I still recall the day my father handed me his Zenit -B SLR camera. Being young I had little of value in my possession to compare, so this was quite a monumental piece of equipment to me at the time.
He explained much of the basics to me, handed over manuals and guides, and pretty much said “here you go- go create magic.”
I have always been a little over excited about things, if it takes my fancy -consider me obsessed, so I set out learning (in my own hit and miss way) all about this rough and heavy manual film camera.
I learnt the actions, the terrible results and the wonderful magic that could occur all on one film roll.
I learnt to appreciate and detest old machinery, how unforgiving it could be, but also, how beautiful the result could be- if only I applied more time to learn, and tried not to spill the chemicals.
I spent much of my life from that point on, around cameras, and the fell thick in the midst of the digital revolution surging forth and closing down any justifications I could muster against the rising wave of increasing powerful and functional digital cameras.
I never wanted to join the digital Single lens reflex club though.. I was happy allowing the digital age to sweep up and overtake the mechanical magic, but I drew a line in the sand, when it came to replacing the SLR.
That was my mark of respect, in my eyes at least, to the previous incarnation of the camera world, the king I had declared my allegence too.
I rode on strong through the years, never much toying with the DSLR itself. I still appreciated what they were and how capable they were becoming, even appreciated that they had far exceeded what the SLR could have done mechanically, but I stayed true.
I now use an iPhone for most of my photography, not because it is a better camera by any means, but largely because it is the underdog. I speak to folk of how I believe the iPhone will soon replace the DSLR, and am met with laughter and a shaking of heads,
Yet all I can see is myself in their shoes, denying that technology has lept forward.
I can see in two years time, likely less, a smartphone having a standard detachable lens whereby your phone will exceed the requirement for a specific camera, even in a professional level. iPhone 5S will increase the camera to a 16megapixel sensor, and from there, it will only increase. If this was true then realistically, young kids being given their first DSLR now, may be the last of the single lens reflex club, being handed over the keys to an amazing journey that will begin now, but adapt and morph over a lifetime- into something more digital and less mechanical.
Lets hope that the one thing that cameras don’t lose, is the power to allow one to go out and create magic.
This image is a series of quick shots taken around the home using my new 8x telephoto lens attachment for iPhone (bottom right) this was purchased for 39.00AUD, From e-pix.