My photography talents, if any, took off with the age of digital camera’s, say after 2000. Before that time, I did take pictures but I wasn’t a fanatic. I wasn’t into developing pictures myself, although I did do a few ‘doka’ sessions (doka = donkere kamer (dutch) = dark room). I guess the whole analog photo stuff was just to slow for me. There was no direct feedback between taking a picture and seeing the result. But you also could say I was just plain lazy:) Nope, analog photography wasn’t my cup of tea.
Anyway, while I perhaps was not into analog photography, my father (now 79) was a fanatic amateur photographer. A baker, but with many hobbies of which photography was the most time consuming. He had his own ‘dark room’, and he even owned THE camera of all times, a Hasselblad. He also owned a Leica … not too shabby. He was the guy who always took a family portrait when there was an occasion. And he took off on sundays with friends to shoot. I guess also the developing side of analog photography was a joy for him. I remember one time he and friends were busy constructing a giant developing bath of several square meters (perhaps even 2m x 3m) to create enormous prints, with the lamp hanging high above to expose the paper.
But in the end the hobby faded away. Not only because of his age, but also because of the changing nature of photography. The introduction of color photography was part of this. Color photography being more cumbersome to do yourselve then the relatively simple and straightforward black and white developing process. Also the rise of simple consumer camera’s and much faster processing of photo’s in photo labs etc, made the whole photography less special. Finally, with the advent of the digital era my father kind of stopped. Digital photography is completely different. A much faster world. As I said, there now is direct feedback between taking a picture and seeing the result. Also with digital photography you need to be at ease with computers and software. Memory cards, files, Lightroom (fantastic name for the software btw;) mouse and screen took over from film, dark room, chemicals and paper … and so, where my father stopped with analog, I started with digital:)
Needless to say, that the talent of shooting a good photo still stays the same. You need an eye for a good shot. But afterwards comes the second phase, which was analog in the old days but now is digital.
I found this photo in an album. My father, busy developing a photo, still with his bakers clothes on. A true dedicated photographer.