As I was walking through the local thrift store, I found something rather odd and interesting. I realized after a few minutes, that I was looking at an old camera that could take tin type photographs, like they had back in the 19th century. For the amazing price of only $2.99 I bought it, and took it home! It took some figuring out, as they don’t exactly have how to’s of this kind on YouTube, but eventually I got it! It is a lot harder than it looks, as you have to sit still for a long time so that the camera can achieve the proper exposure – no flash photography in use here! I found that when I tried to smile, it always came out blurry, so I finally just gave up. If I had realized it would make me look so scary, I might have tried to do something else, or pose differently, but when I finally get Doc to take me to ye old photography shoppe, I’ll have to pick up more supplies so I can take more photos. For now, I’ll just keep this one, which in my opinion is about as uncomfortable and intense as so many of the other photos from that time. Next time though, I’ll make sure to clear the clutter from the background. It looks a little messy, and if this photo is discovered in 150 years, I don’t want to be remembered as that woman who had the messy house. However, as Bob Ross would have probably said “maybe let’s add a little mess to this picture – you can make it whatever you like. It’s your picture, and if you want mess, then you add some happy mess right in there”.

The photo was pretty interesting to think about, before actually completing the assignment. The task was to create a civil war type photo, and make it as “civil war” like as you could, including the background. Obviously, that was not possible in my case, but I did have fun thinking of the story behind this image. To achieve this look, I simply imagined myself having to hold a pose for a long time, and remaining perfectly still or else the long exposure time would make the final image appear blurry. At least, that is what I thought photography was like back then. I then just removed the color, and played with the saturation, clarity, and vignette to achieve some of the blurriness and noise. I also found it interesting to think about – if the photographs we take today are discovered at some point in the far off future, and what those scholars will make of our images or lives in a single frame. Give it a thought yourself. What would the footage of your life look like?

4 Replies to “Old camera in a modern space?”

  1. As an aspiring photographer, I love this. I’ve done similar work by using pinhole cameras to replicate a camera obscura. However my most interesting experience was using a Holga, which has almost zero mechanical function and doesn’t even run off a battery. I’m a bit jealous that you found one of these cameras in a shop and I cannot blame you for bringing it home! Your photographs turned out great! I hope to maybe see more of this type of work since you have access to such an amazing piece of photography equipment!

    1. Thank you, and I appreciate your comment! I have to admit that the entire story was made up, although I based it on as much reality as I could imagine! I love searching for old treasures in thrift stores, and I also am an aspiring photographer. Thank you so much for the compliments, and I apologize for misleading my readers!

    1. I should have mentioned this in the post, but I used my computer’s camera. The story about finding one in a thrift shop was entirely made up. I do take this as a complement though, that my editing looked real enough! Thanks for the feedback!

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