I got my first brownie camera when I was nine. It was a piece of magic. We each got one, and our mother showed us the procedure of threading the film, winding it on the metal spools, and checking the little red window until the number "one" appeared.
Thankfully it was a simple procedure to take a "snapshot". There was a lever to pull down until you heard the click, and that was about it. Then you rolled the film on to the next number.
It could be weeks of waiting and accumulating rolls to take to the drug store to be developed, but fresh film was cheap, and so was the processing. (We steered clear of colored film which was more expensive.) But finally the day would come when the product was revealed in a mixed blessing.
Since no one had taught composition, or "choosing your subject", or lighting, framing, or anything else of relative sophistication, the result was a pretty mixed bag. The most we knew was to make sure that the shots were taken outside (no flash), and to be sure the person faced the sun so squarely as to be sure they could not possibly keep their eyes open!
Arty pictures of piers, and cars aren't anywhere to be found among my aged white framed photos. But the fuzzy, over exposed shots of school friends and family vacations are much of what remains of the record of my early years. Most parents didn't chronicle each waking moment as is so easily done "nowadays". Ours didn't anyway.
So I'll take them in all their flawed glory. Souvenirs of summers so far past that they now only feel like a place I once visited.
I hope you're having summer fun!
Ciao! for now!
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