Photo of a Photo

How Photography Has Evolved in Recent Years

I was wary to trespassing so didn’t try to get closer of a different angle

The original picture above is one I took many years ago in Okanogan County, Washington, using a twin-lens reflex camera. It was big and bulky, required roll film, and hung from my neck on a broad strap. At the time, it wasn’t a pain in the neck, but no doubt would be now.  For a while, I was in love with that camera. Took it everywhere. I was also in love with black and white film.

This photo is from the Pixabay stock agency. I don’t remember the brand of my twin-lens reflex.

For a while, I toyed with the idea of a career in photography. I could spend hours in the darkroom, developing and processing the film and making prints. Watching prints in a developer bath as an image appeared on what had once been white paper was like magic. 

The warm brown color is a result, not of the aging of the photograph, but from a sepia toner bath. Sepia ink comes from cuttlefish. Centuries ago the ink was used for writing and for drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and other Old Masters.

Sadly, the twin-lens reflex camera was stolen during a break-and-enter at my old house.

My little Canon digital camera took the photo of my original print. I love this camera, too. It’s great not to have to buy roll film or try to figure out “F” stops and exposure time. The camera does it all. But that can also create problems, such as over or underexposure. No pain in the neck if I wear the camera around my neck on a slender strap, instead of carrying it in my pocket or purse. I love that I can upload photos in mere seconds. That’s like magic, too.

It’s easy to spend hours messing with the uploaded photos, too–improving sharpness and color, cropping, and rotating. Adding sepia, and other tones can be done with my photo program filters instead of in a messy bath. If I don’t like the results, I can remove the color tones. Instead of bending over a print and using a tiny brush making eensy dots to fill unwanted spots, I can do it in a second with the click of a mouse.

Although I love taking and sharing pictures, making a living as a photographer was never practical for me. My original intent in enrolling in a photography classes was to illustrate articles I wrote, maybe even published a book of photographs and essays or poetry. That, too, fell by the wayside. I’m primarily a fiction writer. Now I provide pictures for my blog, my social media platforms, and for the enjoyment of the hobby, recording magnificent beauty and also the loveliness of small, ordinary things that people tend to pay little attention to. With my camera I can say, look at this–see how remarkable it is?

Just a dandelion? I couldn’t resist taking its picture, one of the little, overlooked marvels I like to highlight with my camera. What a sunny little face! It’s an intricate little flower with many parts: ray florets, with bilobed stigma, anthers, and individuals bracts. They’re an edible plant, rich in vitamin C. They originated in Europe and brought to the New World by early settlers so they’d have a winter source of greens to prevent scurvy.

4 thoughts on “Photo of a Photo”

  1. I didn’t know about your one-time photography aspirations. No wonder you take such lovely photos! I learned something about the dandelion, too. I’d heard of dandelion wine but hadn’t thought that it’ would be used as a source of Vit C.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Judy. It’s fun to discover and include new facts. Have you read Ray Bradbury’s story? Your comment made me think I should read it.

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  2. Your photography is so good! Dandelions are truly lovely. If they were as rare a orchids, they would be more appreciated.

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