when I received my first camera. To me it felt like a rite of passage, one more step towards getting on an even par with my older brother. I'd coveted his camera from the day he got it, but I was never allowed to touch it. To use his camera meant using his film, and that was a precious commodity, something in short supply to a youngster without any means to acquire more. I was still in my pajamas when I got to open up my birthday presents that year. If there were more than two gifts I can't remember what they were. What I remember is the blister packed and impossibly hard to open Vivitar 110 film camera and the Disney Channel magazine, given to me to indicate that we now had the Disney Channel in our house, which at the time was a premium channel, not part of basic cable. With my mom's help I was able to cut open the packaging and remove its contents: a camera, two AA batteries, and a roll of Kodak 110 film. My dad showed me how to open the battery compartment and pointed out the picture on the inside that indicated which way the batteries should point when properly loaded. Next I opened up the box of film. Inside was the cartridge, sealed in its protective light-proof wrapper. I grabbed onto either side of the wrapper and pulled as hard as I could but it wouldn't yield up the treasure that it held inside. No problem, I was used to these sorts of situations having faced them many times before with bags of cereal and pouches of Big League Chew. Into my mouth went the film big and soon I gnawed an opening large enough to pull out the film. With my parents' help I loaded the film into its cozy nest in the back of the camera and shut the long film door with a click. I already knew how to wind the camera from playing with my brother's when it didn't have any film in it and I also knew how to turn on the power. As the capacitors charged up I savored the high pitched whine that climbed in frequency until it reached a pitch that only a dog could hear. Then, I took my very first picture. Of what? Well, of the TV turned to the Disney Channel of course. I was a little disappointed when I finally got the print back. The picture of Goofy and Mickey Mouse that I thought I had taken came back to me as a TV with a reflection of me, my new camera, and a blinding spot of light from the flash. Since then I've been through quite a few cameras, and I hope that maybe my technique has improved a little bit, but it's still not uncommon for me to look at a picture and wonder whatever happened to the masterpiece that I thought I was creating. For me the real fun is just capturing little moments of life as it whizzes by. I've also found that it's a lot less humiliating to look at old photos of myself than to be subjected to an old VHS home movie (super eight is OK...I think it has something to do with the sound and commentary). Click....Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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Name:
Chris
Joined:
June 2007
I am:
Male