Friday, January 13, 2017

Camera Disasters

R and I are two years short of our 40th anniversary. We have to date this to the consummation of the marriage that never happened and won't because same sex marriage is illegal in Australia. It is not something either of us worry about, but it would be nice to be able to marry, even if we don't. Sister and Bone Doctor legally married  in Australia's capital city of Canberra when it was legal for about a week or so, but quickly enacted federal legislation killed that. However, as they were legally married, can that be taken away by the government? It would be an interesting case to take to the High Court.

Sandra has reached the 40th milestone with her beloved and they took what sounds like a brilliant cruise to celebrate, to no less than the Dominican Republic. Atlases out everyone. There was a camera casualty during the holiday though, which made me remember our camera disasters. There have been none since we bought our first digital camera, only that the camera never captures my true handsomeness. In fact digital cameras are rather cruel to me. Film cameras were much kinder. I could not possibly be the difference in time between film cameras and digital cameras. If you ask what a film camera is, go away and stop reading my blog.

Camera disaster 1, circa 1983. We generally used a Kodak cartridge camera to take snaps. Were they called an Instamatic? I can recall at some point buying a flash bulb holder to put on the top of the camera, and you needed a stock of flash bulbs to insert into the holder. I remember photos of almost white faces with shocked looks as the flash exploded in their faces. Maybe that was an older camera of my youth. We were off to New Zealand. A friend said, take my camera, but you have to put the film in by hand. Wow, a proper 35mm camera in a lovely leather case. We snapped away all over New Zealand, but every photo once developed looked green, very green. Maybe my memory is exaggerating a little, but the photos were pretty bad. We would have taken much nicer photos with a Kodak Instamatic.

Camera disaster number two, circa 1989. R was trying on a cheap tee shirt in a Bangkok market. Stall holders directed fans onto the sweating farang. He put the camera down of course, but by the time he finished deciding whether to spend a $1 buying a tee shirt, the camera had gone, along with the photos of our holiday we had already taken. A hand had slipped under a curtain partition. Fortunately our friends had taken photos too and gave us duplicates when they had theirs printed.

Camera disaster number three, circa 1992. We now own our own 35mm camera and no more green hued photos. Pop in the film and line the film holes up with the sprocket, close the back and the motor whirred away and wound the film on and away you go. We were staying north of Cairns in Queensland. We travelled to Port Douglas and boarded a cruising boat owned by pop singer Johnny Farnham. Insert a new film and set off for the Great Barrier Reef. We had a magical day with lovely food, good company, warm sunshine, a gentle breeze and best of all, novice to it that we were, snorkelling and seeing the spectacularly colourful reefs and fish. We were exhausted and as we returned to shore with our newly found gay kiddie mates, we plonked down and watched repeats of Ab Fab. Strange, I thought, as I went to change the camera film. I thought it was 24 exposure and the counter says 34, so I must have used a 36 photo film. Have you guessed? Yep, the film did not wind on and the blasted counter counted upward regardless. No photos at all! Once back in Melbourne, the camera was ever so carefully stomped to smithereens.

Do you have your own camera disaster story?

41 comments:

  1. Why is it that I find disasters so amusing? Sorry but they made me chuckle. I think I've still got my Instamatic somewhere. A great camera.

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    1. Marie, you must have a great sense of schadenfreude. My mother still uses hers but don't know where she gets the photos developed now.

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  2. No camera disasters as such. However I bought my first digital camera just before I went to Antarctica. And one of the memory cards I bought was faulty. Lots of photos taken which could never be downloaded - by me, or by the professionals. And then it froze.

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    1. EC, and no corner shop to pop into for a replacement. Terrible that you lost no doubt many stunning photos. I guess froze as in froze in an icy manner.

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  3. Anonymous9:35 am

    "In fact digital cameras are rather cruel to me." Nonsense. Once you have downloaded the images into a computer, Photoshop can make anyone look like Superman in those blue and red tights. It just depends on how many hours you want to spend working on it.
    Give me a camera with a good lens anytime in preference to a mobile phone. The only way to take a decent photo (and no, selfies aren't photography.) - Ian

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    1. Ian, I think playing with photos would be extremely time consuming and I have avoided it so far, but one day when I have more time. While I do agree about a good lens, gosh I have seen some good mobile phone photos.

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  4. Considering my propensity for dropping cameras, you'd think I'd have loads of camera disaster stories to tell but I've been lucky. My current camera is a Canon PowerShot. It's very first trip was to Taiwan where I promptly dropped it on a bus. It landed very heavily and I feared for its life. It was alive and well and took great photos. I've gone on to drop it several more times and the poor battered thing keeps taking great shots!

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    1. Ahem, Bunyip. I would include flat batteries in camera disaster stories. That is the inability to take photos in beautiful surroundings, such as at Lake Towada where not only were the camera batteries flat, so were the spares.

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    2. Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that!!

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    3. Both of my cameras warn me when the batteries are getting flat, a little message comes onto the screen. I have rechargeable batteries for both and spend time recharging after a day of many photos being taken. Plug in the chargers after dinner and they're ready to go again by bedtime usually.

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    4. River, same here. I plug the camera into the computer and download the photos and leave the camera plugged in until it is charged. Batteries are much better than they used to be.

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  5. I suspect past camera disasters have been buried deep into my memory hard drive never to be retrieved.

    One disaster I recall was at the start of a two weeks cruise around New Zealand. First port of call was the Bay of Islands. We were assembled in a lounge waiting to board a tender to take us ashore. I had a bag on my lap containing my $1700 Canon SLR camera and other necessities for the day including cap, sunglasses and water bottle.

    Whilst we waited I felt my lap turning damp and when I opened the bag I saw the water had opened somehow and flooded the camera. The camera never worked again and I purchased another similarly expensive camera at Auckland, the next port.

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    1. Victor, I am sure I remember reading about that when it happened. I know this works but too late now; don't turn the camera on but put it in sealed container with rice and leave it for a few days.

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  6. I'm a point and shot person if the picture is super bad I just don't use it but most of my fuzzy and strange looking pictures I use because that's the way life is most of the time.
    Merle...............

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    1. Merle, will your autobiography be called, My Fuzzy Life?

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  7. I can't stop shaking when I take photos so I end up with the feet or top of the head or the cockatoo in the tree next door.

    Do you have any photos from the 70s when there was something wrong with Kodak film and now every photo I have is a glowing orange colour.

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    1. Jah Teh, I don't believe so. Mother would have many photos from the seventies and they are keeping well. I have scanned quite a few. I need two hands on the camera or it resting on something, otherwise like you, at best it will be blurry.

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    2. I have a few old photos that have an overlay of orange! From 1996 when my grand daughter was two and all those photos look weird. They were like that from the beginning.

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    3. River, thinking back at photos as you describe and photos I have, we've come a long way.

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  8. Losing photos in the old days was a tragedy. Once it was gone, for whatever reason, it was curtains!

    But by the time my children lived in the USA for a few years, they _immediately_ sent the most special photos to both sets of grandparents by email.

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    1. Hels, and keeping a photo of your loved one in your wallet was guaranteed to have it ruined. It is a good method of backing up to email the photos.

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  9. Crikey Andrew ..... I've got no camera disaster stories but I'm sure Mum has. All I know is that camera thing will be the death of me. I've got to be in EVERY picture and if I have to wear one more hat I'll have to bite her on the bum. Nearly 40 years, aye?? That's a long time. Do you think you know each other well yet?? As for Sister and the bone Doctor. They are legally married. NO-ONE can take that away from them.

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    1. Charlie, in some ways we do not really know each other. We are very different. You always look so good in photos, so just put up with it.

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  10. Oh dear me, such calamity back then.
    Thanks for the reminder of days gone by, so very different are the cameras now, thank goodness.
    Never could figure out why some film photos turned out green, such a pity.
    Have a camera story that happened on our last holiday, am going to blog about it very soon...

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    1. Margaret, there are very good reasons to like technology, such as how we can now snap and edit if we are so inclined. I look forward to your camera disaster story, with full sympathy, of course.

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  11. Most of my camera disasters involve people with the tops of their heads missing or people so completely out of focus they look like ghosts.

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    1. River, yep, tick to those, along with a wonderful photo of your finger or thumb.

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  12. I had my camera knocked out of my hands by an exuberant tourist. The lens was bent ant wouldn't retract. Travel insurance paid for it to be fixed. The lesson I learned was to always have the strap around my wrist or neck.

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    1. Thanks Diane, noted. I do use the wrist strap when it is a long way down or where there is water. I should use it all the time.

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  13. I've had a few near misses, like last year when I tripped on the root of a tree and rolled down a slope, stop laughing Andrew 😀 but somehow managed to hold my camera up and unharmed. Mostly though it's stupid things like arriving to take photos somewhere and realising I haven't got the battery in the camera.. now I always carry a spare 😊 You know there are still some professional purists out there that wouldn't even think about using digital.. crazy!

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    1. Not laughing Grace, just grinning widely. I have some admiration for the purists when I look at old black and white photos and wonder, how are they so good?

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    2. Must agree Andrew, those old black and whites are fabulous!

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  14. Firstly, congratulations on a wonderful milestone...40 years together is a worthy achievement. It would be nice to have the right to marry if desired, of course, (and let's hope everyone wakes up to themselves and allows this to be so), but no piece of paper will ever act as an adhesive...not the way mutual love and respect does. :)

    My camera disasters are when the lens are focused on me!!

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    1. Thanks Lee. We nearly didn't make it at times and there is still no guarantee. You are right, of course. It is only a piece of paper and we don't want it but so many do and they should have the right to make their own mistakes like everyone else, haha. Haven't you noticed the photos of self have become crueler in the digital age.

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    2. And in my old age, too, Andrew! As do mirrors. There is a strange woman who lives in my mirror. I have no idea who she is!!! lol

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    3. No no, Lee. It is nothing to do with becoming older. It is cruel digital photos. Ok, perhaps it is.

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  15. Besides of loosing a camera, I didn't have any disasters. I have to say that I only started photography in 2006 before I liked to film. That's amazing that marriage between homosexuals is not allowed, but what happens when one in the couple dies and they own a house together ??
    A friend in my painting course has a daughter who lives with a woman since ages, they didn't get married although they could but they have a special contract which protects each other when one of them should die.

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    1. Gatina,regardless of maŕiage, we do have the same rights as any maŕried or de facto couple

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  16. Oh the film disasters of yore, with accidental exposures of the film to light, sprockets not catching on the film edge when winding or rewinding. I remember my father's worst because we were not allowed to speak as kids for a week after, to avoid upsetting him further. He had been hired to photograph a wedding. he was not a professional photographer, just an amateur but the couple were poor and he was it. Well, he forgot to load his film and took photos all over the wedding with an empty camera.

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    1. Strayer, awful for your father but really sad for the couple who married. I hope they were too angry.

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  17. Not I, but years ago when I was much younger...
    We took a guy up in a helicopter to follow his boat on the Murray - Southern 80 Boat Race. He was put in the harness and filmed out the door of the chopper the entire way.
    When he got back, i watched as his face went from normal to completely white.
    Yup, no video cassette in the camera. OH DEAR.

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